AS SUITORS go, few have put as much effort into wooing growers as Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).
Since making its $3 billion bid for GrainCorp in April, ADM has gone into overdrive trying to sell its plan to growers and quell fears it will restrict outside players' access to what will be its near-monopoly on eastern States grain port facilities.
ADM's US-based grain boss Ian Pinner - a key player in its charm offensive - has been to Australia at least twice in the space of about five weeks and is believed to have a third trip planned.
And he's not just courting politicians and farmer bodies.
Last week he was in northern NSW to meet with growers who deliver into the receival network ADM could soon own and who, justifiably, have concerns about how many receival sites will stay open - and who they will be open to - if they end up under ADM control.
ADM this week made its biggest pitch for grower support so far with promises of $50 million in capital improvements to GrainCorp's country silos, ports and freight network on top of $250m already budgeted for as part of strategic upgrades in the next three years.
Mr Pinner reckons there's scope for ADM to commit as much as another $60m a year to improvements and maintenance of existing infrastructure assets based on expected operating efficiencies.
It will also throw $1m a year towards rural community charity projects, set up a scholarship fund for ag science graduates and put dollars into research projects.
Such promises are certainly welcome - and far superior to anything offered by previous suitors for Australian grain businesses like AWB and ABB.
But you have to question why ADM is prepared to throw so much cash at trying to win over growers.
Given the make-up of GrainCorp's share register and the Foreign Investment Review Board's seemingly complete disregard for the importance of agricultural assets, growers will ultimately have little say in whether the deal goes through.
Arguably, grower support could help ease the way for a deal to be done quickly.
As noted in this space previously, delays beyond October will be costly for ADM - and every day it drags on there's the risk of a competitor making a counter bid.
But if ADM was hoping to dazzle growers with its promises into forgetting about that tricky little issue of port access, it has another thing coming.