Agriculture is one of the oldest industries in the world. Agricultural workers raise livestock and plant and harvest crops. Agricultural workers use methods that have changed over time to increase crop yield, improve food quality, and reduce expenses. Agricultural law is a legal specialty focusing on agriculture cases. Legal protection is essential for agricultural businesses for several reasons, which are explored in greater detail below.
Farms use technology to improve efficiency, increase profits, and improve safety. Temperature and moisture sensors can determine when crops need to be watered, farmers can prevent crops from rotting or dying, and more. Crops that don’t receive enough water grow slowly, which can also affect the crop yield.
Whether you’re growing maize or soybeans, one of your priorities will be to find environmentally-friendly ways to increase crop yield. Increasing the amount of food you produce will increase the amount of revenue your farm generates. Using sensors will ensure your crops receive the optimal amount of water required to grow. Sensors can also help you determine how much fertilizer the soil needs, how to preserve nitrogen levels in your soil, and when to apply pesticides.
Although technology can enable farmers to operate more efficiently and increase their revenue, technology could also impact regulatory practices. Sensors are connected to the internet, allowing hackers to access sensitive data or manipulate information that could affect farm operations.
Agricultural businesses can also employ scientists to develop plant strains designed to withstand drought or increase crop yield. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be patented to protect the developers from suffering financial loss due to theft.
In 2019, farms in the United States generated $136.1 billion of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). As your agricultural business grows, you will benefit from consulting a business lawyer or litigator to make sure that your business is protected regardless of the legal landscape. Business lawyers can prepare employee contracts and negotiate purchases. Your lawyer can also provide counsel about insurance options to protect your investments and practices.
If you’re starting your agricultural business, you can also consult business attorney Malliha Wilson to determine whether you should establish your company as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Malliha is a savvy litigator who was the first minority to serve as Assistant Deputy Attorney General to the Ontario government.Your lawyer can also provide information about financing your company and the legal requirements you must comply with, such as registering with the Workers Safety Insurance Board. Your attorney can also help you determine what taxes you’re required to pay. An experienced business lawyer will ensure you take all the crucial steps required to protect your company.
Although technology has reduced the demand for farm employees, agricultural businesses typically need to hire seasonal or year-round workers to perform some tasks. Farm accidents account for hundreds of deaths annually and can also result in permanent disabilities. Farm accidents also have multiple sources. Vehicle accidents, fires, contact with harmful substances, falls, and injuries inflicted by people or animals can also impact owners and employees.
Employers must take steps to ensure they comply with laws and regulations to protect their businesses. A business lawyer can determine which regulations apply to the company and ensure the company is legally protected. Without legal protection, farmers could be affected by lawsuits.
Agricultural businesses vary widely. Some agricultural businesses are farms that concentrate on raising traditional livestock, such as cattle or chickens, and growing common crops like corn and wheat. Agricultural businesses also produce less common products, such as hemp. Each agricultural business may have specific liability risks based on its size, nature, and focus.
In Canada, medical marijuana products can be produced by farms licensed by Health Canada. Unfortunately, Canadian cannabis growers can suffer financial losses due to theft. Legally protecting your agricultural business can protect you from losses based on weather, vandalism, and theft.
Agricultural businesses need legal protection for several reasons. New technology has changed farm operations, which has legal implications for business owners. Business owners also need to comply with laws and regulations and take legal steps to protect new and growing businesses from liability risks.