ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, U.S. — CHS Inc. said it will distribute a record $421 million to its farmers, ranchers and cooperatives. The cash return is based on record CHS income of $961.4 million in the year ended Aug. 31, 2011.

“This cash distribution represents the value of being a cooperative owner and customer,” said Jerry Hasnedl, CHS board chairman and a St. Hilaire, Minnesota, U.S., farmer. “Not only do member cooperatives and producers have access to competitive CHS products, crop marketing and business services throughout the year, they also share in our profits. This allows them to invest in the future of their local businesses, farms and ranches, and rural communities.”

CHS said it will begin distributing the funds this month to 1,060 member cooperatives and 45,500 individual members and others. The disbursements include cash patronage paid on fiscal 2011 business with CHS. CHS also said it is distributing to member cooperatives cash as redemption of equity in the company they earned in prior years. In addition, CHS will redeem equities of eligible individual members throughout 2012 and will pay quarterly dividends to owners of CHS preferred stock.

Since its creation in 1998, CHS has returned more than $2.5 billion in cash to its agricultural producer and member cooperative owners.