Iowa Public Television


Montana Biodiesel Company Owes Farmers $1.2 Million

posted on April 24, 2009

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) _ A Montana biodiesel company that has received more than $1.6 million in grants and loans from the state and a regional economic development corporation owes farmers in Montana and North Dakota $1.2 million for crops grown last year.

Sustainable Systems LLC and a parent company agreed Wednesday to sign a consent agreement allowing the Montana Department of Agriculture to sell crops, seed and processed cooking oil held at several Montana locations and distribute a $113,000 surety bond to pay part of what is owed to Montana producers.

A separate process is occurring in North Dakota. The state Public Service Commission will consider a motion next week to ask a judge to declare the company insolvent and to appoint the commission as a trustee, Licensing Director Sue Richter said Wednesday.

An official with Sustainable Systems did not immediately return a phone message Wednesday seeking comment.

The company contracted for oilseed in 2008 at rates far greater than current values and was unable to obtain bank loans to pay for seed and remain operational, according to the annual report Sustainable Systems' parent company, New York-based Greenshift Corp

Tags: agriculture biofuels crops farmers money Montana news renewable fuels