2011-04-20 / Front Page

Archbold Elevator License Suspended

Examiners Find Liabilities Exceed Assets

Andy Ware, communications director for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, said Monday the grain-handling license of Archbold Elevator was suspended on Monday, April 11.

Ware said a routine examination of the elevator records, conducted during the first full week of April, “determined (Archbold Elevator) had liabilities signifi- cantly higher than available assets.”

It was discovered that the corn in storage at the elevator was 50,000 bushels short of what Archbold Elevator records showed, Ware said.

Operations at a branch in Wauseon and at additional grain storage in Elmira also have been halted.

Currently, he said ODA examiners are completing a final accounting of all assets and liabilities.

The future of Archbold Elevator’s license will be determined by the result of the final accounting.

“We’re still working through that. That’s part of the process,” he said. Grain Indemnity Fund

Ware said farmers who are owed money for grain deposits with Archbold Elevator will be eligible for compensation through the ODA grain indemnity fund.

Those farmers should call the ODA Grain Warehouse Section at 800-282-1955 or at 614-728-6410.

“We expect to begin the formal grain indemnity fund claims process by the end of the month,” Ware said.

The indemnity fund was created in 1983, after Ohio farmers lost approximately $8 million due to grain elevator bankruptcies.

The indemnity program is funded through a half-cent per bushel assessment on grain marketed at licensed elevators.

The indemnity cap was increased from $4 million to $10 million in 2004. The half-cent assessment was collected from July 2004 through June 2006.

The grain indemnity fund currently holds $11.5 million in assets. Ware said the halfcent assessment will be collected again if the fund drops below $4 million. Payments

The fund provides 100% coverage for storage grain, grain payables less than 30 days, deferred payments up to 90 days with a signed agreement, and insufficient fund checks, provided the claim is approved by the Ohio Commodity Advisory Commission.

The fund also provides 100% coverage for the first $10,000, and 80% of the balance for delayed price grain, basis grain, 31-365 day grain payables without a deferred payment agreement, and 91- 365 day deferred payments with an agreement.

There is no coverage for grain payables over 365 days. Animal Feed

Archbold Elevator also operates an animal feed business. Ware said Archbold Elevator can continue to operate that business, but it is not allowed to use grain associated with the elevator.

“They must buy grain elsewhere,” he said.

The company may still legally buy grain from licensed grain handlers, but is not allowed to receive grain for deposit from farmers, he said.

Calls to managers at Archbold Elevator by this newspaper were not returned by press time.–David Pugh

Farmers who are owed money for grain deposits with Archbold Elevator should call the Ohio Department of Agriculture Grain Warehouse Section at 800-282-1955 or 614-728-6410.

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