Grain discounts explained | News, Sports, Jobs


The wet weather in the fall resulted in extremely slow drying of the grain and a late harvest.

Many growers may still be harvesting grain and what comes from the field may be too wet to store, but some may lack drying capacity. Therefore, selling at the factory may be the best option.

If so, here are some things to consider.

Research in Ohio has shown that grain moisture decreases by about 1% every 24 to 29 growing degree days. In a hot, dry autumn with ripe kernels they measured around 0.75% to 0.92% per day, but in a cool autumn they measured around 0.32% to 0.35% per day . From mid-November to the end of November, the drying rate eventually becomes negligible. When temperatures drop to 20, corn freezes and dries up in the field over the winter.

If you are at risk of loss of grain quality or damage from wildlife and want to harvest now, it is best to understand the discount process with your buyer.

When selling grain, the net weight will be determined first, regardless of the moisture content. Then the grain is converted to bushels by dividing the net weight by a standard test weight, or pounds by 1.244 cubic feet at a standard moisture content – 15.5% for corn and 13% for soybeans. It becomes your gross bushel.

Then your buyer will probably take into account the shrinkage due to drying and foreign material. Shrinkage on drying is the weight lost by drying “wet” grain at standard moisture – the wetter the grain, the greater the shrinkage. Drying and handling charges are also often applied.

Foreign material is usually anything other than the crop including pods, stones, other seeds, dirt, etc., and material beyond the buyer’s threshold may cause further shrinkage.

The total shrinkage is then subtracted from the gross bushels to obtain net bushels. Alternatively, a plant may assign a moisture discount factor, which is a gradual deduction from the sale price of each bushel.

Once humidity is taken into account, additional discounts may apply.

If the measured specific weight falls below the minimum allowable, the price of the grain will be reduced in accordance with the policy of the purchaser.

This is determined from the sample taken on arrival and is based on the pounds of your grain which equals 1,244 cubic feet, with 56 pounds as standard.

Additionally, flour mills may apply additional discounts for any of the following: aflatoxins, sour grain musty odor, moldy or heat damaged grain, unpleasant foreign odors or living or dead insects, and outright rejection. a grain load can occur for dockage that exceeds plant thresholds.

So if bringing the grain to the mill now is your best option, know how the condition of your crop may affect its price.

If you are interested in learning more about corn production, Blair Extension is hosting a corn production workshop on December 14 in Martinsburg. If you are interested in participating, please don’t hesitate to call.

Zach Larson is the Penn State Extension Professor of Agronomy for Blair County. He can be reached at 814-414-0582.

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