Monsanto on November 12, 2014 announced they had reached a settlement with Pacific Northwest soft white wheat growers to compensate them for losses incurred due to the GMO wheat plant found on a Northeastern Oregon farm in 2013. Total total settlement to farmers is $2.15 million with another $250,000 going to the state's wheat associations.
The settlement will be paid to any grower that sold soft white wheat between May 30, 2013 and November 30, 2013. Monsanto indicated the claims administrator designated by the parties, Heffler Claims Group, will process the submission of claims by farmers who choose to make claims. Soft white wheat farmers seeking a claim form or more information about the claims process can contact Heffler Claims Group at 855-229-7512 or submit claims through the website www.swwsettlement.com.
Total soft wheat production for the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho is roughly 225 million bushels. I would estimate that at least 50% of total 2013 soft white wheat production for these states was sold during this period. This would indicate about 115 million bushels subject to the settlement. If all farmers file a claim, then the payment per bushel will be slightly less than 2 cents to the farmer.
As usual, the announcement focuses on the "large" dollar amount of the settlement, but does not break it down into a per bushel amount. For many farmers, the check they will get will let them take their spouse out for a good dinner. I guess it is better than nothing.