Corn Races To The Finish Line

To start the week, about 15 percent of Wisconsin’s corn crop was still standing, according to USDA reporters across the state. Now, growers are racing to get those remaining acres off the ground.

The new crop turned out much better than expected for most Wisconsin producers. This has meant storage has become a premium and is filling easily in areas of the state that are still harvesting, according to two grain merchandisers.

Insight FS Grain Department Manager Todd Tesdal says Central Wisconsin has seen high yields and is experiencing some delays in moving that corn.

“The central part of the state — the yields are just incredibly good,” he says. “There has been some issues in the central part of the state moving corn out fast enough to stay ahead of the inbound corn.”

He adds the nice weather in November led to everyone harvesting all at once. Tesdal says this has added to some of the scramble in the central and northern areas of the state where storage was filling up.

“Harvest was a little bit later this year,” he says. “It seemed like all of a sudden, everybody was combining corn at once, and that’s what choked the elevators, and caused some wait times, and made guys like me scramble to make sure that we had space so we could keep our doors open.”

Howard Boppart, grain merchandiser with Marquis Energy, says carryover was also a factor.

“The trend of price has been down since the last week of June to the disbelief of many producers who were feeling they were going to have a poor crop,” he explains. “So many held on to more old crop than they usually would have.”

Boppart says ethanol plants act as an outlet for the producer and country elevator storage shortage. He says Marquis has felt the overage. The plant is bidding 23 cents more for the last half of December compared to today as a way to tell farmers to hold their corn longer.

“We only need about 140 (trucks) a day in a five-day week,” he says. “Well over 200 trucks per day wanted to come in. We don’t have room for that. That just extenuates the pressure — everyone wants to move their bushels to market to make room for the bushels that still want to come in from the field.”

The pressure will ease up, he says. Boppart expects the corn harvest to wrap in the next two weeks.