- History Of Planters -
In 1977 a group of ginners purchased a cottonseed oil crushing facility located at 1021 East Fifth Street in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. This plant was organized as a cooperative under the name of Planters Cotton Oil Mill, Inc.
Since that time Planters has continued to diversify its markets, improve its operational efficiencies and increase its membership base.
In 1985 Planters ventured into the whole cottonseed dairy markets. This event was one of the major turning points in Planters’ history. By the early 90’s Planters was receiving 250,000 tons of cottonseed annually from its patrons. The processing plant was able to crush 125,000 tons and the balance of the cottonseed was being shipped by rail and barge to dairy markets throughout the United States.
In 1991 Planters made another major leap forward when it began construction of a modern cottonseed crushing facility located at 2901 Planters Drive in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. This was the first new cottonseed plant to be built in over 50 years. The new plant began crushing operations in the fall of
1993, and was rated the most cost efficient plant in the United States according to the most recent USDA Cooperative Cottonseed Crushing Facility Survey.
The next major turning point in Planters’ history was the purchase of Cargill’s Whole Cottonseed Division in September of 1998. This purchase greatly diversified Planters’ assets and the markets for its patrons. This purchased included receiving, storing, and shipping facilities in Lake Providence, Louisiana; Grand Junction, Tennessee and Forrest City, Arkansas. It also included facilities in Winona, Minnesota and Denver, Colorado that are used to service dairy customers in those areas.
In the fall of 1999 Planters added to its dairy direct capabilities by forming an alliance in Gooding, Idaho that allows shipment direct to the dairy customers in Idaho. Planters feels that the combination of its dairy direct assets, being the most efficient oil mill in the United States and employing a team of people that are second to none gives Planters a very bright and profitable future. It is Planters’ mission and goal to utilize its assets in a way that returns the most economic benefit to the patrons for a ton of cottonseed while continuing to provide service that is beyond reproach.