What is in this article?:
- U.S. rice farmers involved GM rice-related settlement with Bayer Cropscience to receive checks early in 2012.
- Claims administrator determines settlement’s acreage threshold -- 85 percent of the average number of planted rice acres from 2006 to 2009 – met.
- Arkansas Supreme Court ruling allows large punitive damage awards to rice farmers, Riceland.
On what will happen now…
“Under the settlement agreement, there are three pots of money.
The market-loss money is under Pot One. The initial market-loss payments will go out to farmers early in January.
“Under the settlement agreement, the market-loss payments were $120 per acre for 2006, $80 per acre for 2007, $60 for 2008, $40 for 2009 and $10 for 2010.
“However, there’s a $750 million cap on the settlement.
So, the initial market-loss payments will be slightly less than (the aforementioned numbers). … We won’t know that until after the Pot Two and Pot Three claims are processed (which likely won’t happen until mid-2012). After all the claims are processed for all three pots, the claims administrator will add up how many valid claims there have been. If those equal more than $750 million, then the first reduction in payments to get back down to the cap is to reduce the market-loss payments by about 3.2 percent.”
That’s why “the initial (market-loss) payments are slightly less: $116.13 per acre in 2006, $77.42 for 2007, $58.06 for 2008, $38.71 for 2009, and $9.68 for 2010. Those amounts are the minimum farmers will receive.
“If it turns out the $750 million cap is not exceeded, then there will be a later market-loss payments to farmers to make up the” original amounts.
“The good news for farmers, right now, is that during the holiday season they have assurance that the lion’s share of the settlement – the market-loss money – will be (dispersed) shortly after the first of the year.”
On Pot Two claims…
“The Pot Two claims period is still open. The deadline to submit claims is Jan. 13.
Pot Two is the simple way for farmers to collect ‘other losses’ that they’ve suffered. Most of those were suffered by farmers who planted one of the two contaminated varieties in 2006. They had damages flowing from that; they couldn’t plant rice on the same ground the next year and had to clean equipment – get every grain of rice out of every crevice – to ensure their 2007 crop wasn’t tainted. Those are the types of losses we’re talking about.
“So, with Pot Two, for every acre of rice you can show were planted in Cheniere or CL131 in 2006, you get $100. A lot of the Pot Two claims have already been filed.
“There is a $70 million cap on Pot Two claims.”
On Pot Three claims...
“The Pot Three deadline is 30 days after Pot Two’s. There is a $50 million cap on the pot.
“Pot Three is set up for those with additional losses. If they want to take the time and effort to prove those losses – and they think than they’re more than $100 per acre planted in Cheniere or CL 131 – Pot Three provides the opportunity to ‘prove up’ damages other than market losses.
“For Pot Three, if Bayer doesn’t agree with the amount claimed, the (parties) go to binding arbitration.”