Cargill, Harvest States to combine milling businesses

by Emily Wilson
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Cargill, Inc. and CHS Cooperatives announced an agreement under which a new limited liability company will be formed to operate the two companies’ U.S. flour milling businesses. Cargill will be the managing partner of the yet-to-be-named business.

Included in the joint venture will be 16 flour mills owned by Cargill and five owned by CHS, with a combined total daily wheat flour and durum milling capacity of 293,000 cwts (13,290 tonnes in terms of flour). The new business would be the second-largest flour milling company in the United States, lagging top-ranking ADM Milling Co. by less than 10,000 cwts (454 tonnes) of daily capacity.

The boards of directors of both companies have approved the alliance. The plan is contingent on the successful conclusion of a definitive agreement and any government approvals.

Harvest States wheat flour mills are located in Fairmount, North Dakota; Kenosha, Wisconsin; Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania; and Houston, Texas. Total daily wheat flour capacity at these sites is 48,000 cwts (2,177 tonnes).

Harvest States’ total daily durum milling capacity is 23,000 cwts (1,043 tonnes). The facilities are located at Rush City, Minnesota; Mt. Pocono; and Kenosha.

Cargill’s wheat flour mills are in Albany, New York; Ayer, Massachusetts; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Culpeper, Virginia; Lake City and Mankato, Minnesota; Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Stockton, California; Newton, Wellington and Wichita, Kansas; Port Allen, Louisiana; Ogden, Utah; and Saginaw, Texas. Total daily capacity at those plants is 222,000 cwts (about 10,000 tonnes).

The announcement marked yet another change in the milling situation for both companies during the past year. In April, Cargill announced it would close three of its U.S. mills, one each in Springfield, Illinois; Jacksonville, Florida; and Topeka, Kansas. Those mills had a total daily capacity of 28,500 cwts (about 1,300 tonnes).

Harvest States in June announced the closure of its flour mill in Huron, Ohio. That mill had a daily wheat flour capacity of 5,000 cwts (227 tonnes) and daily durum capacity of 10,000 cwts (454 tonnes).