Agriculture Committee – All-Bill Summary 2017

All ag-related bills passed by the Iowa Legislature and signed into law for 2017. #ialegis #iagov #agriculture #farming

The following bills were passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor.

HF 410 – Classifying Palmer Amaranth as a primary noxious weed
HF 440 – County Agriculture Extension publications
HF 469 – Soil and water commissioner elections
SF 447 – Nuisance protection for animal feeding operations
SF 357 – Electrical licensing
SF 362 – County fairs and State Fair not liable for damages from animal pathogens


HF 410 classifies Palmer Amaranth as a primary noxious weed.
[4/5: 50-0]


HF 440 provides an additional month to file and publish county Agriculture Extension reports, and allows members to lobby all elected officials.
[4/6: 49-0 (Bertrand excused)]


HF 469 allows two out of five soil and water commissioners to reside in the same township.
[4/6: 49-0 (Bertrand excused)]


SF 447 establishes a new section in the Iowa Code, 657.11A, to provide nuisance protection for animal feeding operations (defined in Iowa Code Chapter 459), which includes confinement feeding and open feedlot operations. A habitual violator of Iowa environmental law (Chapter 459) does not qualify for nuisance protection.

Nuisance protection encourages producers to “adopt existing prudent and generally utilized management practices” for animal feeding operations. Nuisance lawsuits under the new section are presumed to be permanent nuisances (meaning successive lawsuits cannot be filed for the same alleged nuisance), and compensatory damages awarded by a judge or jury cannot exceed:

  • Any decrease in the fair market value of the property (residence, etc.).
  • Any compensatory medical damages, if the nuisance is the proximate cause of an adverse medical condition.
  • Any special damages (annoyance and loss of comfortable use and enjoyment of property), which are limited to no more than 1.5 times the decrease in fair market value of the property plus medical damages.

A producer qualifies for nuisance protection unless the person suing can prove that the producer did not comply with state and federal law or did not use existing management practices considered reasonable for the operation.
[3/14: 31-18 (party-line with Bowman, Kinney voting “yes”; Horn excused)]


SF 357 puts into Iowa Code the Department of Public Safety’s special order of June 2012 by creating a definition for commercial electrical installation that does not include farm or industrial installation.
[3/6: 36-14]


SF 362 exempts district and county fairs and the Iowa State Fair from damages and liability sought by a person (spectators and participants) alleging injury or death by a pathogen transmitted from an animal, if signs are posted.
[3/8: 48-0 (Bisignano “no”; Chelgren excused)]