Missouri Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hog Farm

Missouri Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hog Farm

Missouri's highest court has upheld limits to the damages property owners can recover in nuisance lawsuits against agricultural operations.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in favor of a hog farm in a case where neighbors challenged the constitutionality of a state law limiting the damages they could recover from the farm.

The neighbors claimed the odor from the farm was a nuisance.

They said a state law limiting their damages to the cost of property value losses and medical treatments was unconstitutional because it took their property for private use without due process or proper compensation.

The court's decision says the limits promote agriculture, which is a legitimate public purpose.

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Spell Check

Jo Windmann
Mexico, MO
4/16/2015 02:16 PM

  Old Farmer and leaveagalone: Thank you both for reading this story and visiting AgWeb.com. We appreciate your taking the time, even when we don’t all agree. I would like to take a moment to point out a couple of things (clarification, if you will) said here in the comments. This is strictly personal because my family raises hogs. First, I’d like to point out that according to data from the latest Census of Agriculture, 97% of farms in the U.S. (confinement operations included) are family owned. As stated, my family raises hogs in confinement barns. We have 10 hog barns on 5 separate sites, barns being of various sizes. My in-laws live less than a quarter mile south of one hog barn site. My sister-in-law lives maybe a half mile east of another site. I live approximately a mile and a half west of one site and we have a neighbor (within 2 miles of us) who literally has a 4,800-head hog barn in their backyard, like 1,000 feet from their back door. These are just a few examples from our little area of the world, but I know of several others scattered across the Midwest that do have hog barns in their backyard. Old Farmer, I do not disagree with you concerning the right to live where you want to live. However, there are certain give and take rules that apply. One example, if the smell is terribly bad when they spread manure, it could be how they are spreading it that is the problem. Some use an irrigation gun to spray the fields, this is the smelliest method as it shoots the manure through the air like a huge sprinkler system. I don’t recommend this method (we used it ages ago) because you lose so much of your nutrients to evaporation that it hardly seems worth the time. Instead, maybe you should discuss knifing in the manure with your hog farmer neighbor. This is the method we use. It drastically reduces odor and considerably increases nutrient efficiency because the manure is injected into the ground. You also have greater nutrient control with this method.

Old Farmer
Worthington, MN
4/16/2015 08:00 AM

  Response to Leaveagalone; No one should have to endure/tolerate horrendous confinement odors, there are solutions to the problem ,my father ,a life long farmer had to go to a Motel when a neighbor spread hog manure across the rd. due to his Asthma, I have raised hogs in my 40+ yrs. of farming and don't expect to smell flowers all the time but I also don't believe I should be allowed to excessively pollute the neighbors air,everyone has the right to live where they choose without being infringed on by big mega livestock operations that are most times not even owned by a family farmer, I have yet to see a owner choose to live down wind of his own operation,whats that tell ya??

somewhereingodscounty, IN
4/15/2015 05:46 PM

  If you cannot handle the smell then move back to the city. What did you expect the smell of posies and daisies.


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