Wisconsin Farmers: DATCP’s APS Program Has Got Your Back
October 10, 2012
MADISON – The fall harvest has begun and grain facilities are lining up to purchase world-class crops from Wisconsin farmers.
To ensure that Wisconsin farmers receive a fair shake in the sale of their products, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) manages the state’s Agricultural Producer Security (APS) program and fund. Grain producers statewide need to know about the many ways the program protects their transactions with grain dealers and grain warehouses and how to make use of the protections that are available to them.
“Our role is to ensure the financial integrity of the grain marketing infrastructure,” said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “The APS program provides a number of measures to protect the livelihood of Wisconsin’s farmers and the strength of the state’s agricultural business.”
The APS fund was created to provide a source of payment to protect producers in the case of a default by a purchaser or a warehouse. Financial payments to farmers will vary depending on the type of product involved and the amount of the loss in the transaction.
With some exceptions, most of the contractors in the state and even some in neighboring states are required to be licensed if they procure grain, milk or vegetables or if they store grain in Wisconsin. Grain elevators that store the farmers’ products must hold a grain warehouse keeper license from the federal government or DATCP and are required to have insurance on all of the grain that they hold in storage, whether owned by depositors or the elevator.
To stay safe in transactions with contractors, Wisconsin farmers should follow these tips:
At a minimum, farmers should know if the facility they are dealing with is licensed.
Whether grain is delivered to a grain operation for sale or storage or picked up at the farm, a producer must always be provided a purchase or storage receipt. If there is any dispute over the purchase, the receipt may be the only evidence that the grain was delivered.
Producers should know the terms of payment for grain sold.
If a producer agrees to be paid more than seven days after selling the grain, the grain dealer must use a written deferred payment contract that includes when they can expect to get paid for their grain.
If a contractor pays cash (not a company check) for the goods upon delivery, they are NOT required to hold a grain dealer license as part of the APS program.
If producers have difficulties with the terms of a deal or have problems getting payment for their goods, they should contact DATCP for assistance. If the contractor defaults on the payment, producers have 30 days from when they learned of the default to notify DATCP.
“The Fund is a valuable safety net for Wisconsin farmers, and adds stability to their deals with contractors,” added Chalmers. “Our APS team takes its responsibilities seriously and works every day to guarantee that fair agricultural business practices endure in Wisconsin.”
For more information on the program, contact the Business Trade Practices Bureau at 608-224-4970.
Connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wiconsumer.
You can find a list of currently licensed grain dealers and grain warehouse keepers at the bottom of this webpage:
Federal grain warehouse licensees can be found at this website: