Indiana House Bill 1549 passed through the Ag Committee Thursday, good news for a broad coalition of ag groups in Indiana. The bill seeks to update the Indiana Grain Indemnity law and various qualifications and requirements of the Hoosier grain industry. Mike Silver, on behalf of the Agribusiness Council of Indiana testified in favor of the bill before the ag committee Thursday.
“All the stakeholders, the producers, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, the Indiana Soybean Alliance, the Indiana Farm Bureau, the various livestock industries, we all came together in a study group that lasted over the course of the summer and into this legislative period. There was consensus and collaboration in this total piece of legislation. That’s something that in the words of the representatives who heard this testimony said the wished they could see more of.”
One of the important updates provided in the bill is an increase in the grain indemnity fund cap from $15 million to $25 million.
“And that primarily is because the nature of the grain business in Indiana has changed,” he said. “And the level of risk has changed. In 1995 when that law was enacted we didn’t have the 13 ethanol plants in Indiana that consume a huge amount of corn. There’s been a lot of consolidation in the industry and the players have gotten much larger. The risks have gotten much larger.”
Silver told HAT Indiana needed to update some of the requirements and fees to be involved in the state’s grain business, and the industry supports those updates in the bill. HB 1549 was authored by Rep. Don Lehe, the ag committee chairman, and it was co-Authored by Rep. David Niezgodski, Rep. William Friend, and Rep. James Baird.
HB 1549: Increases the fee for inspecting a moisture testing device. Requires the Indiana grain buyers and warehouse licensing agency (agency) to employ all necessary employees to administer the grain buyer and warehouse laws. Defines “daily position record”, “grain coproducts”, and “seed inventory”. Amends the definition of “grain assets”. Provides that an entity associated with a person with a revoked or suspended license may not operate as a grain buyer or warehouse. Adds seed inventory to the list of a warehouse’s or grain buyer’s (licensee’s) unencumbered assets. Increases certain license fees. Adds certain information that must be included in a licensee’s financial statements. Requires the agency to charge a fee for capacity changes between license renewal periods. Changes the structure and amounts of a licensee’s late fees. Adds information that the agency may disclose about a licensee. Increases the amounts of a licensee’s surety bond. Requires the agency to give public notice when a license is suspended or revoked. Reorganizes provisions concerning the grain indemnity fund and the administrative expense account, including repealing a law. Places a cap on the amount that the grain indemnity board may spend on administrative expenses. Raises the Indiana grain indemnity fund’s cap to collect premiums for the grain indemnity program.