Right now, agricultural groups are working to head off a growing problem in the State of Texas. In the past 2 years, 16 grain elevators have financially failed, leaving many farmers at a total loss. Senator Craig Estes is proposing Senate Bill 248, geared at putting additional layers of protection in place to make sure if elevators fail the farmer is not left high and dry. Something the Farm Bureau says is critical.
"Over the past few years there have been some elevators in the state of Texas that have filed bankruptcy," said Bryce Moore, Regional Representative for the Texas Farm Bureau.
When grain producers harvest their crop, they bring it to an elevator to be stored and eventually sold. When elevators fail, they often sell the stored grain without paying farmers for it;Leaving farmers without their crop and in many cases without a penny to their name.
"There have been a lot of guys who have lost a lot of money, their grain has been sold without them having known without the producers know it has been sold and they may call up the elevator and say I'd like to sell my grain right now and there's nothing there and the way the program is set up right now there's not a whole lot of protection for producers," said Moore.
One elevator failed as close as Young County, according to Moore. He said many farmers in that area were left in near-ruin.
Sen. Estes' office released a statement that said in part "When a grain warehouse violates the trust of its customers, then the livelihood of families is on the line. Every year, hardworking farmers battle the weather and economy; they expect to trust that when grain is deposited, it will be measured and stored in accordance with the law.
SB 248 would change the law in several ways, according to information from Estes' Office:
Increases Bonding Requirements
The Farm Bureau says SB 248 is a good first-step toward making the law serve its members' needs well.