Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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LEESBURG, Ga. — A hearing is scheduled in Lee Magistrate Court at 11 a.m. on Dec. 5 involving a pre-warrant application filed by Worth County farmer Jack Bass against developer and businessman Doug Wingate.
Court officials confirmed the hearing before Judge Jim Thurman, but the two parties involved in the dispute would not comment when contacted Tuesday afternoon.
Wingate, who owns Great Southern Peanut Co., Georgia Farm Services and several other area companies, said, “I can’t talk to you about that because I am not familiar with what Mr. Bass is doing.”
Bass told The Herald he did not want to comment on any possible court procedures “until after we have a hearing next week. I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize anything.”
Lee County Commissioner Dennis Roland, who is also a farmer, said a large group of farmers in several Southwest Georgia counties are upset with Wingate over contracts reportedly signed between the farmers and Wingate early this year.
Roland contends Wingate is not honoring the contracts, many of which he said were signed at $750 to $700 per ton. He said Wingate’s companies are neither honoring the signed contracts at the original price nor following normal procedures involving payment when the farmers bring their peanuts in for shelling and processing.
Roland said he has about $12,000 owed to him in the peanut transaction, but said some farmers have more than $1 million at risk.