One of largest feed mills in state to be sold

Friday, June 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ After 54 years of operation, W-P Milling Co. Inc. _ one of the oldest and largest feed mills in the state _ will be sold at auction next week.

Bids will be taken on four buildings, three parcels of land and more than 500 other items ranging from trailers and forklifts to cabinets and computers. Even the company trademark will be auctioned off.

``There will be a good percentage that is designed for the milling industry, but there's a lot of things in there that could benefit a lot of other businesses,'' said Louis M. Dakil, owner of Dakil Auctioneers Inc., which will handle the auction.

Everything will be sold even if the final bids are low. Dakil said W-P executives chose to use an absolute auction because they wanted to be sure everything sells.

``Once you shut down operations, all you have is negative cash flow,'' he said ``If you liquidate all the items and still have the property, you still have to pay mortgage and utilities.''

``Some see this as the end of world as we know it because what worked in the past probably isn't working as well,'' said Derrell Peel, livestock market specialist at the Oklahoma State University Department of Agriculture.

``But on the other hand, when broad economic changes happen, it usually leads us in a new direction,'' Peel said. ``I think that's the challenge in a very broad sense in agriculture right now. These are tough times, but they represent opportunity.''

The agriculture industry has been struggling for years, but the recent slowdown in the national economy has pushed some agricultural businesses over the edge.

``I think part of the problem is that there's no textbook answer,'' Peel said. ``They have to get more specific in the industry. You can't just say, 'I'm going to be in the feed business' or that 'I'm going to be a farmer.' I think you have to have a little bit more market direction.''