The Importance of Planning for a Grain Storage Shortage

December 11, 2019 11:47 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Recent projections from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicate the potential for historic harvest of corn and soybeans (4.7 billion bushels of soybeans, and 14.8 billion for corn). These would make the largest and second-largest harvests for these respective crops in American history.

The challenge that such large harvests produce is dealing with potentially insufficient storage capacity for all of these crops. Even though grain storage capacity has increased by 30 percent in recent years, there are still plenty of storage needs that aren’t being met. With harvests continually being bountiful, it can be a good idea for farmers to prepare more effectively for storage shortages to avoid crop waste.

Here are a few tips from our company offering conveyor parts in Lubbock, TX.

Keep a close eye on the market

It is helpful to stay on top of the latest news so you can get a sense of what the market signals are telling you. Right now, for example, all of the indications are that this is going to be a big-time harvest that will necessitate some additional grain storage. There’s not always necessarily an incentive for farmers to sell their crops right at harvest time, so having on-farm storage solutions is important so you can hold the crop until the time to sell actually comes along.

In addition, when you have your own grain storage on your farm, you’ll be able to spread your sales out over a period of months based on what’s best for your operation. You won’t be held at the mercy of the market, and you won’t be constrained by the storage space you have available. This can help you spread your sales out over the year and avoid some particularly lean periods.

Plan for the long term

It’s also a good idea not to think of storage shortage as being just a temporary problem. These types of harvests are likely to occur again in the future, and when they do, it’s important to be prepared. It will take quite a while for you to implement additional storage solutions on your property, and if you’re going to put in the investment required to make those improvements, you may as well ensure you’re in it for the long run.

Drying and shrinking costs

Farmers are often able to dry their wet corn and soybean bushels at a lower price than what they’d have to pay to have it done at a commercial elevator. With there being a shortage of elevator storage, it may make sense for farmers to take on this process themselves. Grain temperature monitoring cables can be installed in bins to get accurate temperature readings, which means you won’t have to overuse your fans to sufficiently dry off the crops.

These are just a few examples of some of the factors to consider when planning for grain storage shortages. For more information about these and other market factors to consider, we encourage you to contact M.B. McKee Company, Inc., a trusted supplier of conveyor parts in Lubbock, TX, today.

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