Iowa Suspends Licenses for Financially Struggling Jessup Grain Dealers

Jared Strong

State regulators have ordered grain vendors in northeastern Iowa to stop buying large quantities of grain after failing to pay for unspecified grains for license violations and other reasons.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Management announced Friday that it has suspended the grain dealer and warehouse licenses of the B&B Farm Store in Jessup, just east of Waterloo.

“The suspension is based on the company’s failure to pay for priced grain, grain shortages and recordkeeping violations,” IDALS said.

Department spokesman Don McDowell declined to elaborate on these allegations because IDALS has requested an administrative law hearing on the matter. Such hearings can result in financial penalties for grain dealers.

Generally, dealers who purchase at least 1,000 bushels of grain each month are licensed and regulated by the state to protect grain producers from loss. A dealer must have sufficient assets to cover the debt for the grain purchase and cannot have their license suspended.

Farmers State Bank last week filed a foreclosure against B&B and its affiliate, J&D Investors, seeking more than $4.6 million in unpaid debt, according to district court records. According to the bank’s recent foreclosure petition, the company avoided foreclosure through mediation earlier this year, but has since failed to make the payments stipulated by its brokerage agreement. Court records do not indicate any other lawsuits pending against B&B.

The state maintains compensation funds that cover up to $300,000 worth of losses suffered by individual growers who sell their grain to state licensed dealers but are not paid.

B&B Farm Store declined to comment for this article. It is unclear when the administrative law hearings will be held.

The business sells outdoor equipment and supplies and also operates a feed mill, according to Iowa Department of Natural Resources air quality permit data. The company sells feed for cattle, dogs, goats, horses, pigs and poultry, according to its website. Satellite imagery of the site shows several large grain bunkers.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of the States Newsroom, a network of similar news stations supported by a coalition of 501c(3) public charity grants and donors.

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