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Grain Producer FAQ

07/22/22                                                                       Printer Friendly Version

In addition to regular inspections and conversations with grain buyers and grain warehouses to ensure a healthy industry, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission’s grain warehouse program staff relies on feedback from producers who have questions or report concerns. If any of the questions below strike a familiar chord with you, give the PUC a call and talk to a PUC staff grain inspector about it.

The elevator I sold grain to has been slow to pay and I’m concerned that it might not pay me at all. What should I do?
A grain buyer is required to pay a producer within 30 days of delivery of grain or upon demand for a cash purchase. If you have concerns that you are not being paid accordingly, contact the PUC’s grain warehouse program staff at 605-773-3201, 800-332-1782 or with full details of your concern.

I am unsure if a company I’m planning to do business with is licensed as a grain buyer or grain warehouse. How do I confirm they are licensed?
Congratulations on being proactive to thoroughly research any grain buyer or grain warehouse you intend to work with. The PUC maintains a list of all licensed grain buyers and grain warehouses on its website at If you are concerned that a buyer is operating without a license or want confirmation they have a license, you may also call the PUC grain warehouse program staff at 605-773-3201 or 800-332-1782 or email

I want to make sure the company I am doing business with is in good standing. How do I confirm this?
Each state-licensed grain buyer and state-licensed grain warehouse is required to share financial reports with PUC staff, be inspected by PUC staff and post a bond. In order to obtain a bond, a grain buyer must submit financial information to the bonding company. Visit the PUC’s website to see the list of licensed buyers and warehouses, or call or email the PUC grain warehouse program staff if you have specific concerns about a grain buyer’s or warehouse’s financial standing.

Do I need a grain buyer license?
To determine if you need a grain buyer license, visit the PUC’s website at for information. There are livestock feed exemptions and processor exemptions when buying less than $300,000 from producers for this purpose, or when buying for resale. If you have specific questions, call the PUC grain warehouse program staff at 605-773-3201 or 800-332-1782 or email

I have concerns that an elevator may be in financial trouble or failing. What should I do?
If you hear rumors about a grain buyer or grain warehouse with financial difficulties, large employee turnover, or any suspicious activity such as trucks loading in the middle of the night, contact the PUC grain warehouse program staff. PUC grain warehouse program staff check license-holder financials and viability continually. By sharing your concerns, the PUC has an opportunity to check into the situation and either verify that the elevator is financially sound or take all necessary steps to minimize harm to the producers, elevator and the community. If you contact PUC staff with a concern, your information will be kept confidential.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Visit our general Grain FAQ to learn more.