One of the statehouse successes this session was the passage of HEA 1237, which made important changes to the grain buyers and warehouse licensing laws and the grain indemnity fund.
The grain indemnity fund is essentially a farmer-funded insurance program that reimburses farmers for losses in the event a grain elevator fails. Farmers are eligible for coverage so long as they have not requested a premium refund during a collection period. Currently, Indiana is collecting premiums for the fund, but those collections will likely end June 30 of this year.
As a result of HEA 1237 passage, farmers now will receive coverage under the grain indemnity fund for a period of 15 months after delivery of grain sold to a licensed Indiana grain buyer, regardless of the location of delivery. In addition, only those farmers who have requested a premium refund since July 1, 2015, will not be eligible for coverage unless they request reinstatement and repay the premiums and interest.
The need to update these laws was brought to the forefront as a result of review brought on by the closure of the Cline Grain elevator in April 2016, which impacted several Hoosier farmers in west central Indiana.
“The language makes necessary fixes to the grain indemnity program to provide more notice to farmers and rectify problems caused by lack of notice of coverage and inconsistent implementation of the existing law,” said Justin Schneider, INFB state government relations director. “We believe these changes provide reasonable protections to all farmers,” he added.