Corn Storage Issues

The biggest challenge with the 2005 corn harvest has been finding adequate storage space for all the harvested corn. The combination of a large amount of carry-over 2004 corn in many areas, along with greater than expected 2005 corn yields, and combined with reduced grain exports through the Gulf after the September hurricanes, has filled both on-farm and grain elevator storage to capacity.

We are already seeing large amounts of corn piled on the ground in many communities, and are likely to see much more before the 2005 corn harvest is completed. Many grain elevators have closed their market to taking in and storing corn, other than from producers that are selling the corn on a cash sale to the elevator.

Many producers are relying on temporary grain storage in machine sheds, older grain bins and outdoor cement slabs to temporarily store grain. The nice weather pattern, with 60-70 degree temperatures, is not very conducive to good grain storage conditions, without proper aeration for the grain. Producers need to plan for proper aeration of any corn on the farm that will be placed in temporary storage more than a few days to avoid significant storage losses. The dollar loss from corn storage problems can be significant, if the storage problems are not properly addressed in a timely fashion.

Farm Safety
Producers are reminded to keep farm safety in mind for their families, their employees, and themselves as they finish up the 2005 harvest season. Late fall is a key time for farm accidents due to the shorter day length and the extra stress of trying to finish up fall field work before winter weather conditions arrive.

The general public also needs to take extra caution around slow-moving farm machinery and trucks when driving on State and County Highways during the fall harvest season in farm-country, especially early in the morning and in the late afternoon. A little extra caution can go a long way in preventing a tragic farm or traffic accident on rural highways during the fall season.

Editors note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.