Ag-Gag Statutes: Kentucky Legislature Passes ‘Agricultural Key Infrastructure Asset Trespass Law,’ Overrides Governor Veto
On April 12, 2024, the Kentucky legislature overrode the governor’s veto to pass into law Senate Bill 16, titled “An Act Relating to Agricultural Key Infrastructure Assets” (with votes totaling 32-6 in the House and 71-26 in the Senate). The law adds three types of facilities to the definition of “key infrastructure assets”—(1) “a commercial food manufacturing or processing facility,” (2) “an animal feeding operation,” and (3) “a concentrated animal feeding operation”—and establishes that a person “commits the offense of trespass upon key infrastructure assets if he or she knowingly, without the consent of the owner . . . [o]perates an unmanned aircraft system, video . . . [or] audio recording device, or photography equipment on or above property containing a key infrastructure asset; or [r]ecords or distributes . . . any part, procedure, or action of a key infrastructure asset.” The governor’s April 9, 2024 veto message stated that the bill’s addition of “any video recording device, audio recording device, or photography equipment . . . diminishes transparency.” The law establishes the first offense of such a trespass as a Class B misdemeanor, which allows for imprisonment up to 90 days and a fine of $250, and a subsequent offense as a Class A misdemeanor, which allows for imprisonment up to 12 months and a fine of $500 (Ky. Rev. Stat. §§ 532.090; 534.040). Under the Kentucky Constitution, Section 55, the law will become effective 90 days after the end of the state’s current legislative session, April 15, 2024. See also the Center’s Ag Gag Statutes Issue Tracker. 

Agricultural Labor: Florida Passes Law Preempting Local Heat Standards, Minimum Wages
On April 11, 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law CS/CS/HB 433 (Chapter 2024-80), which preempts localities from “requiring employers to meet or provide heat exposure requirements beyond those required by law” or “maintaining a minimum wage other than a state or federal minimum wage” and prohibits localities from giving preference to bidding or contracting companies based on the companies’ heat exposure standards or wages. Additionally, the law prohibits localities from “seek[ing] information relating to the employer’s heat exposure requirements” and preempts localities from “adopt[ing] or enforc[ing] any ordinance . . . regulating scheduling, including predictive scheduling, by a private employer.” Although earlier versions of the bill (original filed version; committee substitute 1; and committee substitute 2) directed the state’s Department of Commerce to “adopt . . . statewide workplace heat exposure requirements” if, by July 1, 2028, “the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not adopted . . . requirements regulating workplace heat exposure,” that language was removed in an amendment filed by Senator Jay Trumbull on March 5, 2024. The law becomes effective July 1, 2024. See also ALWR—Mar. 18, 2024, “House Agricultural Labor Working Group Publishes Final Report with Policy Recommendations” and ALWR—Feb. 20, 2024, “Eleven Attorneys General Petition Department of Labor, Congress, and White House for Occupational Heat Standard.”

Agribusiness: Iowa Passes Foreign Agricultural Land Ownership Law, Requires Enhanced Reporting
On April 9, 2024, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law Senate File 2204 (SF2204), which amends the state’s “Nonresident Aliens—Land Ownership” laws (Iowa Code § 9I) to require enhanced registration and reporting requirements for any “nonresident alien, foreign business, or foreign government . . . which owns an interest in agricultural land within th[e] state” and Iowa’s “Agricultural Landholding Reporting” laws (Iowa Code § 10B) to require that registrants update their information every other year. The law also directs the Iowa secretary of state to “prepare an annual summary of foreign landholding” to “determine the extent that agricultural land is held in th[e] state by foreign entities and the effect of such land ownership upon the economy of [Iowa].” Among the required information, registering parties must disclose “[a] statement of the purpose for conducting business in th[e] state,” “[a] description of the purpose of the interest in the agricultural land in this state as it relates to the stated business purpose,” and “[a] listing of all other interests in agricultural land . . . that exceeds two hundred fifty acres.” The law allows for penalty of up to “twenty-five percent of the county’s assessed value of the subject agricultural land for the previous year” for failing to timely register and a penalty of up to $10,000 for failing to file a biennial update. Current landowners subject to the law will be required to file their registration within 180 days of the law’s effective date. Under Iowa Code § 3.7, the law will become effective July 1, 2024. See also the National Agricultural Law Center’s Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land Resource Library.

Avian Influenza: Maryland Department of Agriculture Issues Order Restricting Dairy Cattle Import
On April 10, 2024, the Maryland Secretary of Agriculture issued an order “restricting movement of dairy cattle into Maryland from states with confirmed outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in their herds.” Also announced by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), the order prohibits the movement of dairy cattle into the state “from another state or territory . . . that has had a confirmed detection of HPAI in cattle or has an operation that is currently under investigation as a suspected premises unless the cattle are accompanied by a [Certificate of Veterinary Inspection] or approved health certificate or permit that . . . [h]as been prepared and signed within seven (7) days of transport” by an approved veterinarian.

Air Quality: SEC Delays ‘Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors’ Final Rule
On April 12, 2024, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published in the Federal Register a final rule (89 FR 25804) delaying the agency’s March 28, 2024 final rule, “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” (89 FR 21668). According to the rule, the delay follows several legal challenges to the final rule, filed between March 6 and March 14, 2024, in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia Circuits. The rule delays the March final rule “pending the completion of judicial review in consolidated proceedings in the Eighth Circuit.” The SEC stated, “In issuing a stay, the Commission is not departing from its view that the Final Rules are consistent with applicable law and within the Commission’s long-standing authority to require the disclosure of information important to investors in making investment and voting decisions. Thus, the Commission will continue vigorously defending the Final Rules’ validity in court and looks forward to expeditious resolution of the litigation. But the Commission finds that, under the particular circumstances presented, a stay of the Final Rules meets the statutory standard.” For background, see ALWR—April 1, 2024, “SEC Publishes ‘Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors’ Final Rule.” See also the Center’s CERCLA/EPCRA Reporting Issue Tracker.

Biotechnology: USDA Publishes Request for Information on Bioengineered Electronic or Digital Link Disclosures
On April 9, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule (89 FR 25187) requesting “information about potential amendments to the electronic or digital link disclosure option as it pertains to the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.” Also announced by AMS, the request for information is available until June 10, 2024 for public comment. For background, see ALWR—Sept. 23, 2022, Federal Court Remands Text Message Option for Bioengineered Disclosure Regulation.” See also the Center’s Bioengineered Disclosure Virtual Resource Room and Bioengineered Food Disclosure Issue Tracker.

Technology: FAA Grants Exemption for Hylio, Allows Single Pilot Control of Three 55-lb. Drones
On February 27, 2024, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) published its decision to grant an exemption from several provisions of 14 CFR, which will allow Texas-based drone company Hylio “to operate up to three . . . unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) weighing over 55 pounds, simultaneously, by a single Pilot in Command without the services of a visual observer . . . [at] night . . . for various agricultural operations,” including spraying and seeding crops (FAA-2023-1833). According to the decision, the FAA concluded that the exemption was in the public interest and approved Hylio’s exemption request because it found that Hylio “adequately addressed the hazards associated with a single pilot operating multiple UAS simultaneously” through a training program, software, and risk mitigating operating procedures. The exemption expires on March 31, 2026.

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Agricultural Law Podcast

PFAS Soil Contamination Fuels Liability Suit Over Biosolid Land Application (Mar. 21, 2024)

Farmland Legal Energy Podcast

Introduction to Wind Farms and How Farmers Can Utilize Wind Power

Methane Production From Manure

An Introduction to Hydrogen and Agriculture

An Introduction to Anaerobic Digestion


Anaerobic Digestion: An Alternative Energy Source for Farmers (Dec. 2023).

Specialty Crop Producers’ Guide to Understanding Liability Protection, Regulatory Processes, & Other Legal Risks (Nov. 2023)

More Center Publications.

Resources of Interest:

Southern Ag Today, What is the Principal Agent problem, and Should I Be Concerned About It In My Local Cooperative?, Frank Seo (Apr. 5, 2024)

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., SEC Rule and California Laws on Climate-Related Disclosures Face Legal Challenges, Samantha Capaldo (Apr. 4, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, Tax Considerations of Income and Expenses from Nontimber Forest Products, Yanshu Li (Apr. 3, 2024)

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., Farmers File Suit Over PFAS Contamination, Brigit Rollins (Apr. 2, 2024)

Agric. Law & Tax’n Blog, Property Rights Edition – Irrigation Return Flows; PFAS; and the Quiet Title Act, Roger McEowen (Apr.1, 2024)

Tex. A&M Agric. Law Blog, Family Dispute Leads to Litigation Over Handwritten Will, Tiffany Dowell Lashmet (Apr. 1, 2024)




USDA Makes $1.5 Billion Available to Help Farmers Advance Conservation and Climate-Smart Agriculture as Part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda (Apr. 3, 2024)

Biden-Harris Administration Finalizes Protections for Thompson Divide (Apr. 3, 2024)

Update to USDA Entity-Scale Greenhouse Gas Methods Report Available (Apr. 2, 2024)


Biden-Harris Administration Announces $20 Billion in Grants to Mobilize Private Capital and Deliver Clean Energy and Climate Solutions to Communities Across America (Apr. 4, 2024)


Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

USDA Lifts PACA Reparation Sanctions on California Produce Business (Apr. 2, 2024)

USDA Partners with Maine to Award Nearly $4 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure (Apr. 1, 2024)

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Dairy Herd in Idaho (Apr. 2, 2024)

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Dairy Herd in New Mexico (Apr. 1, 2024)

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Household Food Insecurity Across Race and Ethnicity in the United States, 2016–21 (Apr. 2, 2024)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

USDA Announces April 2024 Lending Rates for Agricultural Producers (Apr. 1, 2024)

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

USDA Accepting Applications for FY 2025 Export Programs (Apr. 2, 2024)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

USDA Announces Third Signup for Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Climate-Smart Agriculture in Rhode Island (Apr. 4, 2024)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register Apr. 1–5, 2024):   

Agriculture Department

89 FR 22975 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Food Safety and Inspection Service: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery]” (Apr. 3, 2024)

89 FR 22663 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Farm Service Agency: Emergency Relief Program 2022 (ERP 2022)]” (Apr. 2, 2024)

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

89 FR 23500 Rule: “Domestic Quarantine: Quarantined Areas and Regulated Articles; Technical Amendment” (Apr. 4, 2024)

89 FR 23537 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Availability of Pest Risk Analyses for the Importation of Rosemary and Tarragon from Ethiopia into the Continental United States” (Apr. 4, 2024)

Environmental Protection Agency

89 FR 23526 Rule: “Partial Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration: Federal “Good Neighbor Plan” for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (Apr. 4, 2024)

89 FR 23011 Notice—Comment Period: “Chlorpyrifos; Notice of Receipt of Request to Cancel Certain Pesticide Registrations and Amend Registrations to Terminate/Amend Certain Uses” (Apr. 3, 2024)

Food and Nutrition Service

89 FR 23539 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities, Proposed Collection: Request for Comments on Evaluating the Interview Requirement for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Certification Study” (Apr. 4, 2024)

Food Safety Inspection Service

89 FR 22331 Rule—Comment Period: “Availability of Revised Guideline for Controlling Retained Water in Raw Meat and Poultry” (Apr. 1, 2024)

Forest Service

89 FR 22949 Rule: “Subsistence Management Regulations for Public Lands in Alaska-Applicability and Scope; Tongass National Forest Submerged Lands” (Apr. 3, 2024)


H.R.6492 “EXPLORE Act” Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 365. (Apr. 5, 2024)


No New Actions.


DEP Holds Keystone Sanitary Landfill Accountable for Odor Concerns, Reaches Settlement on Civil Penalty & Requires Keystone to Immediately Begin Mitigating Odors (Apr. 1, 2024)

PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 54, No. 14—Apr. 6, 2024): 

Department of Environmental Protection

54 Pa.B. 1827 Notice: “Applications for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits and Water Quality Management (WQM) Permits Under the Clean Streams Law and Federal Clean Water Act”

54 Pa.B. 1905 Notice: “Planning Grant Award under Section 901 of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act, Act 101 of 1988”

Environmental Hearing Board

54 Pa.B. 1906 Notice: “Hatfield Township Municipal Authority v. Department of Environmental Protection; EHB Doc. No. 2024-080-L”

Fish and Boat Commission

54 Pa.B. 1906 Notice: “Temporary Change to Fishing Regulations; Tobyhanna Lake, Monroe County”


HB 1543 “An Act repealing obsolete provisions of law relating to crossing bridge with horse faster than a walk, driving cattle faster than a walk, carrying fire over a bridge and a supplement to an act relating to roads, highways and bridges.” Referred to Transportation. (Apr. 4, 2024)


Victoria Dutterer—Research Assistant
Lonzie Helms—Research Assistant
Esther Thomas—Research Assistant
Audry Thompson—Staff Attorney