Ritchie Bros. to conduct agricultural equipment auction in Kamloops for global ginseng producer Chai-Na-Ta Farms



    
    The world's largest grower and exporter of North American ginseng is
    getting out of the business in BC after almost 20 years
    

    KAMLOOPS, BC, May 6 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX:
RBA), the world's largest industrial auctioneer, is conducting an unreserved
public agricultural equipment auction for Chai-Na-Ta Farms Ltd., a global
producer and exporter of premium North American ginseng, on Saturday, May 9,
2009 starting at 9:00 a.m. The unreserved auction, the first held by Ritchie
Bros. in Kamloops since 1989, will take place on Chai-Na-Ta's 200-acre farm
located in Cherry Creek just outside Kamloops. The auction will feature more
than 1,000 agricultural items from Chai-Na-Ta Farms and other consignors,
including 2WD and 4WD tractors, cultivators, trucks, trailers, recreational
vehicles as well as other miscellaneous agricultural equipment. There will
also be a number of specialized items unique to ginseng production sold in the
auction. Each item will be sold to the highest bidders on auction day with no
minimum bids or reserve prices.
    "It's a very rare opportunity for people to purchase agricultural
equipment at a Ritchie Bros. auction in southern BC," said Blake Lind,
Territory Manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "We've got a very good range of
well-maintained agricultural equipment for sale in this unreserved auction, as
well as a number of specialized items specific to ginseng harvesting. Pretty
well all of this equipment can be used or modified for use on a small farm or
large-scale harvesting operation."
    One of the more unique items to be sold in the auction includes about 400
acres of Lumite shade cloth. The shade cloth is used to simulate growing
conditions similar to that of North American ginseng's natural shady habitat
of the hardwood forest floors of eastern North America. Since ginseng is also
very sensitive to direct sunlight and must be grown under very controlled
conditions, the Lumite shade cloth serves as an effective protective barrier.
All the shade cloth in the auction will either be cut up into 10-acre lots for
use on smaller farms or into one acre lots for use as wind break or patio and
pool covers. About 500 miles of quarter inch cable used in suspending the
shade cloth over crops will also be sold. Other unique items include large
quantities of fruit bins grouped in lots of 60, dump bins, weather stations,
distillers, pole sprayers, sprinkler heads and scientific ovens.

    Chai-Na-Ta Farms is a subsidiary of Chai-Na-Ta Corp. (OTCBB: CCCFF), a
global supplier of North American bulk root ginseng and processed extract
ginseng powder. Chai-Na-Ta began operating in British Columbia in 1981
planting its first ginseng crop in 1982 on a five-acre plot of land and
harvesting the crop four years later. By 1998 Chai-Na-Ta Farms had expanded
into a 1,500-acre cultivation operation with an annual ginseng harvest of up
to one million pounds-about 20 percent of the world's total global production.
In 2003 it was named as one of the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies in
Canada by the Globe and Mail. The decline in demand for ginseng and ginseng
products as a result of a 75 percent drop in commodities prices over the last
decade was a primary factor in the company's decision to get out of the
ginseng growing business in BC. Chai-Na-Ta's 200-acre farm is now being used
for harvesting hay.

    
    Auction details:
    ----------------

    -   Location: Chai-Na-Ta Farms Ltd., 5560 W Trans Canada Hwy 1, Kamloops,
        B.C.
    -   Directions: From Kamloops on Hwy 1 West, OR from Junction of Hwy 1
        and Hwy 5, 14 km West on Hwy 1, 18 km East of Savana
    -   Time and date: 9:00 a.m. Saturday, May 9, 2009
    -   Open to the public; registration to bid is free
    -   Interested buyers can register to bid in person or over the internet
        days before the auction. Visit the auction site to register to bid in
        person; photo I.D. is required. Customers can inspect equipment
        during regular business hours leading up to the auction.
    -   Internet bidders must register online before auction day at
        www.rbauction.com; at least 2-3 business days is recommended for
        first-time internet bidders
    -   Equipment details, including photos, are available on the Ritchie
        Bros. web site: www.rbauction.com
    

    About Ritchie Bros.

    Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the
world's largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and
online bidders than any other company in the world. The Company has over 110
locations in more than 25 countries, including 38 auction sites worldwide.
Ritchie Bros. sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of used
and unused industrial assets, including equipment, trucks and other assets
utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling,
mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries. The Company maintains a web
site at www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at
www.RitchieWiki.com.





For further information:

For further information: Kim Schulz, Corporate Communications Manager,
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, Phone: (604) 788-5379, or email
kschulz@rbauction.com


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