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Grain Storage Economics Module

Storage is a primary method to ration the use of commodity corn and soybeans once harvested, throughout the marketing year. This grain module is brought to you by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative and was produced by the former Crop Adviser Institute.

Click here to access the Grain Storage Economics Module

Learning objective: Understand the variables to consider when deciding to store grain or sell immediately after harvest.

Cost of grain ownership: Initial costs after harvest include maintaining quality, transporting bushels to a point of sale, or processing the bushels for livestock on the farm. Quality deterioration is inevitable when storing grain for any length of time, especially if it is not properly dried after harvest. By the spring months, commercial storage costs exceed on-farm storage costs. Interest on debt against on-farm storage facility or debt on borrowed funds could be reduced by selling the grain immediately.

Storage considerations: On-farm drying of grain will extend maximum storage time - 13 to 14 percent moisture, allowing grain to be stored for 6 to 12 months after harvest. Corn sold commercially is adjusted to 15 percent moisture for delivery of sale and 14 percent moisture for bushels placed under warehouse receipt. Cooling the grain to temperatures of 40°F or lower can extend storage time significantly. As it dries the grain will shrink causing fewer bushels to be marketed.

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Publication Date: 08/2016

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