Need grain drying, storage capacity for fall? Schedule now!
Randy Holthaus is GROWMARK’s grain systems operations manager.
Posted on: 5/20/2011 8:27:00 AM
I hope you are finally getting into the fields and getting some long overdue planting done. The planting delays we experienced could provide a challenging fall if the cool, wet conditions continue.
With that being a potential outcome, if you have plans to add grain drying or storage capacity for this crop, you need to get your decisions made and the schedule locked in now.
The availability of grain equipment products and construction labor is starting to surface as an issue. Some vendors’ product lead times are starting to stretch out into July and August.
After a relatively calm, quiet winter selling season, the new year presented some pretty rapid-fire steel price increases, resulting in brisk sales activity.
This caused a faster-than-normal transition away from winter discounts and shortened deadlines by the manufacturers, adding to sales pressure.
Widespread storm damage in the southern part of the state created a surprise demand for replacement grain bins and further complicated the marketplace.
The steel industry increases seem to have quieted some and pricing has flattened out, but now the manufacturing supply/demand factors are taking over. Don’t expect any price reductions until the winter programs come out in the fall.
Last season’s ideal conditions and high-quality grain did not challenge your grain system equipment like the previous couple of years. Many dryers -- new and old -- were never even started last year.
As you contemplate your system’s shortcomings and needed changes, think back and recall the problems and issues your system had in the past, specifically the fall of 2009.
Did your receiving system keep the combine running? Was your wet holding able to handle the receiving? Was your dryer able to keep up with your harvest rate?
Do you have a storage deficit? Is your storage capable of cooling hot grain? Has your low temp/natural air drying system failed you in the past?
Is your aeration system capable of maintaining marginal grain? Are your unloading systems big enough to keep the trucks rolling?
Ask yourself these questions and get any problems addressed and resolved now. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be.
Make up your mind now and get your equipment ordered and construction scheduled. Your spring rush will be much less stressful knowing that everything will be ready and working when harvest time arrives.
Randy Holthaus is GROWMARK’s grain systems operations manager. His e-mail address is email@example.com.