Grain Storage Looks Complicated This Year

The USDA’s August crop production estimates suggest the nation’s grain storage system could be stretched to the breaking point this year.

The industry entered this planting cycle with large leftover inventories of old crops and 2020 small grains. Now, after the USDA released its first monthly forecast for corn, soybeans and sorghum harvests, analysts expect supplies to top 100 percent of the nation’s estimated storage capacity.

It is not yet clear what the impact will be of the Aug. 10 storms that flattened Midwest fields and grain bins. Nonetheless, the government’s August numbers indicate storage capacity will be the second tightest since 1988 and only slightly below the record set in 2016, when supplies filled 101.7 percent of the nation’s grain bins.

Estimates for a dozen key corn and soybean states show all but one facing a tighter storage situation this year compared to 2019. Even in the exception­—Nebraska—112 percent of capacity could be used.

Missouri and Kansas look ready to run at 124 percent of storage capacity, with Kentucky at 121 percent.

Source: Farm Futures