Agriculture – All-bill summary 2021

All bills assigned to the Senate Agriculture Committee, passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature in 2021.

HF 522 – Anerobic digesters

HF 522 adds a definition of “anerobic digester system” to Iowa Code. An “anerobic digester system” is a manure storage structure that is covered. It processes manure by employing environmental conditions, including bacteria, to break down organic matter in the absence of oxygen, and is used for producing, collecting and using a biogas. A civil penalty assessed for an air quality violation cannot exceed $10,000. This bill gives authority to expand the animal units of a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO).
[5/17: 38-7 (Excused: Goodwin, Johnson, Nunn, Schultz, Williams)]

SF 356 – Iowa Agricultural Tourism Promotion Act

SF 356 creates a new code chapter, “Iowa Agricultural Tourism Promotion Act.” The bill severely limits the civil liability of a farmer/land owner/farm employee involved in agricultural tourism on a farm. The new law makes significant changes to Iowa’s current “comparative fault” statute; requires notice to be posted; expands the definition of a farm by removing the requirement it be at least 40 contiguous acres of farmland used for farming, including a homestead; expands the definition of edible or ornamental produce, which includes fruits and vegetables; and requires visitors/paying customers to sign a waiver.
[5/5: 31-17, party line (Excused: Hogg, Nunn)]

SF 482 – Pesticides Act of Iowa

SF 482 amends provisions in the “Pesticides Act of Iowa” to include private applicators. Under this law, a public (independent farmer) applicator cannot apply a restricted-use pesticide without being certified by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. This action is pro-active to match federal Environmental Protection Agency rules. Penalties of warnings, education and loss of certification are also addressed if abuse occurs.
[3/8: 48-0 (Excused: Nunn, Whiting)]