Updated States’ Agricultural Lien Charts
All fifty states have enacted statutory liens on agricultural products, equipment and production inputs. States enact agricultural liens because some areas of the industry conduct business in a way that creates a risk of nonpayment. Thus, these liens ensure certain providers of agricultural goods, services, labor, and land are repaid debts owed to them. The liens arise by operation of law, without the consent of the debtor, when the specific requirements of the statutes creating the lien are met. These liens may be scattered throughout a state’s code. Moreover, statutory provisions as to filing and priority of these liens may vary greatly among the states, and even within a single state. Priority conflicts between UCC security interests and statutory liens are compounded by the difficulty in discovering the existence of statutory liens on collateral property. Many liens statutes have no provisions for filing a lien statement, even when the lien is nonpossessory. Many states require filing only in a county or city office, rather than a centralized state office. These Statutory Agricultural Lien Charts compile and tabulate the main provisions of statutory agricultural liens in all fifty states. The compilation includes statutory liens that attach to agricultural products, including crops, fruits and vegetables, livestock, fish or timber, as well as liens that attach to farm equipment and production inputs.
In 1993, former Center staff attorney Martha Noble compiled the main provisions of the statutory agricultural liens in all fifty states into the first version of the Statutory Agricultural Lien Rapid Finder Charts. In 2008, Center Staff Attorney Elizabeth Rumley and Center Research Associate Jennifer Fiser updated them. Over the years, the charts have consistently been among the Center’s most requested documents. However, as the calendar years changed, so to did the statutes themselves. The most recent version of the charts, posted, was updated in 2021.
These compilations are only an aid to research on statutory agricultural liens. State courts and federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, have interpreted and continue to interpret these lien statutes. Further, this publication does not include case annotations, which a researcher must consult to thoroughly understand any particular lien statute. As such, these charts are intended for use solely as an educational tool and research aid, and not as a substitute for individual legal advice. For each state, the charts summarize the state’s statutorily enacted agricultural liens. They include a brief description of the lien claimant and the attached property, possessory requirements, any filing requirement, the date of attachment and any express priority provisions of the statute. To see each state’s individual compilation, click on the state’s image in the map below.