Grain Warehouse Keepers

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Note: At times, the abundance of gra​in can leave some scrambling for a place to store it. Visit the Wisconsin Department​ of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)​ website's Temporary and Emergency Grain Storage webpage for considerations for both grain warehouse keepers and producers/depositors.

A grain warehouse keeper is ​anyone that operates a facility used to receive, store, or condition grain, or used in the shipment of grain for others, unless the person is licensed under the United States Grain Warehouse Act, 7 USC 241 to 271. ​A grain warehouse​ keeper that holds more than 50,000 bushels of grain for others at any time must obtain a grain warehouse keeper license. Additionally, a grain warehouse keeper that has warehouses with a combined capacity of more than 50,000 bushels must obtain a grain warehouse keeper license, unless they prove to DATCP that they hold no more than 50,000 bushels of grain for others at any time. The Bushel Capacity Worksheet​ may be used to help calculate total licensed capacity.

All grain warehouse keepers, regardless of whether they are required to hold a license, must comply with Wis. Stat. ch. 126 and Wis. Admin. Code ch. ATCP 99.

Grain includes the following [refer to Wis. Stat. § 126.01(13)​]:

  • ​Corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, canola, r​ye, buckwheat, grain sorghum (milo), flaxseed, sunflower seed, triticale, and mixed grain as defined in 7 CFR 810.801.


All grain warehouse keeper licenses expire on August 31 each year. Licenses may not be transferred or assigned, and fees for a license issued after the license year are not prorated.

Grain warehouse keepers are also required to file a financial statement if the license application indicates more than 300,000 bushels of licensed capacity. Financial statements must be filed each year along with, or prior to submitting, the license application. The financial statement must be either reviewed or audited by an Independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) based on the following thresholds:

  • If the license application indicates licensed capacity of more than 300,000 bushels but less than or equal to 1,500,000 bushels, an audited financial statement either a CPA-reviewed or audit​ed financial statement may be filed.

  • If the application​ indicates licensed capacity of more than 1,500,000 bushels, an audited financial statement must be filed.

Additional Licensing Requirements​

  • ​​Maintain, at all times, grain inventories sufficient in quantity and quality to meet 100% of the grain warehouse keeper's outstanding obligations to depositors​, and promptly return stored grain to depositors upon demand.

  • Each year, provide a not​ice to producers regarding the grain warehouse keeper's participation in the Agricultural Producer Security Fund. The specific​ disclosures can be found in Wis. Admin. Code §​ ATCP 99.26(2).​​​​

  • Provide proof of insurance, as required under Wis. Stat. § 126.27(1), that all grain in the custody of the grain warehouse keeper (whether owned or held for others) is insured for its full local market value.​​​ ​(Refer to Certificate of Insurance​.​​)

  • Maintain current, complete, and accurate records and accounts of all grain received into and withdrawn from each grain warehouse in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 126.32 for a minimum of six years.​ Required records include daily position records for each type of grain, grain storage records for each depositor, and scale tickets (receipts) for grain delivered by depositors. These records must be made available to DATCP for inspection and copying upon request. (Refer to Sample Scale Ticket.)

​​​Fund Assessments and Security

In most cases, grain warehouse keepers are required to participate in the Agricultural Producer Security Fund (Fund). For grain warehouse keepers that are required to file a financial statement, the grain warehouse's current ratio and debt-to-equity ratio are used to determine Fund assessment rates. The Grain Warehouse Keeper Assessment Calculator can be used to estimate your amounts.​

In some cases, grain warehouse keepers may voluntarily, or be required to, file security in addition to participating in the Fund. Security may be in the form o​f cash, a surety bond, or a letter of cred​it.​

Grain warehouse keepers that file a reviewed or audited financial statement showing negative equity when first licensed​ are automatically disqualified from participating in the Fund. A disqualified contractor must f​ile and maintain security with DATCP in lieu of participating in the Fund. The amount of security required to be filed must be at least 20% of the current local market value of grain being held in this state for others.​

File a Defa​ult Claim

If you are a depositor whose Grain Warehouse Keeper has failed to return stored grain when demanded, file a default claim (refer to ​instructions).

For more information about the Agricultural Producer Security program, call our offices at (608) 224-4998 or Robert Klein at (608) 224-4967.​