Tennessee to halt grain producer fee after fund hits $10M

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials are halting a 30-year-old fee on grain producers because a fund has hit its $10 million minimum balance.

The state Department of Agriculture says state lawmakers in 1989 passed a law to create the Tennessee Grain Indemnity Fund to protect grain producers against financial failure of grain dealers and warehouses.

In a subsequent referendum, a majority of eligible Tennessee grain producers voted for an assessment of one cent per bushel on soybeans and one-half cent per bushel on all other grain.

Since the fund’s creation, nearly $960,000 has been paid in claims to 76 producers who suffered losses because of a grain dealer or warehouse failure.

The goal of $10 million was hit this month. The fees will be reinstated when the fund balance falls below $8 million.

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