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Get Grain Storage Ready for #Harvest15

In the early 1990s, Roger Carlson had a modest grain-drying facility with 30,000 bushels of storage near Red Oak, Iowa. Over the years, neighbors watched as Carlson’s on-farm storage grew from a few 10,000-bushel bins, decently sized at the time, to 15 bins. The newest was put in this year, with a whopping 198,000-bushel capacity.

Carlson now has the ability to store 750,000 bushels of grain at this site, giving him flexibility in how he markets his crops. “I can add about 30¢ to the price of my crops by not being required to deliver them at harvestime,” he explains.

The large amount of grain storage also allows Carlson to store grain for landlords as part of their crop-share agreement, a service they greatly appreciate. Carlson charges less than the local elevator, but he still makes a profit on the storage – a win for all involved.

“Within five to seven years, I will have the new bin paid for between the storage fees and the additional revenue I’ll derive from crops,” says Carlson.

Cost isn’t the only advantage of on-farm grain storage. Time is also a precious commodity during the fall.

“Harvest is such a labor-intensive time that sitting in line at an elevator isn’t an option for me,” says Carl Ryan, who farms near Wyoming, Illinois.

The advantages to on-farm grain storage are clear. However, there are tricks to properly storing grain and keeping it in good condition, especially if you are planning for long-term storage. In the links below, you’ll learn how to get your dryer ready for this year’s harvest, what your options are if you need temporary storage, how long you can store wet grain, and tips for storing grain through the winter and into 2016.

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