After projections of a record harvest forced grain prices to their lowest levels in years and rains slowed harvesting efforts late in the season, farmers now face another issue: Where to store a bumper crop of corn and soybeans.
Farmers seeking to sell the grains when prices hit more favorable levels are scrambling to find extra storage space for the crops. Some will be forced to store corn and soybeans in unused buildings and giant plastic bags, or even pile it on the ground, in the coming weeks.
The corn harvest this year is expected to yield 14.5 billion bushels, or 174.2 bushels per acre. That’s a 4 percent increase over last year and the highest production on record, per U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts. The soybean harvest is expected to yield 3.93 billion bushels, or 47.1 bushels per acre — a 17 percent increase over 2013.
That will test the nation’s storage capacity, which stands around 23 billion bushels. The situation is made more complex by the fact that available storage isn’t always located in regions with the strongest harvests.