Elevators in Crescent City and Onarga to Reopen for This Fall’s Harvest

Iroquois County grain elevators will reopen under new ownership.

A-Way’s board of directors approved the purchase Monday of its Crescent City and Onarga elevators by Wheatfield Grain of Wheatfield, Ind., and Watseka Interstate, LLC, of Watseka, Ill., following a competitive bidding process.

"With storage space expected to be at a premium because of a bumper corn crop, the Department of Agriculture is pleased it could facilitate a deal to keep these elevators open and preserve a local market for grain," Illinois Agriculture Director Chuck Hartke said.

The purchase agreement includes only A-Way’s grain storage facilities. The new owners will not assume A-Way’s debts. Farmers who have grain stored in one of the elevators or have not been paid for gain sold to the company are invited to attend a creditors meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in the Crescent City High School gym. IDOA staff will explain the process for liquidating A-Way’s grain assets and paying claimants at the meeting, which is open to anyone with a financial interest in the company’s grain holdings.

A-Way, Inc. was a member of the Illinois Grain Insurance Fund, which means all grain deposits at its facilities are protected under the Illinois Grain Code. Grain in storage is covered at 100% of its close-out value as determined by IDOA. Grain that was priced within 21 days of the date of failure also is covered at 100%, while grain held under a price later contract is protected at 85% of the close-out value based on the length of time since delivery and pricing.

The elevators have been closed since Aug. 27; the date warehouse examiners from the department discovered "significant financial deficiencies" and suspended the company’s grain dealers and warehouse licenses. They have a combined capacity of 2.2 million bushels of grain.

A public auction is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20, to sell two tracts of farmland – 40 and 80 acres -- that A-Way owns. The auction will be held at noon at 600 Jerry Ash Ave., Crescent City.

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