VICTORIAN Farmers Federation Wimmera branch president Ross Johns believes it is 'overly optimistic' to expect growers to be paid the money owed by failed grain packing company Convector Grain.
The company, based at Laverton North, was placed into voluntary administration in August and representatives from SV Partners and SVP Victoria were appointed joint administrators.
Mr Johns said he had heard the company owed creditors up to $15 million, with some individuals owed up to $400,000.
"Growers have been talking to me and are extremely disappointed the company has not honoured its commitment," he said.
"The growers have incurred all the costs of production and get nothing back.
"Under the previous single desk marketing system, we were always going to get paid.
"Without that, dealing with some smaller companies that are not well managed, there is a larger risk of not being paid.
"We have a lot of different players now but not all are skilled in managing the risks involved.
"My only advice is, if you are going to sell to people, sell a load at a time rather than bucketloads of grain."
V FF vice-president and Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke said the case highlighted the need for the grains industry to have more information available about traders, how they operated and their stock reports.
"There is no real option to ensure payment other than ensuring you are dealing with companies that can pay, but to get that knowledge is quite hard," he said.
"If you like the price, make sure you also like the company, because that extra $10 you think you will get for your grain could jeopardise the whole package if the company can't pay."
Convector Grain and administrators did not return calls before the Mail-Times went to press last night.