Farm Press Release
October 18, 2000
Vice President, Commercial Operations
Aventis CropScience, USA LP
2 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Park, N.C. 27709
Fax. No. (919) 549-2500
Sent via Facsimile Only
Dear Mr. Wichtrich,
The purpose of this letter is to confirm the content of our conference call this morning, October 18, 2000. As you recall, we discussed the serious nature of the StarLink problem and my office's concerns regarding how this issue will affect our State's farmers, grain elevators and grain processors. Before setting out the basic points covered in our conversation, I want to thank you for the understanding you showed for these very serious problems and your company's understanding of the overriding need to keep any potential losses as low as possible. We understand that Aventis' priority is to make sure that StarLink grain is directed to approved delivery sites.
During the course of today's conversation, you set out several positions regarding how Aventis will work with farmers and grain elevators dealing with StarLink grain.
Those positions are as follows:
- The October 20, 2000, deadline set for farmers to decide to participate in the StarLink Enhanced Stewardship Program (SES) has been extended. Discussion continues to establish a new deadline.
- Farmers who participate in the SES Program are not waiving any rights to recover any additional damages they may have incurred as a result of growing StarLink corn.
- Commingled Starlink corn (StarLink corn mixed with non-StarLink corn) stored on the farm will not be included in the SES Program. However, Aventis will pay the storage and transportation costs associated with delivering the grain to an "approved delivery location." In addition, Aventis agrees to "work with" growers should any value discounts be assessed against their commingled grain.
- Growers who can verify to Aventis that they grew corn within 660 feet of StarLink corn (buffer growers) will be eligible to participate in the SES Program regarding the corn grown in the buffer strip as long as the above-referenced corn is still in on-farm storage. However, Aventis will pay the storage and transportation costs associated with delivering the grain to an "approved delivery location." In addition, Aventis agrees to "work with" growers should any value discounts be assessed against their commingled grain.
- If grain elevators received Starlink corn, Aventis will work with them to assure that both StarLink and commingled StarLink corn are directed to appropriate approved delivery points. Aventis will pay for additional transportation, demurrage, and testing costs incurred by a grain elevator in directing the above-referenced grain to an approved delivery point. Aventis will "work with" grain elevators to address problems related to discounts in value for StarLink and StarLink commingled grain delivered to an approved delivery site.
- Aventis will immediately make the list of "approved delivery sites" publicly available.
Aventis will provide testing and test kits at no charge to growers and elevators who request them
Again, my office appreciates your understanding of the serious nature of this matter and we look forward to working with you in the future to resolve the remaining difficult issues, most notably the need for Aventis to rapidly address economic losses suffered by farmers and grain elevators.
With best regards,
Attorney General of Iowa