Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Butch Calhoun says USDA’s announcement it will grant an extension of time for Arkansas farmers affected by the Turner Grain situation to repay CCC loans will be helpful to those producers.
“I appreciate Sec. Tom Vilsack’s prompt and positive response to my request for an additional extension for producers with marketing authorizations to Turner Grain Merchandising,” said Calhoun, who asked for the extension along with Arkansas’ congressional delegation.
“This additional 60 days, combined with the 30 days already provided, should be helpful to these affected producers. I will continue to work with Secretary Vilsack and our congressional delegation as producers work through this unfortunate situation.”
Calhoun requested an additional extension of time for producers delivering their Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) grain under a CCC-681-1, Marketing Authorization, to Turner Grain. In addition, he also asked that USDA make low-interest emergency loans available to affected producers.
Turner Grain of Brinkley, Ark., reportedly has defaulted on payments and contracts to area farmers, leaving some producers faced with economic uncertainty. Reports from producers and various media outlets estimate losses as high as $50 million.
Arkansas’ four members of the House and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said the extension was necessary 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.