September 2016

September 2016


Iowa Agricultural Liens: A Legal Review

This month we are offering a new overview of Iowa Agricultural Lien law. This publication is designed to provide a thorough review of seven different Iowa agricultural liens, including their perfection requirements and their priorities.

This review is one in a series of legal reviews intended to explain an area of law important to agriculture in Iowa. In June, we published Iowa Farm Leases: A Legal Review, in July Iowa Fence Requirements: A Legal Review, and last month, Rural Premises Liability in Iowa: A Legal Review. Please contact us with additional topics you'd like to see covered in future newsletter editions. Your feedback is very important to us!

To read the review of Iowa Agricultural Lien law, click here:


Syngenta Producer Class Certification: What Does It Mean for Farmers?

The Syngenta litigation reached a crucial milestone on September 26, 2016, when U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum issued an order certifying a nationwide class and eight statewide classes of producer plaintiffs in the multi-district litigation pending since 2014. Many farmers will soon receive notice informing them that they are automatically included in this class action, unless they choose to opt-out. The existence of a class action means that anyone who meets the court’s definition of a class member but does not opt-out (affirmatively exclude himself from the litigation) will be bound by the ultimate judgment, even if that judgment is occasioned by a settlement.

As discussed more thoroughly in past articles, Syngenta is facing legal complaints from thousands of plaintiffs across the country regarding its alleged premature commercialization of a genetically-modified corn trait. Although the product had been approved for sale in the United States and many other countries, it had not been approved for import into China at the time it was offered for sale in the U.S. In November of 2013, China rejected the import of all U.S. corn, asserting that it was tainted with traces of the unapproved trait. The average price of corn per bushel dropped by more than half between the summer of 2012 and the fall of 2014.

To continue reading, click here.


Federal Appeals Court Vacates OSHA Fertilizer Safety Guidance

Last Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The guidance, which was issued in the form of a 2015 Memorandum, required farm supply companies selling anhydrous ammonia to--for the first time--comply with a complex safety program designed to protect workers from highly hazardous chemicals.

OSHA is tasked with protecting the health and safety of Americans in the workplace. In 1992, the agency issued a final rule, the Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard, to protect the safety of those who work with hazardous chemicals. The Standard, which was finalized after required notice and comment, requires employers who store and handle hazardous chemicals to follow the PSM program, a complex system of emergency planning and response contingencies, including compliance audits, hazard analysis, safety reviews, and more.

To continue reading, click here.

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CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.

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