HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — The Indiana State Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency has released the next steps for farmers impacted by the closure of grain mills in both Huntington and Wells counties.
Salamonie Mills Inc. and Agland Grain Inc. voluntarily surrender their licenses on April 24. Since then, the state has closed the mill and stopped all grain going in and out of all facilities, which included both the feed mill and grain elevator operations.
According to documents, the agency is collecting and reviewing company records to identify individuals who may potentially be impacted. This process could take a few months.
The agency asks that producers should start organizing their personal records to show any unsettled grain transactions they may have with Salamonie Mills and Agland Grain. At this time, the agency is not accepting claims from producers, saying they must first reconcile records collected from the mills and identify producers who may be impacted by the company’s voluntary license surrender.
Producers with grain held at the mills on open storage or a warehouse receipt may be compensated up to 100 percent of the determined value of their respective grain. Those who may have experienced a financial loss may be compensated 80 percent of the determined total loss of their respective grain. Any grain that was delivered to Salamonie Mills and Agland Grain prior to Jan. 24, 2019, is considered ineligible for any compensation from the Indiana Grain Indemnity Fund.
The Grain Indemnity Fund
The Grain Indemnity Fund was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 1995 to protect grain farmers in Indiana from catastrophic financial losses in the event of a state-licensed grain buyer, grain bank, or warehouse failure.
During an active collection period, a percentage is taken off the gross value of all grain marketed to licensed grain buyers to collect money for the fund. Each quarter, the licensee sends the premiums to the Indiana Grain Indemnity Corporation. In the event a licensed grain buyer fails, 100 percent of stored grain and 80 percent of other grain transactions are covered up to 15 months prior to the failure of the grain buyer. That date for Salamonie Mills and Agland Grian is Jan. 24, 2019.
There have only been two collection periods since 1995. Since the fund has started it has been used 12 times distributing nearly 9 million dollars in payment. The Grain Indemnity Fund today has over $25 million dollars in it. This fund covers participating farmers up to certain amounts for their grain sold at a licensed grain facility.
You can find more information on the Indiana Grain Indemnity Fund here.
What farmers can expect in the upcoming weeks and months
The process to settle everything from the mills will take several months. At the time of this publication, the agency does not plan to hold any type of public meeting regarding Salamonie Mills and Agland Grain. The Indiana Grain Buyers will mail out information packets to all identified producers for their unsettled grain transactions. The information will include a Proof of Loss Statement. Once the packets have been mailed out, the agency will hold a claims hearing. That time, date, and location will be included in the packets. The notice will also be published in local newspapers in both Huntington and Wells counties.
Producers are encouraged to call our Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency at (317) 232.1360 or email INGrainBuyers@isda.in.gov.