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Law School Case Brief

Clark v. Wallace Cty. Coop. Equity Exch. - 26 Kan. App. 2d 463, 986 P.2d 391 (1999)

Rule:

A seller of grain is not excused by Kan. Stat. Ann. § 84-2-613 from the delivery performance specified in an agreement, when the grain is not identified by a specific tract of land on which it is to be grown.

Facts:

Plaintiff farmer Ray Clark entered into a written agreement with defendant Wallace County Co-operative Equity Exchange (Co-op) in which the Clark agreed to sell corn to the Co-op, to be delivered after the crop was harvested. There was a freeze, which severely damaged the corn crop. As a result, Clark's crop fell short of the amount agreed upon, and Clark delivered this lesser amount. Clark then maintained he was excused from delivering the remaining 1,392.59 bushels (after an allowed 10% reduction) because of the freeze. Co-op insisted he was not excused and held the cost of the shortage out of the grain sale by Clark to Co-op. Clark brought an action to recover the $1,622.97 that Co-op withheld from his grain sale. The Wallace District Court (Kansas) entered judgment in favor of the Co-op.

Issue:

Was a farmer excused from delivering the remaining bushels of the corn crop to the grain cooperative on the basis of the freeze?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The state appellate court found that Clark was not excused from performance under Kan. Stat. Ann. § 84-2-613 or § 84-2-615. According to the appellate court, there was no objective impracticability since the corn to be delivered was not identified in the contract to be from specific land. The farmer could have delivered the full amount by acquiring the corn from another source.

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