Klodette Stroh said she went to ADM last week to check on her contract and was told that dry beans would have to be delivered to Burlington. She said Wednesday that she has received no written confirmation about changes to operations at the Garland facility, only a verbal discussion.
Personnel at Garland declined to comment.
Jim Whelan, speaking by telephone from ADM headquarters in Decatur, Ill., said Wednesday that no information about the Garland or Burlington facilities was available.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss that with you,” Whelan said during a telephone call with the Tribune. “There’s really no press release at this point.”
Stroh said ADM’s operations in Park and Big Horn counties make it convenient to grow dry beans. She pointed out that Park and Big Horn counties lead Wyoming in dry bean production. Wyoming ranks fifth in pinto bean production in the United States, she said.
Steve Gunn of the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service field office in Cheyenne said Wednesday that Park and Big Horn counties generated more than half of Wyoming’s dry bean production in 2010, the most recent year for which county-level information is available.
In Park County, dry beans were planted and harvested on 12,600 acres. Yields averaged 2,060 pounds per acre, Gunn said. In Big Horn County, dry beans were planted on 13,300 acres and harvested on 13,200 acres, he said, with yields averaging 2,180 pounds per acre.
With Park County’s ag land and crops valued at more than $80 million, any change that could make it harder for farmers to deliver crops could have a big economic effect, Stroh said.
“I’m just so sad to see them close it,” if it comes to that, Stroh said. “It’s so nice to have them there, a good company for us to deal with.”
Stroh said her family would likely continue to grow beans for ADM even if they had to be trucked to Burlington, although higher fuel costs could affect their bottom line. Dry beans are a key component of their crop rotation with sugar beets, barley and sunflowers, she said.
The ADM employees at Garland have been “a great help to our operation,” Stroh said. “We just have to keep our fingers crossed.”