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Grain Logistics Good Even with Bumper Crop in SD

Oct 24, 2015 at 09:47 AM CST

Grain elevators in South Dakota are reporting near to record crops this fall, but so far there have been few logistical issues moving the crop to market. Kyle Bowman is a grain merchandiser with North Central Farmers Elevator in Ipswich. He says with soybean yields in the mid-40s they’re piling crop on the ground temporarily at all 13 of their locations.

The last few years higher soybean prices have resulted in farmers selling much of the crop right off the combine. And Bowman says even with lower prices that trend has largely continued.

Corn yields are also ranging from 160 to 200 bushels per acre. While that is a logistical challenge for elevators, He says the amount of on-farm storage and the lack of grain drying is helping to prevent a bottleneck.

As far as rail service, Bowman says it’s been much better than a year ago when they faced logjams and severely discounted cash prices due to the wide basis.

He says the pressure has been taken off the railroads in part due to more farmer storage and the drop in oil prices has decreased demand for rail cars out of the Bakken oil fields. As a result the cost of rail cars has also dropped substantially from the record high prices last fall.

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