With the USDA's Sept. 11 forecast of 14.4 billion bushels of corn and 3.91 billion bushels of soybeans, some farmers aren't sure where they will put all that grain.
Between on-farm and off-farm options, drying costs and shipping costs, it's a big decision – and low prices make it a harder one.
Surprisingly, some economists are advising farmers in certain regions to consider leaving corn in the field a bit longer. University of Missouri Extension natural resource engineer Frank Wideman and MU Extension economist Ray Massey say it's a viable option, as some studies have shown minimal losses when corn is left to stand in the field for later harvest.
As far as drying goes, leaving it in the field may just be the best financial decision anyway, Massey notes.
And temporary storage – it's an option also. Although, machine sheds often require retrofitted interior walls to ensure appropriate reinforcement. Keep in mind, too, that if opting for outdoor storage without aeration, grain can be kept for up to two months. Add aeration, and that timeframe can be expanded to six months, says MU specialist Jim Crawford.
Finally, there's that little matter of hauling. The bumper crop will take longer to haul, dry and store than in past years, says MU specialist Charlie Ellis. A farm with 1,000 acres could produce up to 30,000 more bushels of corn, he said.
Ready for more recommendations from the folks at MU? How about a look at the broader impacts of record crops and limited storage? Follow the six links below for more news and commentary.
1. MU Extension offers grain storage tips. Daily Star Journal, Missouri
3. Farm Futures Study Shows Grain Storage Pays - To a Point. Farm Futures
4. Storage fears add pressure to grain futures. Agrimoney
5. Corn crop already cause for concern. Herald & Review
6. Difficult marketing decisions: Sell corn, soybeans now or store? Corn & Soybean Digest
Bonus! Check out these links to University Extension resources on grain storing and drying.