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Elevator managers prepare for excellent fall harvest

Elevator managers prepare for another excellent fall harvest

Staff writer

Agriculturalists from one end of the county to the other are excited. With a little more heat, they see what is shaping up to be another excellent fall harvest of corn, beans, and grain sorghum.

According to Larry Goerzen, grain co-coordinator for Mid-Kansas Cooperative, which includes elevators in Florence, Peabody, Goessel, and Burns, a bountiful harvest would mean two back-to-back seasons with almost record crops.

“We have been blessed with the right kind of weather,” he said. “I like to call it ‘Iowa weather,’ with plenty of moisture.”

As of Friday, Mid-Kansas Cooperative still has 8 million bushels of wheat in storage from the 10-million-bushel spring harvest.

“We’re taking measures to make it all work,” Goerzen said. “We have good people helping us.”

“The harvest might be a challenge,” said Dick Tippin, grain co-ordinator for Cooperative Grain and Supply, “but we’ll handle it.”

Elevator managers have been doing everything possible to make room for incoming grain. They have been shipping wheat to area terminals all summer.

“We’re as ready as we are going to get,” said Stan Utting, manager of Agri-Producers, Tampa. “We are making more space every day.”

The cooperative has moved a million bushels of wheat in the past 60 days.

Utting said the big, new concrete silo at Lincolnville now is emptied of wheat and ready for corn and soybeans. Milo will be piled on the ground.

Cooperative Grain and Supply continues to ship wheat. According to Tippin, the co-op should be ready for fall grain when it begins to come in.

A large bunker is available at Hillsboro, and a big grain bin at Elmo may be leased, if necessary. Milo may be piled on the ground in some locations.

The biggest problem for the fall harvest, according to managers, is that terminals are full of wheat and have been slow to move it.

Goerzen credited good wheat harvests worldwide with a drop in export demand. He also noted lower protein levels have slowed sales to flourmills.

He said having a fall harvest spread out over several months would help. Soybeans will be shipped out as they come in. A new half-million-bushel bunker for corn has been prepared at Burns.

Goerzen said the co-op hopes to find other ways of disposing of fall crops, including marketing to ethanol plants.

Fall crops look good all over the U.S., putting pressure on prices, he said. Corn and wheat are trending down, but soybeans are in demand and holding their own.

Last modified Sept. 2, 2009

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