News Column

Arkansas Congressmen Request Extension for USDA Loans Related to Turner Grain Collapse

August 28, 2014

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 -- Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark. (2nd CD), issued the following news release:

U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-1), Tim Griffin (AR-2), Steve Womack (AR-3), and Tom Cotton (AR-4) today sent a joint letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that USDA extend the Commodity Credit Corporation loan repayment date for farmers affected by the collapse of Turner Grain Merchandising in Brinkley, Arkansas.

In the letter, Arkansas's congressional delegation urged that the USDA'sFarm Service Agency (FSA) extend the repayment date by at least 180 days for affected farmers, whose losses on outstanding grain purchases could exceed $50 million. Additionally, the letter highlighted the potential impact on the U.S. food base - specifically U.S. rice and soybean crops - as Arkansas produces nearly half of the U.S. rice crop and a significant amount of soybeans. The letter says in part:

"We are writing to request USDA, through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), work to ensure that we do not disrupt a considerable portion of America's most productive agricultural base because badly-needed funds were tied up in litigation. Specifically, we request the FSA extend the Commodity Credit Corporation loan repayment date for all farmers who are depending on payment from Turner Grain to pay off these loans. We recommend a period of 180 days to give farmers and the agricultural community some sense of assurance.

Further, we recommend that the Agency revisit the extension after 90 days to determine if additional time will be needed beyond the current 180 days."

The letter goes on to request a timely response from Secretary Vilsack and to express the delegation's willingness to work with USDA to identify other areas of relief for producers.

The full text of the letter can be found here.


* t 08-28-14_letter_to_vilsack_usda_re_ccc_fsa_turner_grain.pdf

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