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Cargill, ADM sell GrainBridge to ag software firm Bushel

'Network effect' expected in grains sector

(GFM file photo)

An online service farmers use to manage grain sales with ADM’s elevators and processing plants across Canada — along with Cargill and ADM elevators in the U.S. — is under new ownership.

ADM and Cargill, the two major U.S.-based agribusinesses that set up GrainBridge in 2019, announced Tuesday they’ve sold it to Bushel, a Fargo, N.D.-based ag software and service provider that plans to gradually transition GrainBridge over to its own platform.

GrainBridge has billed itself as “the best place on the web to view bids and your contracts from ADM and Cargill,” allowing growers to “stay on top of bids… sign up and link your accounts… (and) access and export your contracts, scale tickets, and settlement data.”

On GrainBridge — which also now handles services previously run through the ADM FarmView system — growers are able to toggle between best price and nearest location when viewing bids on the system dashboard, and can also get notifications for local cash bids and basis and set multiple price targets per delivery period or per location.

At the field level, the companies said, bringing GrainBridge onto Bushel is expected to lead to “increased grower profitability… through more data-driven decision-making. Bushel’s data insights capabilities will help educate grain buyers and sellers about forecasted trends and best practices related to grain marketing.”

Bushel said its platform also offers “increased visibility for food processors sourcing for specific traits such as higher protein or oil content within their customer base” as well as a “grain passport” verification system for end-users such as consumer packaged goods firms to help meet sustainability targets.

“Bringing GrainBridge and Bushel together will give farmers a path to new features and functionality, including existing staples like the ability to see local cash bids and account information,” Doug Roose, ADM’s vice-president for producer marketing, said in a release Tuesday.

“ADM and Cargill came together with GrainBridge to better understand the digital grain marketing landscape,” Jeff Klock, Cargill’s global digital strategy leader, said in the same release. “This next step of bringing GrainBridge together with Bushel will provide better outcomes for farmers by improving their grain marketing and selling practices.”

Cargill, which is already also set up on the Bushel platform, and ADM will be among over 200 local ag co-ops, processors, feed millers and ethanol and other biofuel companies using the Bushel system.

Bushel, on its website, said almost 2,000 grain handling facilities across both the U.S. and Canada already use its products daily. Its users include firms such as The Andersons and Scoular, who are among the charter members of Roger, a dry bulk freight management platform also operating on Bushel.

In all, the companies said, “the acquisition will further connect the grain industry creating a network effect for more than 40 per cent of the grain origination in the U.S. and Canada.”

Merging GrainBridge into Bushel “will continue to maintain the standard of permission-based control within the sharing of data,” the companies said, and growers and grain buyers “will maintain control over when and how their data will be shared throughout the supply chain.”

“The collaboration of the grain industry behind Bushel will lead to faster standardization, which leads to faster innovation,” Bushel CEO Jake Joraanstad said in the same release. “Adding the GrainBridge team members to Bushel gives us stronger data science capabilities to provide even better insights from our expanded network.” –– Glacier FarmMedia Network

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