With just weeks to go before fall harvest begins, area grain co-ops are scrambling to make room for what looks like an abundant crop of corn, milo, and soybeans.
A cool, wet August is helping crops reach their full potential.
A new 500,000-bushel bunker is being established at Hillsboro to hold excess milo, and Hillsboro and Marion are planning to truck corn to a large million-bushel bunker at Walton.
Bounded by four- to six-foot-high walls, the bunkers will be tarped when full.
Truckers have been in high demand all summer.
“The fall crops look to be tremendous,” said Mike Thomas, manager of the Cooperative Grain and Supply elevator in Marion. “Everybody’s moving grain and bunkers are going up everywhere. But we’ll still need the trucks to get the grain to them.”
Thomas said all the wheat in the new 300,000-bushel bin has been moved out as of Monday. Corn will be stored in the bin, but Thomas estimates another 200,000 bushels could be received and will need to be trucked to Walton.
Thomas hopes to have enough room in the main elevator to keep on taking milo and soybeans throughout the harvest season. Trucks will be hauling grain out as fast as it comes in. The elevator also has to have room for sunflowers later in the season.
“We get in trouble if farmers all start to harvest at the same time and the grain comes in too fast,” said Stan Utting, manager of Agri Producers Inc. at Tampa.
He said the co-op has been moving grain every day since wheat harvest, using trucks and train cars.
Lincolnville and Durham branches of Agri Producers both are prepared to pile milo on rocked ground, if necessary, as has been done in other years.
Utting said the large grain bins at Lincolnville and Durham are still full of wheat which will remain in storage for now.
Phil Timken, manager of the Mid-Kansas Co-op at Peabody, said the area is expected to have an “excellent, exceptional” corn harvest. He said the early-planted milo and soybeans also will do well and with a few more days of sunshine and warm weather, the later-planted milo and double-cropped soybeans will be good.
Corn will be trucked to Walton from Peabody.
“If the harvest is spread out enough, we will have room for milo and soybeans,” Timkin said.
Grain prices have moderated somewhat since spring but they still are above levels of a year ago. Weather permitting, the fall harvest will provide a boost to farmers and the entire local economy.