(November 27, 2012)--The Texas Grain Producers Indemnity Board is holding a referendum on the statewide establishment of a grain indemnity fund now until Dec. 7, 2012.
Any producer who has produced corn, sorghum, soybeans or wheat within the last 36 months is eligible to vote.
This includes owners of farms on which grain is produced or an owner's tenant or sharecropper engaged in the business of producing grain or causing grain to be produced for commercial purposes.
If the referendum were to pass, the grain indemnity fund board may award up to 90% of the financial losses suffered by producers of corn, sorghum, soybean and wheat when grain buyers fail to pay for grain because of a financial failure.
"I think this is a really good opportunity for farmers to put together a program to protect themselves and not use government money to do it," said Central Texas farmer Richard Cortese.
Eligible voters would determine the established assessment rate, which ranges from 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent of the final sales price of grain.
The assessment will then be set each year by the Texas Grain Producers Indemnity Board and will be collected and remitted effective Feb. 1, 2013.
The TGPIB was established as the result of legislation passed by the 2011 Texas legislature.
State Rep. Larry Phillips of Sherman and State Sen. Craig Estes of Wichita Falls introduced the legislation after a series of grain buyer financial failures in recent years resulted in millions of dollars in losses to Texas grain producers.