Press Release from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
December 7, 2010
Contact: Ren Nance

State Senator Craig Estes Files Grain Warehouse Reform Legislation

Austin — State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) has filed legislation to enhance protections for stored grain. In 2009, more than five grain warehouses filed bankruptcy or experienced failure, directly affecting grain deposited by producers.

"When a grain warehouse violates the trust of its customers, then the livelihood of families is on the line," said Estes. "Every year, hardworking farmers battle the weather and economy; they expect to trust that when grain is deposited, it will be measured and stored in accordance with the law."

After Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) inspectors uncovered major violatio ns at a Dorchester Grain storage facility near Sherman, TX in late 2009, the Department locked down the facility and revoked its license. Dorchester Grain operated 7 warehouses in Texas capable of housing more than 4 million bushels of grain.

"It is a privilege to serve as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and it is my duty to work on legislation that protects producers and increases investment and production in Texas agriculture," said Estes.

Senate Bill 248 increases current bonding requirements for grain warehouses and establishes that the TDA may suspend a license if a shortage of grain is discovered or if the warehouse operator refuses inspection. The Grain Warehouse Task Force, composed of industry associations, producers, and the Texas Farm Bureau, has reviewed current practices and laws in the grain warehouse program. Senator Estes' legislation is based on Task Force recommendations and careful consideration of concerns raised by constituents in North Texas.

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.