DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed a long-standing precedent that allowed landowners to sue for damages when a neighboring hog farm causes water pollution or odor problems that affect quality of life. 

A majority of the court concluded Thursday that a 2004 decision was wrong. The reversal is a significant blow to property owners who live in rural areas who want to take legal action over expanding hog farms. 

It’s a victory for the agriculture industry in Iowa because it strengthens the immunity law protecting livestock farmers from nuisance lawsuits.

Iowa is the nation’s leading pork producer with 23 million pigs.