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Expect harvest delays moving forward

Large corn and soybean crops will likely result in backups at grain handling facilities and delay some farmers from harvesting, Purdue agricultural economist Chris Hurt said.

“When the grain industry hits its maximum drying or storage capacity, harvest has to slow down to allow dryers to catch up and to move more grain out of storage toward end users,” Hurt said. “This forced slowdown of harvest activity generally occurs during the last half of corn harvest, which will likely be in late-October and the first half of November this year.”.

To make matters more challenging, there is still some corn still has relatively high moisture content. The USDA said in its Oct. 14 Crop Progress report that the average Indiana corn moisture was still at 22%. Corn needs to be dried to about 15% moisture content to be safely stored.

“The record volume of corn this year and the high moisture mean that, in some areas, dryers simply cannot dry the corn as quickly as farmers can harvest,” Hurt said.

Although the strain on drying and storage as well as wet conditions in the fields mean there will be a slower harvest this, year, Hurt said

“The good news is that it is an abundant crop, and with patience it will all get harvested,” he said.

It also will be good economically for both grain-drying and storage operations as well as transportation services that move grain and grain products.

“It will be a banner year for the grain industry,” Hurt said.

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