Last-minute change to U.S. tax overhaul sparks alarm at grain companies

Republican senators are working with Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM), Cargill and other major agricultural merchants to undo a last-minute provision in the tax overhaul that threatens to distort the grains market and starve firms of corn, soy and wheat supplies, Reuters reports.

The provision gives farmers a 20% deduction on payments for sales of crops to farmer-owned cooperatives, but not for sales to private or investor-owned grains handlers such as ADM, whose representatives were among those reportedly meeting this week with D.C. lawmakers in an attempt to come up with a way to even the playing field.

If legislators do not address the provision by the autumn harvest, private grain companies could lose out on deals to buy billions of bushels of corn and soybeans, tax experts say.