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Montana Ag Network: Major pulse company files for bankruptcy ahead of 2019 harvest

Posted at 9:24 AM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 11:24:10-04

BILLINGS – One of the region’s biggest pulse crop companies has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization.

JM Grain, Inc., which has offices in Garrison, N. D. and Great Falls, said sales in the current year are about $3.5 million compared to the normal of about $13 million due in part to tariff and trade disruptions.

Paul Kanning is a pulse grower from Flaxville and also serves as vice chairman of the Montana Pulse Crop Committee. He said news like this affects everyone.

“We don’t like seeing it,” said Kanning. “Obviously as a farmer, we want to have options. You know a lot of times, some farmers will grumble maybe about an elevator or processor but truly we want to see them succeed because when they have success, that usually means farmers have some success too.”

“So, when we’re losing pulse processors and portions of the pulse industry, it just leads to less options for the farmers,” he added. “Not necessarily just on price but sometimes things like delivery date and whether they can take product or not. So, when you lose those options it hurts us out here on our end.”

JM Grain said the closing of the three largest markets-India, China and the European Union-has been devastating and it was caught with large inventories of chickpeas and lentils at the start of 2018 with nowhere to sell and sustained heavy losses as the inventory was liquidated.

-Russell Nemetz reporting for MTN News