immediate release -- June 29, 2000.
Contact Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699
Unveils Web Site with Production and
Marketing Ag Contracts
-- Attorney General Tom Miller unveiled a web site Thursday prepared by
his office's Farm Division with more than thirty production and marketing
contracts. "Our goal is to give livestock and grain producers key
information so they can compare the types of contracts and terms being
offered in the marketplace and then make their best decisions," Miller
The contract information
can be found under "farm advocacy" at the Attorney General's
web site: www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org. The information includes 37 production
and marketing contracts being used in Iowa. The site features actual contracts
of various types and companies, including financial terms. Producers'
names and any identifying information about them have been deleted.
an enormous increase in contracting," Miller said. "Our goal
is to give Iowa farmers the best possible information so they can study
and shop and make a well-informed decision about what kind of contract
might work best for their farming operations," he said.
information, but the traditional open-market transparency in agriculture
achieved through auctions, terminal markets, and futures trading is very
much at risk in an era of production contracts and marketing arrangements
that have featured confidentiality," Miller said. "This is another
attempt to tackle that problem and help producers."
Miller said publishing
basic contract information is possible now because the Iowa Legislature
has prohibited confidentiality clauses in production contracts and marketing
of livestock. "Many contracts used to forbid producers from sharing
information or terms of their contracts. Now, confidentiality clauses
are illegal in new contracts and they are unenforceable in contracts that
were made before passage of the legislation in 1999," Miller said.
full knowledge of the subtle differences in these agreements to make their
best choices," he said. "This is good for competition and good
Miller said his office
intends to post more contracts at the site as they become available. He
said contract growers who would like to share their contracts with others
may do so by contacting the Farm Division of the Attorney General's Office
at 515-281-5351 in Des Moines. Names and information about individual
producers will be deleted from all contracts posted on the web site.
The Attorney General's
Farm Division has done extensive work on production contracting. It drafted
and disseminated about 20,000 "check-lists" for farmers considering
grain and livestock production contracts. The check-lists also are available
at the Attorney General's web site. The Farm Division also drafted and
worked for passage of the production contract lien law, which gives producers
protection in getting paid under a production contract.
A livestock production
contract is an agreement under which a producer agrees to feed and care
for livestock owned by a contractor in return for payment. A grain production
contract is an agreement under which a producer agrees to raise a crop
in a manner established by the contractor, to sell or deliver the crop
to the contractor, and in return to be paid by the contractor.
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