A lien for those who supply or apply fertilizer or agricultural chemicals for the production of crops.
Over the past couple years, we have had to assist several crop input suppliers and appliers who have relied on their customer’s promise to pay their bill after harvest, only for the customer to run into a financial problem and not be able to pay the fertilizer or chemical bill. Sometimes the failure to pay runs multiple years as the customer leans on the supplier’s kindness to gain another year of credit.
Understandably, the customer was a long term client, a neighbor, a family friend or even a well known community leader and a hand-shake still means something in certain parts of the state. Unfortunately, the hand-shake promise does not protect the supplier or applier of crop inputs against other creditors who may also be looking for payment from the customer.
To obtain protection beyond the hand-shake, the supplier or applier can file a fertilizer and agricultural chemical lien. A fertilizer and agricultural chemical lien attaches to crops produced on the land where the fertilizer or chemical was applied or where machinery for the application was used. The lien also provides the supplier or applier with priority over any subsequent liens to collect against the crops produced.
Similar to other ag liens, the lien must include (1) the name, address and social security number or tax identification number of the individual or entity of the person or entity to whom the products were sold or whom the application was performed; (2) the name, address and social security or tax identification number of the person or entity claiming the lien; (3) the last date the product was furnished or application was performed; and (4) the amount due. The lien must be filed within 60 days after the last date the product was furnished or the application was performed to be valid against subsequent lienholders. Neb. Rev. Stat. Sec. 52-1102, 52-1103
The lien attaches to (1) the crops produced within one year on the land where the product was applied or the application was performed; (2) the proceeds from the sale of the crops; and (3) the livestock which were fed the crops and the proceeds from the sale of such livestock. Neb. Rev. Stat. Sec. 52-1101
Filing the lien may make for awkward conversations and may feel downright un-neighborly. However, it provides a lot more protection than the hand-shake.