The rain has sidelined farmers for the moment — but once they return to the fields they’re expected to harvest the state’s largest corn crop and the second largest soybean crop. Finding storage for all that grain has forced farmers to take matters into their own hands. The director of the Iowa Field Office of National Agriculture Statistics, Gary Thessen, says many farmers have added bins.
Thessen says the extra revenue farmers were able to bring in the past couple of years because of higher prices, allowed them to be use some of that extra revenue to increase their facilities to store the grain. Thessen says even with the extra storage, some of the crop will still end up piled on the ground.
“It seems like it’s almost an every year occurrence, some of the elevators have put in actually some added equipment to store the corn whether it’s on a concrete slab with a ring around and actually putting ventilation through the pile to keep it at the right with moisture content,” Thessen says.
Thessen says farmers save money by storing the grain on the farm and not paying elevators to store it. They can then truck the grain directly to the market from their bins. Iowa’s total storage capacity has been expanding since 1999 and now is more than 3.2 billion bushels. Thessen says soybeans aren’t usually stored on the ground because they are worth three times more than corn.