Iowa Agricultural Supply Lien only Established for Feed Purchased During 31-Day Period Prior to Filing of Financing Statement.

The debtor was a Canadian company operating part of its hog business in Iowa.  The debtor filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada in 2012, and the Canadian court appointed a receiver, which filed a Chapter 15 petition. The receiver was authorized to liquidate the debtor’s hogs and distribute the $1.5 million in proceeds to creditors. A farmers cooperative that had supplied feed to the debtor (FCC) submitted a proof of claim for $120,444.51, and the receiver paid FCC only $74,045.15, arguing that the remainder of FCC’s claim was not perfected as a super-priority agricultural lien under Iowa Code §570A because FCC did not file its financing statement within 31 days of selling the feed to the debtor.  FCC filed it adversarial action, alleging that In re Shulista, 451 B.R. 867 (Bankr. N.D. Iowa 2011), which established the 31-day rule, was overruled by the Iowa Supreme Court's decision in Oyens Feed & Supply, Inc. v. Primebank, 808 N.W.2d 186 (Iowa 2011). The court found that the Oyens decision was not dispositive because that case did not address the 31-day filing requirement, but the supplier’s failure to send a statutorily-required certified request. The court found that the plain language of the statute required a supplier to file the financing statement within 31 days of purchase. Oyens did not eliminate every requirement for establishing priority of an agricultural lien in favor of the policy of enhancing a fluid feed market. The court found that FCC had a perfected, super-priority agricultural supply lien for feed purchased during the 31 days preceding the filing of their financing statement ($20,404.03 of the outstanding balance). Farmers Coop. Co. v. Ernst & Young, Inc. (In re Big Sky Farms Inc.), No. 12-01711, 2014 Bankr. LEXIS 1725 (Bankr. N.D. Iowa Apr. 18, 2014).

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