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Bumper Crop May Cause Storage Issues

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sept. 12 crop production report estimates corn production up by 11 percent over last year. USDA predicts 3 percent more soybean this year.

Crop producers will have more grain to sell at lower prices in 2016. Storage might become tight after this year’s excellent wheat yields, says University of Missouri Extension agricultural engineer Charlie Ellis. Although not as big as 2014, this year’s bumper crop will take longer to haul, dry and store than in past years, Ellis says.

Crop cash receipts—the cash income from crop sales—are expected to fall 3.7 percent in 2016 as prices for cash crops continue to decline. Since hitting a record high in 2012, corn receipts are forecast to fall 37.7 percent over the four years through 2016.

That motivates farmers to hold grain for feeding or a later sale.

MU Extension offers guides and customized spreadsheets to help farmers make good decisions about storage, says Joe Zulovich, MU Extension agricultural engineering specialist. Charts, spreadsheets and guides are available at bit.ly/2cKXhuI.

In previous years, some agronomists and economists called for leaving corn in the field as a way to store it. That is unlikely in 2016 due to crop conditions in parts of the state.

Moisture-related problems make storage even more challenging this year, says MU Extension agronomist Bill Wiebold. Excessive rain, coupled with high dew points, makes corn and soybean ripe for disease in much of the state. Scattered cases of diplodia, corn ear rot, stalk rot and seed sprouting call for affected crops to be harvested and dried quickly.

MU economist Ray Massey recommends MU Extension’s “Grain Bin & Storage Cost” decision tool to look at the cost of commercial storage and drying when corn prices are low. Users input information from their operation to help with decision-making in changing agricultural markets. Download the free spreadsheet at bit.ly/2cRbaoK.

Contact the agronomist or agricultural engineer in your region for more information. Go to extension.missouri.edu/directory/People.aspx for a list of regional specialists.

Source: University of Missouri 

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