DANVERS, ILLINOIS, U.S. – Danvers Farmers Elevator and United Prairie LLC have agreed in principal to merge their agronomy businesses. 

United Prairie is a partnership of three cooperatives; Premier Cooperative Inc. of Champaign, Illinois, U.S.; Topflight Grain Cooperative Inc. of Monticello, Illinois, U.S.; and CHS Inc. of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, U.S. 

After several months of study and evaluation by the board and management of Danvers and United Prairie, Danvers has unanimously agreed to join United Prairie as a fourth member of the United Prairie ownership group. The merger is expected to take place on or around Sept. 1, 2017.

All current employees working in the agronomy business will continue to be employees of United Prairie. Danvers will continue to operate as they always have with the grain business. Two members of Danvers current board of directors will join the board of United Prairie.

United Prairie was formed in 1996, when Unity Grain and Grand Prairie Cooperative combined their crop production divisions. In 1997, Monticello Grain added their crop production division to United Prairie. At that point, United Prairie operated four retail locations at Pierson, Ivesdale, White Heath, and Tolono. In 1998, Unity Grain, Bement Grain, and Cisco Co-op merged to form Topflight Grain. Then in 2009, Grand Prairie Cooperative merged with Jamaica Farmers Elevator and Fisher Farmers Grain & Coal to form Premier Cooperative. Topflight Grain and Premier Cooperative are owners of United Prairie. In 2015, CHS Cooperative invested their central Illinois assets and became part of the ownership group. Currently, United Prairie operates eight retail locations throughout central Illinois.