Grain Merchants


Grain Merchants


Grain merchants buy grain from farms and sell it to consumers. Between the buying and the selling, they are concerned with the quality, market value, shipping, processing, and storage of the grain. In effect, they are liaisons between the farmer and the eventual user or consumer of the grain. The regulation activities of the grain merchant create an efficient market for grain around the world. Grain merchants work as either grain buyers or grain managers. 

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree



Internship or co-op



Business Management


Personality Traits



As with other brokers, some grain merchants work on a commission basis and others work for a straight salary. Earnings vary depending on the size of the employer, the experience of the employee, and the specific job responsibilities. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the mean salary for purchasing agents and buyers of grain and oilseed milling products was $68,250 in May 2018. The lowes...

Work Environment

The work environment of a grain merchant can vary from a typical office setting, to a terminal elevator or other holding facilitiy, to the drama of a trading room floor (although this lively environment has been largely replaced by electronic trading). It is a profession that often requires taking great risks and as a result, receiving great rewards or great disappointments.


The employment of purchasing agents and buyers of farm products is expected to decline through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The populations of small agricultural communities are rapidly decreasing in some parts of the country, particularly in the Plains states. However, even though many of the grain elevators are closing in these areas as farmers look for more stable s...