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SARL Members and Alumni News

Supreme Court rejects Dow's $455m appeal against Bayer

Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review | Posted on December 7, 2017

The US Supreme Court has refused to rule on a patent dispute between agricultural companies Dow AgroSciences and Bayer CropScience. Yesterday, December 4, the court denied Dow’s petition for certiorari, leaving a decision made by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in March untouched.Dow had asked the Supreme Court to review the decision, which affirmed a $455 million award in damages for Bayer for Dow’s infringement of patents related to genetically engineered soybeans.


AVMA November 2017 State Legislative Update

AVMA | Posted on December 7, 2017

In Massachusetts, a bill has been put forth to allow veterinarians to dispense compounded medication from a pharmacy under certain conditions. This bill would also allow a veterinarian to compound medication, for individual patients within a VCPR, as long as the veterinarian does not compound from bulk supplies, does not duplicate proprietary products, does not wholesale cliniccompounded medications, and does not compound federally controlled substances for dispensing. Mississippi has proposed a regulation that continues to exempt veterinary dispensing from the state’s prescription monitoring program; however, prescriptions written by a veterinarian and filled by a pharmacy must be reported by the pharmacy.


Washington State Department of Agriculture puts hemp on hiatus due to money shortage

Capital Press | Posted on December 5, 2017

Washington’s hemp program, not yet a year old, has stopped issuing licenses because of a budget deficit. Restarting the program for a second growing season may depend on whether state lawmakers are willing to invest $287,000 into nurturing a hemp industry that faces high regulatory costs.“Without the additional appropriations, we would need to shut down the program,” state Department of Agriculture spokesman Hector Castro said. “Without the funding, it’s not a sustainable program.”The program’s costs are largely driven by the fact that hemp, according to federal law, is a federally controlled substance and can be legally grown and processed only under state supervision. Oversight varies from state to state. Washington chose a high level of control, intended to build a sturdy hemp industry not vulnerable to federal intervention.The cost of closely regulating hemp, however, has far surpassed the fees collected from growers and processors. While some other states, including Oregon, have registered hundreds of hemp businesses, Washington has issued only seven licenses, collecting $8,139 in fees and spending $146,000 in oversight. The licenses must be renewed annually.


Michigan State University hosts Beginning Farmer Webinar Series

Michigan State University | Posted on December 5, 2017

Michigan residents interested in engaging in new agricultural enterprises sometimes lack knowledge, experience and technical support to get started. MSU Extension educators and specialists receive numerous inquiries seeking basic, startup information for beginning farmers. Since 2012, they have filled this need through the Beginning Farmer Webinar Series. New farm businesses provide jobs, income and increased economic activity and social stability with increased food security to communities. Providing basic, practical information to people interested in, or already engaging in, new farm enterprises helps these small businesses develop sound production and marketing plans. These informative webinars are intended to help you get started. Feel free to contact the presenters for more information. The Beginning Farmer Webinar Series provides an information boost to new farm businesses. A new series will begin Jan. 17, 2018.


Missouri sets strict internal policies for sale, use of dicamba

High Plains Journal | Posted on December 5, 2017

MFA will launch an intensive scouting protocol this spring to track soybean growth and provide timely information to applicators about crop progress. A network of “sentinel plots” will be established, representing the average planting dates and maturity ranges of soybeans in different regions of MFA’s service territory. These plots will be scouted every Monday and reports sent to all MFA employees on Tuesday mornings with notes about maturity and potential cutoff dates for spraying dicamba. Applicators will be alerted when the majority of soybeans in their area have reached the reproductive stage, when dicamba injury can do the most harm to non-target plants.While Missouri has mandated that the cutoff date will be June 1 for 10 counties in the Bootheel and July 15 statewide, MFA’s policies are based on plant maturity rather than calendar dates, Weirich explained. However, he stressed, no dicamba applications will be made after government-mandated deadlines.“Once soybeans hit the R1 growth stage, we’re done spraying dicamba due to the inherent risk of off-target movement,” he said. “We feel like it’s important to base our decisions on actual growth stages, and R1 is at the beginning of flowering. If we wait until too late in the season, we’re afraid that we will put too many soybeans in our territory at risk.”Dicamba is a selective herbicide that controls broadleaf weeds. Plants with dicamba-tolerant traits can be sprayed with these herbicides to control weeds without damaging the crop. The technology helps growers control weeds that have developed resistance to other herbicides.When dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton were approved for use in 2016 by the federal government, no dicamba herbicides were approved for the new crop system. For the 2017 season, new dicamba formulations were authorized for use with dicamba-tolerant crops, including Monsanto’s XtendiMax, BASF’s Engenia and DuPont’s FeXapan.As part of its new guidelines, MFA Incorporated will not custom apply or sell over the counter any old formulation of straight dicamba products such as Banvel, Clarity and Detonate. This does not include blended products such as Range Star, DiFlexx and Status.


Commission seeks fracturing ban in watershed supplying NYC

Chron | Posted on December 5, 2017

A commission that oversees water quality for the watershed that supplies Philadelphia and half of New York City with drinking water took another step Thursday toward permanently banning natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, despite industry opposition. The Delaware River Basin Commission's newly published draft regulations would enact a formal ban on fracking, as well as put additional restrictions to make it harder, if not impossible, for the industry to dispose wastewater within the watershed or use water from the river and its tributaries for fracking outside the basin.


As N.J.'s black bear population thrives, it's the hunt that's endangered

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Posted on December 5, 2017

As New Jersey’s black bears fatten on fallen beechnuts, on Monday hunters will get one more crack at “harvesting” the state’s largest land animal before it hunkers down for the winter. It’s possible this could be the last such hunt for a while and the first of several potential environmentally related policy reversals the Garden State could face in the coming years as Democrat Phil Murphy replaces Gov. Christie. Murphy is pledging to institute a moratorium on the hunt.In the first round, 243 bears were killed — a big decrease from 2016 when 562 bears were killed in the same time period. The second segment, from Dec. 4 through 9, will be limited to firearms. the state aims to cull a certain ratio of bears each year, amounting to about 30 percent of tagged bears. That reduces the potential for human contact, while still sustaining a reproducible population.In past years, the state had trouble reaching that 30 percent level. So, in 2016, it made two separate black bear hunting segments.


Michigan legislation would improve protections for companion and family pets

WXYZ | Posted on December 5, 2017

he Michigan House of Representatives approved legislation to improve protections for companion and family pets. Under House Bill 4332, it would be a crime to knowingly torture or kill an animal with the intent to cause mental distress or exert control over a person.The legislation would create first, second and third-degree offenses depending on severity, while partnering with Bill 4333 to update sentencing guidelines of up to 10 years imprisonment.


12 states ask Supreme Court to block California egg law

CBS | Posted on December 5, 2017

A dozen states are banding together to ask the US Supreme Court to block a California law requiring any eggs sold there to come from hens that have space to stretch out in their cages. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Monday that he plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of the states alleging California's law has cost consumers nationwide up to $350 million annually because of higher egg prices since it took effect in 2015. The lawsuit, provided to The Associated Press, argues California's requirements violate the U.S. Constitution's interstate commerce clause and are preempted by federal law.A federal appeals court panel rejected similar claims last year in a separate case brought by six states, ruling that they failed to show California's law would affect more than just individual farmers. The latest lawsuit seeks to address that by citing an economic analysis of the California law. It also asks the Supreme Court to take up the case directly instead of requiring that it first move through the lower courts.


Cybersecurity Quest Sends States to Vets, Students and Women

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on December 4, 2017

Cybersecurity is the most pressing issue for state information technology officials, as hackers and cybercriminals increasingly take aim at government networks, which contain information such as Social Security, bank account and credit card numbers of millions of people and businesses. But hiring and keeping qualified IT staffers, particularly cybersecurity experts, continues to be a serious problem for states, according to a recent survey of state chief information officers. Job candidates “don’t perceive state government as an attractive and challenging work environment,” the report found.State cyber salaries generally can’t match those in private industry and it’s often hard to move up the ladder in state government. And the disappearance of generous government retirement plans is making the jobs less appealing to cyber professionals. Gatewood recommended that states rethink those requirements and seek out nontraditional job candidates who have different types of backgrounds, such as gamers, code writers, and law enforcement and military officials.


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