ISU professor plans to bring expertise to Farm News Ag Show
By KRISS NELSON
FORT DODGE – Dr. Charles Hurburgh, professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University is scheduled to present “Crop Quality Management for the 2017 Harvest,” at the 16th annual Farm News Ag Show on Thursday, Dec. 7.
“I will basically give an update on the crop quality and crop storage situation and it appears storage will be the big story rather than quality – quality is pretty good this year,” he said.
With higher than anticipated yields, where is all of this grain going to go?
“With everybody getting 10 bushel or better than what they might have thought, we have a lot of grain floating around looking for a home,” said Hurburgh. “And that, in itself, we’ve had before, but we also don’t have a particularly strong demand situation right now, which means, some of this corn is going to have to be in useable condition next fall.”
Hurburgh said that a large part of the grain storage and quality discussion is the fact on how much we have and some of the issues in keeping grain in temporary storage and particularly keeping grain for extra-long periods of time.
“We know we are going to have to keep this grain around for a long time,” he said. “Sometimes, we ‘ve had grain for a long time and we didn’t know we would have to, but at least now we know we are going to have it around for a long time.”
Hurburgh said he never encourages producers to temporarily pile grain on their farm.
“Everyone has a full house as far as what storage they got, but the overrun, so to speak – that last 10 to 15 bushel per acre – that’s an elevator issue,” he said. “Because I never encourage producers to make piles on their farms and I think few do, but that usually doesn’t work out that well. If you have to make a pile to store grain temporarily, it’s better to store it in a big pile with a grain superintendent there all of the time.”
Carry over, year to year, Hurburgh said, is steadily creeping upward.
“Realistically, that can’t continue,” he said. “Something has to give here. We can’t continue to produce more and more grain.”
This same situation happened, Hurburgh said in the 1960s and again in the 1980s and the government stepped in and provided a payment that took land out of production.
“I’m not so sure right now that is in the budget,” he said. “I don’t think a government program is in the cards. We’re coming to a situation – it might hit this coming fall, or might be another year, but basically the system is full before we even start. There were a lot of elevators that were half full before they even got in this year’s crop.”
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