The National Corn Growers Association, whose chairman has been leading the Ad-Hoc Advisory Team of corn growers involved in working with ethanol producer VeraSun Energy Corp. on bankruptcy issues, reminds growers that a key deadline looms at the end of the month.

Some growers who were under contract to provide grain to VeraSun were invited by the company to extend the delivery date under the contract through December 2009. This means that the contract (which had lapsed or been "rejected" by VeraSun) would be "reinstated" as a prepetition contract with a later delivery date. The Extension Option Form that was attached to the VeraSun notice must be postmarked no later than Friday, Jan. 30.

VeraSun would thus have a renewed opportunity to purchase the corn at the contract price in December 2009, to reject the contract any time between now and December 2009, or to try to reach an agreement with the seller for modification of the contract. Any seller who selects this option would be under a legal obligation to furnish the corn in accordance with the contract.

Sellers should assess their situations and determine if this option is beneficial for them. They may wish to consult legal counsel. Producers who are not interested in the extension need not respond.