The Michigan Farm Bureau, working with the Missouri Farm Bureau, has developed a checklist for grain production contracts, including how they differ from marketing contracts, says Bob Boehm, manager of its commodities and marketing department.

The checklist, accessible at www.michiganfarmbureau.com/specials/grain_contracts.php, provides virtually any detail a grower should know about what a contract should contain before being signed.

In addition, Boehm says Michigan Farm Bureau has helped develop the Farm Produce Insurance Authority, which oversees the state's Farm Produce Insurance Act. “It established a program in which producers of dry beans, grains or corn could contribute a percentage of their proceeds (up to 0.2%) to a new fund and could recover from the fund for losses caused by a grain dealer's financial failure,” he says.

The fund provides for reimbursement to a participating producer for losses suffered when a licensed grain dealer has declared insolvency or was otherwise unable to pay its claimants. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/graindealers, then under Farm Produce Insurance. Also, check with your local Farm Bureau or Department of Agriculture to determine if a similar program is available in your state, says Boehm.