A Michigan farmer pleaded guilty to illegally planting corn in his soybean fields in a violation of the state’s growing laws.
Law enforcement sources told ESPN that 40-year-old James K. Thomas, of Mifflin Township, Mich., planted corn with corn meal and soybeans in his corn fields at the time the soybeans were being grown.
Thomas pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of violating Michigan’s growing regulations.
“It’s a big deal,” said Michigan Agriculture Commissioner Mike DeWine.
“You have to have a plan in place before you start planting, so you’re planting a crop in a very controlled way.”
Michigan is the first state to legalize growing corn and soy on private land, according to DeWINE.
In 2015, DeWINES attorney told the Detroit Free Press that the state would consider allowing corn and other agricultural crops on private property, though DeWines office did not provide specifics.
DeWINE said the federal government has been working on a similar bill in the wake of the devastating 2016 storms, which damaged millions of acres of crops and led to the shutdown of more than 300 federal facilities.
The bills are not expected to reach the floor for a vote until next year, though.
A spokesman for DeWINS office, David Schmick, said the state did not comment on pending legislative action.
More than 20 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands allow farmers to grow corn and/or soy on public land.
DeWINes officials told the Free Press the investigation into the corn case is ongoing.
Maine farmer sentenced for planting corn, soy on farmland without permits article A Minnesota farmer has been sentenced to six months in jail for planting and planting corn without the state or federal approval.
The Department of Agriculture on Tuesday issued an official notice of violation to Jeffrey F. Eriksen, of Maplewood, Minnesota.
The notice stated that Erikson violated a law on growing corn on public lands and is subject to fines of up to $2,000.
Eriksen had planted corn in a field near his farm in Maplewood in August.
A court affidavit said Eriksson’s planting violated state law and federal law.
Erikson, a farmer and owner of the Maplewood Farm Market, pleaded guilty last month to the violation.
The plea agreement stipulates that Ersen pay $2.25 million to the U,S.
Environmental Protection Agency.