Senate OKs Stamas grain producer protection bill

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday approved Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation that would protect grain producers if a dealer declares insolvency.

“Farmers deliver grain to dealers and are paid for it after the grain is sold. My bill would ensure that producers are paid for the grain they deliver if the grain dealer goes bankrupt,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Michigan farmers work hard to support their families and provide food for millions of people throughout the country. While they are one of the pillars of the state’s economy, they are often a missed season away from losing everything, which makes it critical that they are compensated for the fruits of their labor.”

Senate Bill 899 would establish a depositor’s lien on all farm produce assets of a grain dealer in favor of lenders and claimants who possess evidence of ownership and producers who have delivered grain but have not yet been paid.

The lien would take effect at the time the grain is delivered to the dealer for sale or storage or at the time money is advanced by the lender and would end when the dealer’s liability to the claimant has been discharged.

“The goal is to put a priority on supporting the Michigan farmer,” Stamas said. “The reform adopts practices that have been successful in other states like Indiana and Ohio and will help protect the livelihoods of Michigan grain producers.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.