Claims process established; Letters to be sent to farmers left unpaid by Anderson Seed Co.
Anderson Seed Company in Redfield is closed after the company went out of business earlier this year. A load of sunflower seeds was being removed Tuesday by a truck from St. Hilaire Seed Company. American News Photo by Jeff Natalie-Lees (May 2, 2012)
The commission is taking the unusual step of using certified mail as an attempt to assure that all affected farmers who did business with the Redfield grain buyer are contacted.
The purpose of the letters is inform patrons they can make claims against the $100,000 bond that the company had posted before closing its doors because of financial problems.
PUC staff said 69 parties have been identified but some of them don’t appear to have reason to submit claims.
Patrons will have 60 days to file claims on grain that was priced and sold but wasn’t paid. The claim form will require information such as scale ticket number, date, kind of grain, bushels, price and names of lien holders. The form also will need to be signed and notarized.
Under the plan approved today, the PUC plans to publish notices in the Farm Forum and the Redfield Press newspaper to draw attention to the claims process and filing period.
The PUC later will have a hearing on the claims submissions and then allocate the money. The distribution plan would be filed with Spink County Circuit Court.
Farmers lost an estimated $2.6 million when Anderson Seed went under. The $100,000 bond was in accordance with state law and allowed Anderson Seed to make up to $10 million of purchases.
Many of the deals between grain producers and Anderson Seed, however, were conducted under voluntary credit sale agreements that aren’t protected by the bond requirement.
For the PUC’s official explanation of the events involving Anderson Seed, visit puc.sd.gov/warehouse/andersonseed.aspxcq on the Internet.