Grain Warehouse Keepers

​​​NOTE: At times the abundance of grain can leave some scrambling for a place to store it. Visit DATCP's Temporary and Emergency Grain Storage page for considerations for both grain warehouse keepers and producers/depositors.

​The regulations pertaining to grain warehouse keepers under Chap​. 126, Wis. Stats., and Ch​ap. ATCP 99, Wis. Admin Code are intended to help protect grain producers from default by a grain warehouse keeper storing grain for producers.

A Wisconsin Grain Warehouse Keeper License is required, if all of the following are true:​

  • You store grain for other people or companies.

  • Your grain storage obligations exceed 50,000 bushels (all grains) at anytime during a license year. A license year begins September 1st and ends the following August 31st.

  • You do not have a federal warehouse license. [Chap. 126, Wis. Stats][Chap. ATCP 99, Wis. Admin Code]

A current list of grain warehouse keepers licensed by DATCP is available here​.

A current list of grain warehouse keepers holding a federal warehouse license issued by the USDA is av​ailable here.

Grain includes the following:

  • Corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, canola, rye, buckwheat, grain sorghum (milo), flaxseed, sunflower seed, triticale, and mixed grain as defined in 7 CFR810.801.

Fees for a license obtained during a license year are not prorated.

A grain warehouse keeper that always stores less than 50,000 bushels of grain for others (and is therefore not required to hold a Wisconsin grain warehouse keeper license) is required to comply with chapters 126 (Wis. Stats.) and ATCP99 (Wis. Adm. Code), in all other regards (e.g., receipts for grain, daily position records, depositor records).

A grain warehouse keeper is required to maintain, at all times, grain inventories sufficient in quantity and quality to meet all outstanding obligations to depositors.

A licensed grain warehouse keeper is required to store 100% of depositor owned grain in licensed grain storage.

If licensed grain storage capacity exceeds 300,000 bushels, a reviewed or audited (by an independent certified public accountant) financial statement must be filed with your original license application. Thereafter, annual financial statements (reviewed or audited) are required every license year, but not with the license renewal application. If licensed capacity is more than 1.5 million bushels, an audited financial statement is required. No financial statement is required as long as licensed capacity is equal to or less than 300,000 bushels. The financial statement is used to determine the applicant's annual assessment rates (current ratio and debt-to-equity ratio) that are used to calculate the amount the licensee will pay to the Wisconsin Agricultural Producer Security Fund.

"Capacity" means the maximum amount of grain (measured in bushels) that can be stored in a grain warehouse. The capacity of a grain warehouse is determined by dividing the cubic volume of all bins, expressed in cubic feet, by 1.244 cubic feet per bushel, and applying a pack factor that the department specifies by rule. [Bushel Capacity Worksheet]

A licensed grain warehouse keeper is required to contribute annually to the Wisconsin Agricultural Producer Security Fund. The amount to be paid is dependent on licensed capacity and financial condition, but the minimum amount is $250 if licensed capacity is equal to or more than 500,000 bushels, or if licensed capacity is less than 500,000 the minimum amount is $100. There is no maximum amount. The warehouse keeper may choose to divide the assessed amount into quarterly payments or to pay the full amount at one time. First invoices are sent with the grain warehouse keeper license, each year, and the first payment (or total amount) is due October 1st.

The Wisconsin Agricultural Producer Security Fund will provide partial payment to eligible producers in the event a Wisconsin licensed grain warehouse keeper is unable to return stored grain to one or more depositors.

Proof of insurance must be provided [certificate of insurance] to obtain and maintain a grain warehouse keeper license. All grain stored by the grain warehouse keeper must be insured for its full local market value – even grain owned by the warehouse keeper, if any.

Grain warehouse keepers are audited by the department for compliance with Chapter 126 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Audits include a measurement of the grain and a review of records required to be maintained by the warehouse keeper, such as daily position records for each kind of grain, grain storage records for each depositor and scale tickets (receipts) [sample] for grain delivered by depositors.

Bonding or other types of security (irrevocable letters of credit, etc.) are not usually required to obtain or maintain a Wisconsin grain warehouse keeper license. However, if a first-time applicant (or an applicant that had previously held a license, but had not maintained it continuously and is reapplying), filed a financial statement that shows negative equity, security for the benefit of depositors is required and participation in the Wisconsin Agricultural Producer Security Fund is not allowed. Security for the benefit of depositors may be required under other circumstances as well; and voluntary security may be an option under other circumstances.

Key Definitions
Definitions that pertain to grain warehouse keepers.


Robert Klein​
Phone: (608) 224-4967
Fax: (608) 224-4937

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