Weather Ag News Portfolio DTN Renewable Fuels Futures Markets Markets Page Options Charts Quotes Oats/Barley News Grain
  Contact Us  
  Lubricants & Chemicals  
- DTN Headline News
Cash Market Moves
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:57AM CST
By Mary Kennedy
DTN Cash Grains Analyst

Many Midwest farmers faced a late-planting season with the added headache of poor summer growing weather, excessive rainfall and in some states early snowfall stalling harvest. However, things got worse at harvest, which has been moving almost at a snail's pace. This presented a new headache for many, with probably the biggest issue being wet corn.

The USDA reported that as of Nov. 3, corn harvest reached 52% and still 10 days behind average. Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas did see some progress for that week, but North Dakota was only at 10% done, three weeks behind average and the least amount harvested for this date in 2009.

Many farmers have been storing this year's harvest in their on-farm bins, likely after having to dry it down. But many university extension offices are reminding farmers not to ignore the corn after binning and to be sure to keep it cool. "A good rule of thumb is to cool grain any time the average air temperature is around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (F) cooler than the grain temperature. Repeat this cooling cycle until the grain temperature is 30 to 40 degrees F for winter storage. This storage temperature minimizes insect activity and mold growth in the stored grain. Cooling grain below 30 degrees F has little added benefit and can cause ice to form in the grain. Air humidity makes little difference when cooling grain," Kristina TeBockhorst and Shawn Shouse of Iowa State University said in a Nov. 4 blog published by the University of Minnesota Extension.

The blog noted that the hours required for cooling the whole bin can be estimated as 15 divided by the cubic feet per minute of airflow per bushel of grain in the bin (cfm/bu). If you don't know how much airflow per bushel your fan provides, you can estimate it using the calculator provided by the University of Minnesota at this link:…

"The key at-harvest activities are cooling as fast as possible and drying as rapidly as drying systems will allow," noted a Nov. 4 blog from the University of Minnesota Extension.


Many farmers don't have the room to store their corn on farm and will need to haul it to their local elevator for drying, which will add costs to the farmer and lower their final price for their corn. See Iowa State Extension's article "Corn Drying and Shrink Comparison" at…

However, some elevators have extended their wet corn allowance in order to get farmers to bring new crop bushels to them. The norm for the start of drying charges is that corn sold via contract is 15.1% and higher, but corn sold for storage is at 14.1% or higher. To give you an idea of the added cost to a farmer, here is a typical drying discount schedule, this one from Beardsley Farmers Elevator Company, Beardsley Minnesota:…

Archer Daniels Midland Company waived grain drying charges below 19% at three of its processing locations to keep their plants running. In a statement provided to Brownfield News on Nov. 8, ADM said they are not charging farmers to dry corn unless it is above 19% moisture at their corn-wet mills in Cedar Rapids and Clinton, Iowa, and Decatur, Illinois.

However, wet corn will need to be handled differently by processors. When I was a corn buyer at an ethanol plant in Wisconsin, we only took wet corn to 17.5% moisture if we were desperate for corn to grind. We put wet corn in the "day" bin so the corn didn't sit around for long and was used immediately. When the corn is above 16.5%, the hammer mills (they grind the incoming corn) can gum up and the plant manager is quick to make a call to the corn buyer noting the mess that was made. On top of that, wet corn can contaminate a bin if it makes it to the larger storage bin, so it needs to be used right away.

While some farmers will leave their corn in the field over the winter, especially if space is tight and the corn is wet, there are considerations that need to be weighed when doing so. North Dakota State University Extension Service grain drying expert Ken Hellevang noted to make sure corn stalks and cob shanks are strong if considering leaving high-moisture corn in the field over winter. "Field losses can range from minor to severe. Compare the cost of drying versus losses associated with leaving the corn in the field. In addition, standing corn tends to slow soil drying in the spring, which may delay planting."

The biggest problem now facing Midwest farmers is a propane shortage related mostly to logistics issues, causing a lack of physical supply in some parts of the Midwest. Much of the shortages have been seen in Iowa and Minnesota, but a farmer from western Illinois said on social media Nov. 9 that his local co-op officially decided not to haul any more propane to grain dryers for the time being.

So, the headaches continue.

For the latest update on propane shortages in parts of the Midwest by DTN Staff Reporter Todd Neeley, see:…

Mary Kennedy can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Editorial Staff
Monday, November 11, 2019 12:40PM CST
Friday, November 8, 2019 12:16PM CST
Thursday, November 7, 2019 4:21PM CST
Technically Speaking
Editorial Staff
Monday, November 11, 2019 9:06AM CST
Monday, November 4, 2019 8:34AM CST
Monday, October 28, 2019 8:55AM CST
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:30AM CST
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 10:21AM CST
Thursday, October 24, 2019 10:32AM CST
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Monday, November 11, 2019 6:43AM CST
Thursday, November 7, 2019 4:28PM CST
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 5:45PM CST
Minding Ag's Business
Katie Behlinger
Farm Business Editor
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:01PM CST
Friday, October 11, 2019 10:19AM CST
Monday, September 30, 2019 4:22PM CST
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Monday, November 11, 2019 4:20PM CST
Tuesday, November 5, 2019 2:35PM CST
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 2:27PM CST
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Thursday, November 7, 2019 2:50PM CST
Thursday, October 31, 2019 3:28PM CST
Friday, October 4, 2019 12:59PM CST
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Monday, November 11, 2019 10:11AM CST
Monday, November 4, 2019 4:16PM CST
Monday, October 14, 2019 12:28PM CST
South America Calling
Editorial Staff
Monday, September 9, 2019 10:59AM CST
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 11:58AM CST
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 8:34AM CST
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Monday, November 11, 2019 8:31AM CST
Friday, November 1, 2019 8:26AM CST
Thursday, October 24, 2019 5:53PM CST
Machinery Chatter
Dan Miller
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 11:26AM CST
Monday, October 28, 2019 12:01PM CST
Monday, October 7, 2019 2:56PM CST
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 3:34PM CST
Friday, November 8, 2019 4:49PM CST
Thursday, November 7, 2019 3:46PM CST
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Monday, November 11, 2019 2:26PM CST
Thursday, October 3, 2019 11:08AM CST
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 4:36PM CST
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN