Q & A with Christy Ford, Grain Originator with CHS Carrollton
I’m sure we can all agree that we will be glad when the challenges of 2020 are behind us. However, we may all come out stronger and more appreciative of how life used to be and how simple it was to do business. With soybean harvest underway in some parts of the state, I felt it was important to reach out to a good friend and my personal grain advisor to share how to handle the grain elevator during fall 2020.
Christy Ford is the grain originator with CHS in Carrollton, Illinois, and below is a Q & A with her about working with an elevator during a global pandemic. She also expressed the importance of ensuring a truck or trailer is 100% cleaned from treated soybeans in the spring. One treated soybean can cause a load to be rejected, but if not found could contaminate a full grain bin.
Question: How can farmers get information when they are used to coming in? 
  • Most elevators will post information on apps or a website, including
    • Current bids (cash, near future) for all locations or even nearby river terminals
    • Location’s hours of services and if they will be open on Sundays
  • Farmers can still call into their location for specific questions
  • If a physical or phone call meeting is needed, call and set it up with the personnel you need to visit with. Every elevator and situation will be different, just be flexible with elevator employees as we all work through harvest 2020 together.
Question: How can farmers receive their checks for sold grain if they can’t come into the office?
  • For our customers we have sent out direct deposit forms for customers who are interested. Otherwise we can mail checks out to customers when they are ready to receive them.
  • Regardless of how one wants to receive their checks or funds, please communicate this with the local elevator so that they can plan accordingly.
Question: What is the hardest part about not being in the elevator compared to years past?
  • I’m used to customers calling me to ask how long the lines are and not physically being in the office I don’t have a timely insight. So I find myself calling in to see how the lines are just in case I’m asked.
Question: How should a farmer handle a situation if the soybean sample has a lot of dock in it?
  • A farmer will get their ticket before they leave after dumping the truck. This ticket has all the information on it from the sample. It’s especially important to check this ticket before leaving because the sample may still be evaluated. If a ticket is disputed several days later there is not a sample to reference back to. So check every ticket before leaving.
  • A farmer can request that their actual sample from the elevator be sent to a state certified grader to evaluate (there may be a fee associated with this).

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About the Author: Todd Steinacher

Steinacher is an ISA CCA Soy Envoy alum and currently supports ISA on agronomic content as well as serving as an Illinois CCA board member. He was recently awarded the 2020 IL CCA of the Year & the 2021 International CCA of the Year. He has over 15 years agronomic experience, currently working with AgriGold and GROWMARK previously. Steinacher has an associate degree from Lincoln Land Community College, a B.S. in agronomy and business from Western Illinois University and a master’s degree in crop science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.