The Iowa Department of Agriculture is taking over a grain elevator and soybean crusher in the eastern Iowa town of Marengo as it was operating without a license.
Ag department spokesman Dustin Vandehoef says because Heartland Crush was unlicensed, any farmer losses will not be covered by the Iowa Grain Indemnity Fund.
“Our department will take custody of the grain dealer’s assets as outlined in Iowa code,” Vandehoef says. “The facility was operating as an unlicensed grain dealer and therefore, had not been inspected or regulated or examined by our department to ensure their financial solvency.” Anyone who sold grain to the company and was not paid may file claims with the department before February 7th of 2019.
“We’re going in there now and we’ll take care of reviewing the assets and seeing what they have on the books and available and then we’ll pay farmers as we are able,” Vandehoef says. “We do encourage any farmer who does have a claim to reach out to our department, send us certified mail and include any scale tickets, settlement sheets or other evidence of sale.” Vandehoef says the Heartland Crush case is different from most elevators that are facing financial pressures.
“Certainly, we recognize the challenging times, but I don’t think this unlicensed facility would reflect on the many licensed facilities that are out there, that are being regularly inspected by our department and to ensure their financial solvency.” Vandehoef says the ag department will be selling the grain Heartland Crush has in storage to repay as much as is possible.
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)