Preparing for Harvest

Oct 16, 2023

Harvest has started and depending on yields, as I write this, we are approaching 60% completion of soybean harvest. Early yields have been variable, but for the most part better than expected. We hope the corn harvest is a pleasant surprise as well. Commodity prices are under pressure, as we have seen the southern hemisphere grow very good crops that have created a surplus in the world. This also has been detrimental to the US export program as well, thus creating carryover stocks that pressure the markets. At our facilities, we have been busy preparing for the harvest by loading out commodities and sweeping bins to prepare for the new crop. 

2023 United Cooperative Harvest Policies 

There will be no changes again this year to grain storage fees. We continue to be approximately 5 cents per bushel a month, with no minimum charge for storage and grain bank. Charges are prorated daily, and each load will have a 7-day grace period if sold within those 7 days. 

Grain delivered will be applied to contracts first. Grain balances above contract amounts have the following choices for application: 

  • Spot or cash: The bushels designated will be sold at market close or at a price set during the CBOT-day session. Contact a buyer if you wish to have your grain spotted upon delivery. 
  • 7-day hold: Allows the customer to hold the grain for seven days without incurring storage fees. Grain not contracted or sold during this period will be stored in storage. 
  • Storage: Grain designated for storage will be assessed the applicable storage fees. 
  • Grain bank: Grain applied to a grain bank is used for feed purposes with applicable fees. 


United Cooperative offers several options for marketing grain. Outlined below are the contracts offered and the fees and procedures of each agreement. 

  • Forward cash contract: Bushels are priced for future delivery. No fees are charged for this contract. 
  • Basis contract: Bushels are sold with only the basis established. The futures price is set later. The contract may be rolled once within the same crop year. The fee for the roll is 3¢ per bushel. 
  • Hedged to arrive: The futures price is established on the contract. The basis is set at or before delivery. The futures may only be rolled to futures month within the same crop year. The fee to establish the contract is 5¢ per bushel. 
  • Minimum price contract: A cash-forward contract is priced, and a call option is purchased to allow the customer to participate in futures price increases before the option expires. The fees include the cost of the option. 

When you enter United Cooperative facilities, please have your tarps opened before proceeding to the scale or probe. Additionally, please inform your drivers which account the load should be applied to and for which application method. Before you leave United Cooperative, review the ticket, and if something is not correct, bring it to our attention immediately. 

Help in tracking your business transactions with United Cooperative is available through eAgvantage, which can be found on our website. This can be accessed at the customer login in the upper right-hand corner of our home page; First-time users are instructed how to submit for access to the site. The site allows you to view account activity for your operation, including grain, agronomy, feed, and energy transactions. Text message bids are available from United Cooperative; if you haven’t signed up to receive our bids, talk to your United Cooperative location or call with your questions regarding these valuable tools. 

United Cooperative continues to accept varieties of corn and soybeans that are approved for all export channels. If you have a variety that’s not approved, please get in touch with us, so we may assist you in directing those bushels to the proper channel. 

United Cooperative has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for treated seed in grain. There are horror stories in the industry of producers having to purchase large bins of contaminated grains. Be vigilant in your preparations for harvest and make sure that any treated seed gets handled properly and doesn’t enter the food chain. 

Remember, safety comes first! 

United Cooperative continually reviews and adds to our facilities to ensure that our employees and customers are safe. Our employees undergo extensive training to ensure facilities are operated safely so that everyone gets home each day. 

Thank you for your business. We wish you a safe and prosperous harvest season. 

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Oct 18, 2023

The drought of summer has now opened the door to the beginning of harvest. As I write this article we have started taking in soybeans and even some corn into our grain facilities. It is always a joyous occasion to begin the harvest season and to realize the yield potential of all the hard work that has got us to this point. The preparation of spring, the growth of summer and the bounty of harvest certainly brings a sense of pride and purpose. Collectively coming together during this season makes the journey more rewarding and fulfilling. 

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