New Indiana Grain Indemnity law is a win for Hoosier corn, soybean farmers
A priority bill for both the Indiana Soybean Alliance Membership and Policy Committee (M&P) and the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) during this year’s session of the General Assembly at the Indiana Statehouse addressed the recent failure of two grain elevators in the state.
On July 27, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the Indiana Grain Indemnity bill into law with several farmers and leaders of farm groups in attendance. The bill, also known as HEA 1483, provides the Indiana Grain Buyers Warehouse Licensing Agency (IGBWLA) additional enforcement tools and encourages more robust risk assessments to the Indiana Grain Indemnity Fund. The new law prohibits a grain buyer, retroactive to June 30, from entering into a deferred pricing agreement in connection with grain purchases that extends beyond the USDA-defined marketing year.
Introduced by State Rep. Craig Snow (R-Winona Lake, Ind.) and co-sponsored by Rep. Dan Leonard (R-Huntington), ICGA President Mike Beard said the legislation received key support in the Senate from Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg).
“During the 2021 Session of the Indiana General Assembly, HEA 1483 was introduced by State Rep. Craig Snow. The legislation was supported by ISA and ICGA, and it contained many improvements to Indiana’s Grain Indemnity Fund,” Beard explained. “Although HEA 1483 received unanimous support in the House, the bill faced a difficult path through the Senate. Sen. Leising, as chair of the Senate Ag Committee, brought together all stakeholders, including ISA and ICGA, to develop a compromise bill then guided the legislation through to its final passage.
“Because of Senator Leising’s leadership and tenacity, Indiana’s corn and soybean farmers will continue to have a sound Grain Indemnity program to provide needed protection for farmers against potential elevator failures.”
Details of the bill include:
• Provides the Indiana Grain Buyers Warehouse Licensing Agency additional enforcement tools for suspensions and minimum net worth.
• Encourages more information sharing between the IGBWLA and the Indiana Grain Indemnity Corporation board (IGIC) to assess risks to the Indiana Grain Indemnity Fund.
• Requires IGBWLA to conduct a third-party performance review of the agency’s auditing practices and procedures at least once every five years.
• Allows IGIC require an actuarial study from a third party of the fund at least every five years.
The COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty in January as state lawmakers convened in the Statehouse and Government Center South buildings masked up and socially distanced. Fast-forward about four months, and the Indiana General Assembly “recessed” session the afternoon of April 22 mostly without interruption (a temporary pause was instituted the third week of January in response to nationwide political unrest), with a number of impactful bills being sent to Gov. Holcomb for consideration.
Despite the efforts to limit the amount of legislation that was to be considered, there was no shortage in the number of bills filed. In total, only 22 percent of the 1011 bills introduced made their way to the governor’s desk – compared to 903 total bills introduced last year.