Q:

How do you get a local grain bid?

A:

Quick Answer

The website GeoGrain.com offers daily localized bids for 17 commodities including grain. Using the GeoGrain database, the website AGWeb.com offers current grain bids for the five nearest elevators to any zip code. GeoGrain collects 50,000 bids from various commodities brokers each day, and the database has daily historical grain prices as far back as 1998.

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GeoGrain is not only useful for buyers, but also for sellers. The service allows different grain elevators to access competitors' prices and adjust accordingly. The average price of American wheat (or grain) has risen from $1.74 per bushel in 1960 to $4.87 in 2015. The total market for U.S. grain is nearly $20 billion.

The Grain Inspection Division of the United States Department of Agriculture offers a series of animations and pictures outlining the grain storage and transportation process. The information primarily highlights the export process. The pictures describe the different parts of a grain elevator and the process involved in accurately measuring grain. According to the USDA, the majority of grain from the United States is carried by barge down the Mississippi and Columbia Rivers.

The United States is the third largest grain producer in the world behind China and India, and the U.S. is the largest grain exporter. Fifty percent of American grain is exported, and 36 percent of it is consumed domestically. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines eight official types of wheat grain grown in the United States, but winter wheat accounts for 70 to 80 percent of total production.

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