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AgXML Past, Present and Future


AgXML was formed in October 2000 by several large grain companies, including ADM, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, Scoular, and The Andersons. Additionally a number of software and service providers joined, including E-Markets, SSI, DTN, and Agris (now Cultura). AgXML's mission was to identify, develop, and implement standards and guidelines intended to bring electronic business efficiencies to grain and oilseed companies. Each company committed contributors to a project to achieve the mission, which was realized by documenting processes, identifying where information was exchanged in the context of each process, and specifying the structures and data types of the required information. In November 2001, AgXML released standards for bills of lading, commodity movement, contracts, contract pricing, quality certificates, and weight certificates

In 2004 AgXML member companies began collaborating with BNSF and Union Pacific rail companies to develop a standards to enable the electronic exchange of rail rates. Once complete, the resulting standards were submitted to ANSI ASC X12 for publication and ongoing maintenance.

In 2005 AgXML member companies began work on developing a settlements standard. In April 2006 AgXML published a settlements standard as well as an update to its previously developed standards.

In 2007 the USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) reached out to AgXML to update AgXML's quality certificate standard to meet GIPSA requirements. One notable requirement was to support multiple quality certificates in a single message. AgXML member companies and GIPSA officials collaborated on defining requirements and implementing support for them in the AgXML standard. In August 2007, AgXML published new and updated quality certificate standards. Shortly thereafter the USDA issued a directive announcing support for the standard.

In 2009 AgXML member companies collaborated on an update to the standards to support biofuel requirements. AgXML published an update to its standards in August 2009. AgXML also added biofuel as an element in its mission.

In 2011 AgXML member companies, observing AgGateway's success in driving industry implementation projects, reached out to AgGateway to explore the possibility of establishing a Grain Council within AgGateway. (Note that AgXML's mission was to develop standards, not engage in implementation projects.) The process proved mutually beneficial and in August 2012, AgGateway formed a Grain Council. Concurrent with the formation, the AgXML Management Committee took the decision to cease standards-development activities within AgXML and to conduct such activities within AgGateway's Grain Council. AgXML would retain intellectual property ownership, require membership to access it (with the exception of the quality certificate standards, per agreement with the USDA), and set membership fees to zero.

Looking Ahead

The present and future of grain industry standards development and coordinated implementation projects is with AgGateway's Grain Council. While AgXML standards implementation is widespread, AgGateway's communications and implementation project management resources will enable the grain industry to achieve greater levels of efficiencies enabled by electronic business.