Grain storage changes in Kentucky

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grain storage bin
When it comes to deciding whether to store or sell grain at harvest, it all depends on the individual farmer and his or her operation. The farmer has to do the math to decide whether it makes sense to store at the elevator, store it on the farm, or sell it. (Chris Kick photo)

PRINCETON, Ky. — Continuous years of large crops and demand uncertainty makes grain storage attractive for producers this fall.

While Kentucky producers have added on-farm storage to their operations in recent years, many will store corn and soybeans in alternative structures through the winter, particularly as markets show positive returns. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s September crop report predicts a U.S. corn crop of 14.8 billion bushels. If realized, it would be the second largest crop on record. The report puts soybean production at 4.6 billion bushels.

Projections for Kentucky are 214 million bushels for corn and 119 million bushels for soybeans, according to the Kentucky Agricultural Statistics Service. Kentucky producers grew about 3 million fewer bushels of corn compared to last year, but they have raised 16 million more bushels of soybeans than last year.

Alternative storage structures have become more common across the state in recent years as producers hold larger amounts of grain in anticipation of better marketing opportunities. Equipment storage buildings, grain bags and covered outdoor piles are some of the more common alternative storage structures.

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