2017 Policy Development Backgrounders

Dicamba Resistant Seed Technology

There have been numerous complaints of damage from farmers who did not plant Dicamba resistant crops. Reports to TDA involve several thousand acres. As a result, the department issued emergency rules placing new restrictions on the use of these Dicamba products.

Tennessee Corn Check – Off Program

Had there been a one cent per bushel check-off in 2016, $1.25 million could have been available for TN focused research and development, as well as in-state promotion of corn products. Farm Bureau policy supports a one cent per bushel state check-off for corn.

State Implementation of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) signed an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin implementing the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA). Should the state continue to implement the rule or pass it back to FDA?

Animal Disease Traceability

Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) is the mechanism by which the United States tracks and traces animal diseases through the animal agriculture population. The intended goal of the system is to provide rapid and effective response to a disease outbreak.

Mississippi vs. Tennessee Water Lawsuit

Mississippi has filed a lawsuit against Tennessee over water usage. The Memphis Sand Aquifer serves as the main source of drinking water for many Memphis residents. Mississippi claims 30% of water being pumped from the aquifer resides under their state.

State Invasive Species Fund

During the 2017 legislative session, there was an effort to prevent TWRA’s revenue from hunting/fishing licenses to go to the wild hog eradication program, which started a larger discussion about how the state should pay for programs for invasive species.

Right to Repair

Because of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, farmers or third party mechanics could be subject to fines and lawsuits for tampering with copyright software on farm equipment. So, farmers are left with few options other than to call the dealership where they purchased it.


Hunting and trapping of coyotes are allowed year-round in Tennessee. There are restrictions placed on coyote hunting by the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission (TFWC). Some farmers would like more freedom to take coyotes on their property.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Permits

Legislation was introduced in 2017 to only require concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) that discharge wastes to be permitted – an effort to provide permit coverage as a means of protection in the event a CAFO has an alleged violation or third party legal action.

Milk Unfair Trade Practices

Current law prohibits milk products from being sold below cost at the wholesale and retail level in an effort to prevent price wars and milk being used as a loss leader to entice customers.