Grain Department News
Our crews are gearing up to make this a safe harvest season for our customers and our staff. This article is an explanation of our procedures associated with grain harvest. We have every intention to have our scale open to accommodate our customers. Scheduling will be determined on a day to day basis based on the weather and the number of customers delivering grain.
This year, with the new bin in Pine Island, we will be able to allow the producer the flexibility to store, sell, or apply to contracts as the loads get delivered. Please make sure the scale operator knows what you want to do. In the past we applied to contracts before producers could sell the cash or store, this year we will be able to allow for more flexibility. As one might expect this can cause some accounting errors so please review each scale ticket to make sure it’s correct. Please pull off the scale before coming in to pick up your scale ticket.
When you come across the scale we will weigh and grade your load. If you are delivering for someone else, please be sure that our scale personnel are aware of who the grain belongs to. A small piece of cardboard with the owner’s name and whether the grain is being stored or sold shown through your truck or tractor window is very convenient. You will then be directed to a dumping area (A, B, or the dump site near the cemetery). Be sure to weigh your empty vehicle back, with the same number of people in the vehicle.
Please consider all factors and costs when you deliver your grain. Grain marked “Store” at the scale will be shrunk and dried to 14%, one percent lower than grain that will be sold and shipped out of our facility. Our storage charge is 3 ½¢ per bushel, per month, with a minimum of 14¢ storage on all stored grain.
We will also be enforcing our 12¢ per bushel load-out charge for all bushels of grain being hauled out, not marketed through us. The only exception to this is corn being custom dried by us. This grain will need to be hauled out in a timely fashion. Piling grain outdoors causes the expense of additional handling, which isn’t in the best interest of your co-op.
Settling grain: Delivered grain is settled the following day, with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday deliveries being settled on Monday at Friday’s closing price. We issue checks Monday through Friday. We complete them as early in the morning as possible, but Mondays (weekend deliveries) and busy days sometimes aren’t finished until after noon. Checks for contracts are issued the day after the last contracted bushels have been delivered.Anyone wishing us to mail their checks please tell the scale personnel when you deliver the grain or call the administration office. The majority of our customers pick up their checks, but we are very willing to mail them upon request.
Deferred payments are available to customers who wish to defer their payment until a later date, such as January 1. The IRS requires a signed contract between the elevator and those customers, so please stop into the administration office to complete this before you start to deliver. Please mention this to the scale personnel to they can mark your scale ticket.
Our grain prices are based on the local terminal bids, which are based off of the Chicago Board of Trade and our trucking costs. Our daily prices are posted after the Board closes around 2:00 p.m. Keep in mind that the market may change when the market opens the following business day around 9:30 a.m. Often during harvest, the local terminals will lower their bids to us between the close and reopen of the market. This is called “protection” because they are protecting themselves from the market opening up at a lower bid. You will see this happen some days and over the weekends.
Pricing grain: Grain delivered between the close and reopen of the market, will receive the closing market of the delivery day. Grain delivered after the open of the market (9:30 a.m.) will receive the closing market on the delivery day. A customer also has the option of pricing the grain at the time the load is delivered. This would require the customer to tell us to price it at the current price. Keep in mind that the market can fluctuate widely during any one day. If you price it at the time of delivery, you will receive the current price no matter what the end-of-day price ends. The prices posted at the scale are the last closing market – it could be the previous day or the current day depending on the time of day.
Contract options: For the most part our contract options have stayed the same with only a few changes. Cash and basis contracts for now till new crop ’12, an excellent way to lock some great prices in for next fall. Hedge to Arrive contracts are another excellent option as well. Please note the one change for those is that we will now start billing the fee at the time of entering into the contract vs. in the past taking it off the settlement. For example: Justin McKinney sells 5,000 bu of December ’12 corn. I would then be billed to my Farm Country account 5,000 bu. X .05/bu= $250 total. As always the fee is subject to change based on the market conditions so please check with the grain department first. It appears that we should be able to hold that 5 cent fee for now. The same as last year we are more than happy to price your grain during normal day time trading hours. (9:30 to 1:15) Offers and phone calls are welcome at any time to offer grain at your target price. If the market reaches that price your contract will be made after we get confirmation of a hedge getting filled.
If you are in the FSA – government programs, be sure you complete any necessary paperwork before you start to deliver your grain to us. Now is a good time to make the trip to your County Agency if you haven’t already.
Please see our web page for a full list of contract options and discounts at www.farmcountrycoop.com or give us a call at 1-507-356-8313. These changes require good communication between producer and scale operator. We look forward to serving your needs as always.