Grain prices, while still fairly attractive, have taken a big hit in the past month. This could result in many corn producers holding grain they haven’t contracted in storage as they wait for the markets to rebound. Given the high commodity prices, it’s important for producers to preserve the crop’s quality by effectively managing stored grain, said Sam McNeill, extension agricultural engineer in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
Cash prices at the grain elevators in Western Kentucky on Oct. 20 averaged around $6.40 per bushel for corn and around $12 per bushel for soybeans. With the average-size bin holding about 50,000 bushels of grain, the total value of grain in a bin is around $320,000 for corn and $600,000 for soybeans.
“Discounts of even a few cents can really add up for bins that size,” McNeill said. “For example, a discount of 5 cents per bushel could cost the producer $2,500.”
The following tips can help producers preserve grain quality and retain profits.
McNeill said storage costs will vary among producers but are averaging around 3 cents per bushel per month for corn and 5 cents for soybeans above the base cost of 40 cents per bushel. Producers can figure out their grain storage costs by using a decision tool available on the Iowa State Extension and Outreach website, http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/crops/html/a2-33.html.