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    Farmland Industries Gets Extension

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Farmland Industries has another month to disclose how much of its $800 million-plus debt it expects to be able to repay to unsecured creditors.

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Farmland Industries has another month to disclose how much of its $800 million-plus debt it expects to be able to repay to unsecured creditors.

    The disclosure plan was to have been filed by next Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. There were no objections to the agricultural cooperative's fifth request for more time, and the delay until July 31 was granted by Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Venters during a hearing on Tuesday.

    Farmland filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2002. In its motion asking the delay, the nation's largest farm cooperative said it was in sensitive negotiations over the direction of its remaining pork business.

    The company previously said that it was negotiating with possible buyers of its pork business but that if it didn't get a sufficient offer, it would propose that it continue operating the business and pay creditors back over time.

    Lawyers for the two committees that represent Farmland's unsecured creditors supported the delay.

    Two weeks ago, Farmland announced a deal to sell its interest in its beef processing business to its partner, U.S. Premium Beef, for $232 million in cash. Other potential bidders have until July 7 to try to outbid U.S. Premium Beef. If any come forward, there will be an auction on July 9.

    Last month Farmland closed a deal valued at $293 million to sell its fertilizer business to Koch Nitrogen of Wichita.

    The pork business and a fertilizer plant and a petroleum refinery in Coffeyville, Kan., are the only substantial assets Farmland has left to sell.

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