Agriculture is the number one industry in Missouri. The state contains nearly 100,000 farms, 90% of which are family owned and operated, that produce approximately $10 billion in cash receipts from agricultural commodities every year. All of these interconnected transactions inevitably lead to a large number of agricultural disputes.
The law pertaining to agricultural production, marketing, and distribution is extremely complex. Agriculture is not only subject to state law, but Congress also has the power to regulate agricultural production under the federal Constitution. In addition, programs and laws that pertain to farming are overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the executive department responsible for developing and executing federal government policy on farming, forestry, and food.
Agricultural disputes can arise under any area of the law. Some examples include:
- Breach of contract
- Crop insurance
- Land use and environmental regulations
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Agricultural cooperatives
- Intellectual property issues
- Crop-related business loss
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
Reduced yields or crop failure are often the result of the negligence of a third party. Crop damage can result from fungicides, soil contamination, and run-off or airborne contamination from the application of a pesticide. Agricultural disputes involve not only crop science and chemical analysis, but also financial analysis to determine the economic impact of the damage or reduced yield.
The rise of genetically modified crops has created new agricultural disputes. One estimate suggests that 70% of products in grocery stores today include some genetically modified ingredient.
It was alleged that Bayer CropScience allowed an unapproved genetically modified trait into the U.S. rice supply. As a result, many countries would not purchase U.S. long grain rice. DBJ was instrumental in the Liberty Link Rice Litigation that resulted in a $750 million settlement for over 7,000 farmers.
DBJ was involved in litigation with Archer, Daniels, Midland Corporation in several cases involved farmers. DBJ represented several farmers that lost entire years of crops because of a failed dam/levy.
If you are involved in an agricultural dispute, it is essential that you hire an experienced agricultural attorney to negotiate the myriad complexities of United States agriculture law. Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.