Pilot Grove Coop Elevator Inc.
For more than 30 years, Pilot Grove Coop Elevator Inc. has been serving Missouri growers with an array of elevator and agronomy services. Established in 1974, the cooperative has a history of providing unmatched expertise in grain storage, animal feed and agricultural consulting.
Pilot Grove Coop is based in Pilot Grove, Missouri and serves farmers within a 45-mile radius of the single location. Earl Haller serves as the company’s general manager and has worked with the cooperative for 25 years. Larry Vest joins him on the management team, serving as the company’s sales manager.
Pilot Grove is a close-knit community. The small-town rural background contributes to the practices and values of the cooperative, fostering community growth and allowing the business to build longstanding relationships with area growers.
Pilot Grove Coop operates on a philosophy of customer service, true to the company’s slogan, “The best serving the best.” As agriculture has changed consistently over the last three decades, the Pilot Grove Coop team has been working alongside farmers every step of the way.
The co-op serves as a grain originator for growers in central Missouri, which Haller estimates accounts for a majority of the co-op’s total annual sales. Pilot Grove takes the service a step further by hosting an online grain offer center through its website, where it additionally posts the latest grain prices.
The service is powered by industry leader DTN Marketspace and has helped the co-op’s customers take advantage of wildly fluctuating prices with a platform that consolidates and tracks the entire cash bid process securely. The grain portal is available to users 24 hours a day so producers do not have to wait until the markets are open to do business. Because this platform can be accessed from any device with Internet access, producers can make a sale from just about anywhere. Once local grain producers make a sale, the cooperative takes over storage and transportation services.
While grain storage and sales make up a bulk of the company’s business, Pilot Grove Coop also provides agricultural supplies and agronomy services. The company carries seeds, bulk and bag feeds, fertilizer, pesticides and other necessities. “We’ve got everything a grain farmer could need except for fuel,” says Haller.
Technology continues to play an important role in the operation and growth of the organization. The company has been adapting capabilities to a changing market for decades. The most recent addition to the line of services is GPS grid sampling, provided through a third-party contractor. This partnership allows Pilot Grove Coop to provide critical data that helps customers make informed decisions on the farm. Continued growth
The company has also made several recent upgrades to the facility in order to accommodate more grain and farm supplies. “We have added a new 500,000-bushel bin, a new feed warehouse and an updated seed treater,” says Vest.
The business grows, catering to the needs of area producers and tying the community together by providing services that are vital to the local economy. Haller and Vest have been on the lookout for a place to continue expansion. “We are looking to acquire a larger piece of land so we can further expand our operations,” Vest notes. “We have not found the right location yet, but we will need the room over the next few years.”
A larger facility will allow the business to increase capacity for grain elevator services. Meanwhile, the company continues to add new products to the agricultural supply line of products. As time goes on, the team strives to serve as a one-stop shop for area growers.
While fiscal growth is a priority for the cooperative, Haller notes that the company plays an important role in the community. Pilot Grove Cooperative is more than just the local source for technical agronomy advice and a place to store and distribute crop yields. The cooperative serves as an anchor of the community by hosting and sponsoring many Pilot Grove events, including a fish fry celebration to celebrate Pine Grove School’s homecoming basketball game, a feeding and grooming clinic at the Boone County Fair Grounds and a seminar on cover crops.
As the organization continues to serve as a strong center point for the local community, Pilot Grove Coop Elevator Inc. is growing as a resource for growers throughout central Missouri.