Slow September at the Grain Elevator in Illinois


Published on October 1 2019 10:54 am
Last Updated on October 1 2019 10:54 am


Roughly two-thirds of the state’s corn crop was planted after Memorial Day. It’s not surprising then to still see a lot of corn in the fields. Many farmers had set Oct. 1 as a hopeful date to begin harvest.

For those already underway with harvest, most of that corn is heading to home storage -- leaving local elevators in a waiting game until the trucks cross the scales.

“We’re seeing quite a bit of corn harvested in our territory, but almost all of it is going home to farm storage because of the drying,” said Kim Holsapple of Total Grain Marketing. TGM has more than 30 locations in central Illinois with a corporate office in Effingham.

“For the most part, it’s still pretty wet,” Holsapple said, adding farmers typically choose to use their own drying equipment instead of paying the elevators for drying early in the season. “We’re hearing rumors of corn between 18-20% (moisture content), but it’s still going home. They’re not willing to pay the commercial drying rates yet.”

Holsapple said expectations of a much shorter crop means farmers will fill their home storage before turning to their local elevators. When the grain eventually comes to town, he expects things to look different than in recent years.

“There was corn planted on June 15 that will not get harvested until December,” he told the RFD Radio Network. “I’m just certain there will be corn standing in the field in December. I just don’t think harvest at the grain elevator is even going to look like a harvest. It’s going to be scattered over a 12-week period, when typically it’s coming in in a four- to six-week period.”

Holsapple said elevators will soon shorten operating hours in coordination with shorter daylight hours, partly for safety reasons to keep slow-moving grain trucks off the roads late in the day.