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Pendleton Grain Growers to Vote on Dissolution

The 1,079 members of Pendleton Grain Growers (PGG) will vote on May 2 to decide upon the question of dissolving the cooperative.

The grain cooperative, which has been in business in Eastern Oregon since 1930, faces operating costs that are too high, and commodity prices too low to justify staying in business, according to the chairman of the board, Tim Hawkins in a recently issued letter.

The past few years have been challenging for the co-op, which has divested numerous units in an attempt to revive its balance sheet. In 2014 the company closed its retail stores, followed by the sale of its agronomy division in 2015. In a final cut, The East Oregonian reports that the co-op is in negotiations to sell its grain assets to United Grain Corporation after the company’s volume of handled grain fell from between 12 and 13 million bushels per year to five million bushels last year.

Financially, the co-op lost $4.4 million in 2013 and $7.9 million in 2014. In addition it discovered through an audit that in overstated its earnings in both 2010 and 2011 by $1.8 million and $5.7 million respectively.

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