Articles Posted in Agricultural Law

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Consolidated Grain maintains a grain elevator in La Salle County, sold Rogowski’s crops, and gave him the proceeds by checks paid directly to him. The bank had lent money to Rogowski for which he signed a note and granted the bank a security interest in his crops and any proceeds of their sale. The bank notified Consolidated of its lien by two written notices, one covering crop years 2004 and 2005 and the other covering years 2005 and 2006. The notices listed as covered agricultural commodities “all grain on hand, all growing crops,” without listing their amount or location. The bank obtained a deficiency judgment against Rogowski in 2008, which remains unsatisfied, then sought payment from Consolidated. The trial court ruled in favor of the bank. The appellate court reversed and the supreme court affirmed. The Federal Food Security Act of 1985 provides how notices of security interests are to be worded and provides that there must be a statement of “each county or parish in which the farm products are produced or located,” The court rejected a “substantial compliance” argument and held that the notices were insufficient for failing to strictly comply with the Act. View "State Bank of Cherry v. CGB Enters., Inc." on Justia Law

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Rabo Agrifinance and Rabo AgServices (collectively, Rabo) commenced a foreclosure action in 2009 on a mortgage granted by Connie and David Finneman (Finnemans) on 17,000 acres of farmland. Rabo commenced its action against Finnemans, Rock Creek Farms (RCF), and all parties who may have had an ownership or leashold interest in the land. Approximately forty-four defendants were listed in the complaint, including Ann and Michael Arnoldy (Arnoldys) and the U.S. as lienholders. The trial court eventually entered a decree of foreclosure in which it recognized RCF's owner's right of redemption. After a sheriff's sale, Ann Arnoldy redeemed from an assignee of the purchaser of the sheriff's certificate. The Arnoldys filed a motion to partially vacate the decree of foreclosure. The trial court granted the motion and vacated the decree of foreclosure recognizing RCF's redemption rights on the basis that RCF and its predecessors, Finnemans, waived those rights. RCF and Finnemans appealed. Arnoldys and the U.S. filed motions to dismiss the appeals for failure to serve the notice of appeal on the U.S. and a number of named parties. The Supreme Corurt dismissed Finnemans' and RCF's appeals for failure to serve their notices of appeal on each party to the action. View "Rabo Agrifinance, Inc. v. Rock Creek Farms" on Justia Law

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The Lesiaks were farmers who suffered a reduced corn yield, allegedly due to the overapplication of herbicide to their crops by Central Valley Ag Cooperative, Inc. (CVA). The Lesiaks filed this action against CVA, asserting multiple theories of recovery, including negligence, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, and breach of implied warranty of services. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of CVA on the implied warranty of services and negligence claims. Following the Lesiaks' presentation of their case, the district court granted CVA's motion for a directed verdict on the Lesiaks' remaining claim for breach of implied warranty of merchantability. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding (1) the district court erred in granting a directed verdict in favor of CVA as there was evidence in the record which would allow a jury to find the overapplication of the herbicide damaged the Lesiaks' fields and also to reasonably estimate the extent of the damage; and (2) the district court erred in granting summary judgment on the Lesiaks' negligence claim, as it was not barred by the economic loss doctrine.View "Lesiak v. Central Valley Ag Coop., Inc." on Justia Law