SD regulators seek assets of Anderson Seed sunflower companyPIERRE — South Dakota regulators decided Tuesday to seek the assets of a sunflower seed company that may owe farmers in South Dakota and North Dakota more than $4 million.
By: CHET BROKAW, The Associated Press
PIERRE — South Dakota regulators decided Tuesday to seek the assets of a sunflower seed company that may owe farmers in South Dakota and North Dakota more than $4 million.
However, members of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and lawyers for farmers said there likely are not enough assets in South Dakota to cover what Anderson Seed Co. Inc. owes to farmers who were not paid for sunflowers delivered to the company’s operation in Redfield.
PUC Chairman Chris Nelson said the commission would seek only short-term control of the assets because it is not set up to oversee such an operation for a longer time.
“But I’m of the opinion this commission needs to do everything possible to give our producers the best possible advantage as they go through this,” Nelson said. “At the end of the day will this make any difference? We don’t know.”
The commission voted to go to court to seek receivership of the company’s $100,000 bond, grain stored in Redfield that may be worth $600,000, and other assets of Anderson Seed’s operation in Redfield. Money from the bond and the sale of grain and other assets would be used to repay farmers who have not been paid for sunflowers.
The PUC also formally revoked Anderson Seed’s license to buy grain in South Dakota.
No one representing Anderson Seed took part in the commission’s hearing Tuesday. The company’s lawyer, Gary Leistico of St. Cloud, Minn., did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
Anderson Seed is based in Mentor, Minn.