Farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States will share in a record estimated $600 million disbursement from CHS Inc., an energy, grains and foods company and the nation's leading agricultural co-op.
The payments mark the largest cash return ever made by a U.S. cooperative.
"One of the most important ways we help our producer and co-op owners grow is by delivering an economic return on the business they do with us," said David Bielenberg, CHS board chairman and a Silverton, Ore., farmer. "This – along with the quality energy and crop inputs, crop marketing and services we provide year-around – underscores the added value of being a cooperative system owner and customer."
The cash return to owners is based on record CHS net income of $1.26 billion for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2012.
The distribution beginning this month to nearly 1,200 member cooperatives and nearly 50,000 individual members and others includes cash patronage paid based on their fiscal 2012 business with CHS. CHS is also distributing cash to member cooperatives to redeem equity in the company they earned in prior years. In addition, CHS will redeem equities of eligible individual members throughout 2013 and will also pay quarterly dividends to owners of CHS preferred stock.
Since its creation in 1998, CHS has returned more than $3.1 billion in cash to its agricultural producer and member cooperative owners, $1 billion of that in the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years.
Patronage is based on business done with CHS by member-owner cooperatives and individual farmers and ranchers during fiscal 2012, while equity redemptions and preferred stock distributions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years. The following is an edited list of distributions by state; number of checks to member co-ops and individuals; and total cash patronage/equity redemptions:
-Iowa 2,255 $49.3 million
-Kansas 2,091 $38.6 million
-Minnesota 24,559 $116.3 million
-Montana 10,213 $26.2 million
-Nebraska 5,333 $42.4 million
-North Dakota 17,594 $103.3 million
-South Dakota 14,622 $48.1 million
-Wisconsin 786 $59.1 million
Source: CHS Inc.