, the first Web site where grain producers can make a secure online cash grain exchange, was officially launched in Lincoln, NE, May 31.

Officials of the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Association of wheat Growers and the National Grain Sorghum Producers were on hand to conduct the first historic trades on the Web site.

"This is a historic day in the life of," said Scott Deeter, president and chief executive officer of "Today, our website will go live in two large regions of Kansas and Nebraska. This makes the first Web site where grain producers can conduct a secure, online cash grain transaction.

" represents a win-win situation for grain producers and grain buyers," he said. "First, our website gives farmers more alternatives for selling their cash grain and this may improve farm prices and profitability." provides farmers current news, weather and market data that applies to their specific operation. "This information will give farmers more confidence in their ability to market their crop for the best price," Deeter said, adding that the availability of the Internet 24 hours a day and seven days a week lets farmers execute a contract when it is convenient for them.

For grain buyers, there are many benefits, Deeter said. Buyers will have access to new customers in new markets and this can increase sales volume and put through. is an efficiency tool for buyers, because it takes the paperwork out of the system.

"Some cash grain transactions can take up to a week to complete," Deeter said. "Our process takes a few seconds--and that increases merchandiser productivity, reduces processing costs and removes paper from the system. The efficiency is a real benefit to buyers.

"We are way ahead of schedule in signing on grain buyers to participate by posting bids on," he said. "As of today, we have 20 grain buying organizations on board representing 207 locations."

Participating grain buyers have agreed to post bids for the purchase of corn, soybeans, wheat and grain sorghum at their facilities in the Midwest. Their customers will have the advantage of updated real-time bids throughout each day and may view bids equal to or better than those posted elsewhere or quoted over the phone.

"Our strategy has been to create an independent, open exchange," Deeter said. "The participation of multiple buyers and sellers helps assure that will be neutral and independent, operating for the benefit of both. We think this independence will be important to everyone on the Web site."

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