Turner Grain Merchandising Files $25M Bankruptcy

Turner Grain Merchandising Files $25M Bankruptcy
Grain auger of combine pouring soybean into tractor trailer. (Shutterstock)

Turner Grain Merchandising Inc. of Brinkley filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday, listing $24.8 million in debts and $13.8 million in assets — the same amounts listed in a draft of the bankruptcy filed Oct. 14.

U.S. District Court Judge James M. Moody Jr. appointed bankruptcy attorney Kevin Keech of North Little Rock as Turner's receiver last month. Keech first filed the draft as part of another lawsuit involving Turner.

(More: Kevin Keech, Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Butch Calhoun talk to Arkansas Business about Turner Grain in story that appears in the Oct. 27 edition.

Turner's final amount of debt could be larger because some the creditors' claims are listed as "unknown" or zero. 

Little has changed between the Oct. 14 draft and Thursday’s filing. Turner's filing lists $23.8 million of creditors holding unsecured claims. Some of the larger claims include:

  •     Southern Rice & Cotton LLC of Harrisburg, $3.228 million.
  •     Zero Grade Farms of Blytheville, $2.293 million.
  •     Kennedy Rice Dryers LLC of Mer Rouge, Louisiana, $2.285 million.
  •     Delta Grain Marketing LLC of Jonesboro, $1.814 million.
  •     K & K Farm Services of Carlisle, $1.502 million.
  •     Edward Schafer & Sons of Lonoke, $1.383 million.
  •     Poinsett Rice & Grain Inc. of Waldenburg, $1.326 million.
  •     David and Lalain Wilkison Farm of Brinkley, $1.147 million.
  •     Melvin Farms Partnership of Hunter, $1.06 million.

Among its assets, Turner included $3 million it says it is owed for miscellaneous billing errors over the last two years, including overpayments to producers and missed freight charges. 

Turner claimed 2013 revenue of $277.9 million, up 24 percent from 2012. Turner claimed revenue of $235.3 million so far this year.

Dale Bartlett of Marvell, president of Turner Grain, filed for bankruptcy protection last month. He listed about $5.5 million in debts and $2 million in assets.

Keech became the receiver of Turner Grain following a request by Rabo Agrifinance Inc. of St. Louis, which last month sued Turner Grain and its executives for breach of contract.

Rabo claimed Turner owes it $1.01 million and asked that a receiver be appointed because of Turner Grain’s well-publicized collapse. 

Turner and its executives, Jason Coleman and Bartlett, "are currently perceived to be insolvent and are defaulting on various agreements with multiple farmers, operators, shippers, dealers, and brokers across many states," according to Rabo’s Sept. 11 motion for a receiver.

Turner Grain is facing seven lawsuits over allegations of breach of contract and other charges.

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