FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 23, 2022
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy executive director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201 or (605) 280-4327
PUC encourages producers to engage with grain staff
PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota producers play an important role in maintaining a healthy grain industry in the state. That theme is being highlighted by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission at this year’s South Dakota State Fair to encourage conversation and increase communication between the producers selling grain and the commission’s grain warehouse staff.
PUC commissioners and staff will be available to speak with fair goers at the PUC booth in the Expo Building on the State Fairgrounds from Sept. 1 to Sept. 5. The Expo Building is open to the public 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Thursday through Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday.
“The commission utilizes numerous methods to regulate and monitor South Dakota’s grain industry. Effective communication with local producers will always be one we find especially important. The PUC’s grain warehouse staff relies on feedback from producers to successfully monitor the grain buyer industry in our state,” said PUC Chairman Chris Nelson. “That feedback is essential to help us identify businesses that are struggling and gives our staff a chance to work with that company and to avoid or minimize losses to producers or the community,” he continued.
The PUC keeps a watchful eye on the financial welfare of the grain industry through licensing and regular inspections of grain buyers and grain warehouses operating in South Dakota. The agency also monitors licensed facilities to ensure they are meeting their obligations to producers and operating within the requirements of state law and administrative rule.
“As PUC commissioners, we know how important our regulatory role is in helping protect producers. Our grain warehouse staff take this role very seriously and work hard, but they can’t do it alone. Producer participation is vital to making the process work. If producers have questions about selling grain or concerns about slow pay or even the possibility of no pay from a company, PUC inspectors want to know,” stated PUC Vice Chairperson Kristie Fiegen.
PUC staff conduct regular on-site inspections of licensed facilities to analyze the financial condition of grain warehouses and grain buyers. Inspectors review items such as daily position reports, settlement sheets and warehouse receipts.
“Additional grain storage reports and balance sheets are also submitted regularly for review to help ensure facilities have the level of bond coverage required by state statute and are operating within all other requirements of state law. It is also important that the grain buyer and grain warehouse facility you are doing business with is licensed by the PUC,” explained PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson.
In 2021, the PUC performed 492 inspections at 351 licensed facilities and recently issued 366 licenses to 192 Class A and Class B grain buyers, and state-licensed and federally licensed grain warehouse facilities.
For more information about the PUC’s role and responsibilities within the grain industry, links to state statutes and administrative rules, and additional resources for producers including the current list of facilities licensed by the commission, visit the PUC’s website at www.puc.sd.gov/warehouse or call 605-773-3201.
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