Around 20 Manitoba farmers calling themselves "Disgruntled Farmers Seeking Justice" are planning to seek compensation through the courts for grain they delivered to Puratone Corporation.
The group consists of producers who delivered grain to the company's feed mills in Winkler and Arborg in the 15 days prior to Puratone going into creditor protection in September.
"Between us we're owed about a million dollars for grain which we had delivered in good faith to the Puratone Corporation. None of it has been paid for. They processed it and fed it to their own pigs," says spokesperson John Sigurdson, who farms near Riverton.
A lawyer is currently working on developing their arguments for the case, but Sigurdson says it will likely involve proving that Puratone employees encouraged producers to deliver grain while knowing they would not get paid.
He says he believes Puratone and its secured creditors intentionally chose to go into creditor protection during harvest, when farmers were looking to deliver their new crop.
"The 15 days previous to them going into creditor protection came at a time when cash-strapped farmers had plenty of freshly harvested winter wheat in the bins and were looking for a home for it. Why didn't Puratone decided to go into CCAA protection a month sooner? I would say it's because they wouldn't have been able to source any grain because there wasn't any left on farms from the previous year," says Sigurdson. "So when it came to it, Puratone offered a small premium over the market and called farmers - some of them several times - to deliver grain, fully knowing they weren't planning on paying for the inventory, because you don't just wake up one morning and go into creditor protection."
Maple Leaf Foods is in the process of buying Puratone for $42 million, which will likely not cover any of the money owed to farmers since Puratone owes $86 million to three secured creditors.
"I believe Puratone and the monitor expect us farmers just to fade away into the background, but we're definitely not just going to be just pushed back into their memories," says Sigurdson. "Something has to be done here to rectify this situation."
Corn growers are having varied levels of success with seeding this spring. Morgan Cott, field agronomist with the Manitoba Corn Growers A
Ag Growth International (AGI) has officially acquired Westeel for a purchase price of $221.5 million. Westeel, head-quartered in Winnipeg
Winnipeg-based feed mill Standard Nutrition Canada Co. will become the only company in Canada using infrared grain-sorting technology. It
Some more good news for Foothills and Canadian beef, pork and chicken producers. The U.S. House Agriculture Committee met Wednesday morni
We could see some reseeding of canola in the coming days, says an agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Canada. Angela Brackenre
The Manitoba government joins the Manitoba Pork Council, Manitoba Beef Producers Association and the Government of Canada in celebrating t
Producers are continuing to assess the crop damage caused from the storm that occurred over the long weekend. Precipitation amounts varie
Earlier this year, the Pest Surveillance Initiative (PSI) was established in Winnipeg with the goal of testing canola soil for clubroot di
For the fourth time, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled against the United States' Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) po
A national body has been formed to help spread agricultural awareness to young people. Agriculture in the Classroom-Canada (AITC-C), whic
Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba (AITC-M) has announced that Sue Clayton is the organization's new associate executive director. She
Canadian farmers are being warned about illegally purchasing a variety of hard red spring wheat that was developed at North Dakota State U
Over 2,000 acres has already been seeded for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) here in Manitoba. Regional Coordinator Harold Penner sai
A new study says that Manitoba would be the right fit for a new soybean crushing facility. The study funded by the Canada and Manitoba go
The National Farmers Union (NFU) is warning Canadians about changes the government is proposing to make to the Canada Grain Act. The NFU
Livestock producers will now be able to access more funding under the Manitoba Livestock Associations Loan Guarantee (MLALG) program. The
On May 18, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is expected to announce its decision on the United States' Country of Origin Labelling (COOL
Soybean growers are keeping one eye on soil temperatures, with the other on the calendar. Kristen Podolsky, production specialist with Ma
Seeding is now past the midway mark in Manitoba. In its latest crop report, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development says that se
The Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) has started a review of two red spring classes of wheat. Program Manager for Quality Assurance Daryl
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says Canada continues to be a force at the bargaining table for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He w
Now is the time to be on the lookout for herbicide resistant weeds. Angela Brackenreed, agronomy specialist with the Canola Council of Ca
The concrete is flowing at CWB's new elevator project south of Winnipeg. Pouring of the concrete slip, which began Monday, May 4, is expe
A successful mission to Turkey by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz has led to an agreement to open market access for Canadian breeding catt
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Morden Research Station will be celebrating its 100 year anniversary this summer. The station has been