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Electronic Data Interface

A time-saving opportunity for Illinois grain dealers and warehouses

What is electronic data interface (EDI)? EDI refers to the process of transferring data from one computer system directly into another. During grain dealer and warehouse inspections, information moves from the business' computer to the examiner's computer. Grain dealers and warehouse personnel copy the necessary information onto a portable disk device, which can then be read by the examiner's computer. Since there is no direct connection between computers, security interests are protected.

EDI allows the transfer of the following obligation:

  • unreceipted storage
  • price-later contracts
  • purchase contracts
  • sales contracts
  • warehouse receipts
  • grain payable and receivable records

The model for this exchange is the data standard established by the Association of American Warehouse Control Officials in 1995. This standard is used by state warehouse examiners across the nation.

How can your business benefit from EDI? Examinations in which EDI is used are less disruptive to your business. For example,

  • Examiners spend 10 to 30 percent less time on-site. The amount of time varies with number of records that must be downloaded, the size of the business and the time of year.
  • The department requires less assistance from grain dealers and warehouse personnel. Your employees are less likely to be needed to review records or explain terminology.
  • EDI virtually eliminates examiners' requests for print-outs.

In addition, EDI increases accuracy and reduces confusion concerning differences in terminology. All terms are converted to definitions used by examiners.

To use EDI:

  • Your business must have computerized grain accounting.
  • The grain accounting software must have EDI capability. (Ask your software supplier for more information.)
  • Your computer system must be able to transfer data to a portable disk device (ie thumb drive).
  • When state examiners arrive, tell them you would like to use EDI. Follow your software vendor's instructions for generating an EDI on a portable disk device.

Technical Specifications Summary

Check with your software vendor to ensure that your computer system is compatible with the following:

Transfer medium
Portable disk device

File type
DOS, delimited, ASCII text file

File name

Field delimiter

Record delimiter
CR/LF sequence

For additional information, contact:

Illinois Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Warehouses
P.O. Box 19281
State Fairgrounds
Springfield, IL 62791-9281

TDD: 866.287.2999
FAX: 217.524.7801