Selling stored grain

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jena, May 20, 2005.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Now that the cows and chickens are gone, I need to sell the corn in the bin. There is about 3000 bushels. Please excuse my ignorance, but I never did anything with this before.

    Do I just wait until I think the price is right, then call the elevator, make a deal, then get a truck to haul it in? Do I pay the trucker or does the elevator pay him from the proceeds? How many loads is 3000 bushels?

    Am I correct in thinking that I need to set an auger up under the unloader of the bin so the truck can drive under the auger to get loaded? There's no way to load a truck from the bin auger, right?

    Hubby owns the auger, so it's going to be a fight to get it here so I can use it. Guess i just won't mention it until it's set up and the truck is on the way.

    I am also concerned about the state of the bin. Last year, he had a whole bin go bad because he didn't dry it properly. When I fill the grinder, the corn looks ok, but how do I check to make sure it's all good. I know that as it gets hotter and more humid, the condition can suffer. Should I just sell now, even though prices are low to avoid losing it all to damage?

    Thanks
    Jena
     
  2. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    in our area there is on the farm pickup, and the elevator pays the trucker, but you get docked on price some because of that,

    take a sample of the corn in to the elevator that you want to sell to, and based on that samle they will tell you if the corn is damaged, but that is for the sample,

    you could contact a trucker and some will buy it and haul and try to make some money on the load,

    normaly you will need an auger and if it is flat bottom bin you may need to have some labor to finish up the bottom (scooping the grain to the auger),

    but depending on the cirmstances they may bring out an auger and all, if that is waht you need, (it will cost you tho), usaly a reduction in price for the use of the service, so much a bushel,

    that would be about 3 posibly 4 semi trucks, a truck can carry a thousand bushels but it may be over loaded by weight, in our area,
     

  3. nicholascovey

    nicholascovey Well-Known Member

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    Ok, let's see if I can dredge this from my memory.

    First off, take a sample of the corn (small coffee can) into the local elevator and have them test it's moisture content and grade it. They will take the base price per bushel and dock the price for bad condition, weed seeds and trash, possible mold, low test weight, etc. Basically, you should be able to talk to the grain buyer about specifics once it has been graded. Most elevators unless they are mom and pop businesses will have a current price posted on the internet somewhere. If you can't find it, just call and ask what they are paying for corn.

    Next, find someone with a semi-truck, as 3000 bushels is not quite 4 loads and may be able to squeeze into 3. In a straight-truck (dump truck) it would be closer to 5 or 6 loads. Truck drivers usually charge by the mile and then you pay after you get your check from the elevator. Negotiate the price beforehand. Farmers are a bad bet this time of the year because they are really busy putting in the crop, but might be more receptive to a cash job in the middle of the summer.

    As far as the bin itself goes, what caused the grain to spoil? Was it improper sealing in the roof, seepage at the base, or moisture from the grain sitting directly on a concrete floor? If the grain was simply too wet when it went into the bin, then it will spoil (and probably already has). The proper moisture content for corn is around 13-14% and the elevator will tell you that when they grade the corn. (they will dock for high moisture content as well as damage caused by the moisture)

    You will need the auger, so be prepared to use it.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you positive on who owns this grain? It could be sealed under loan or some such thing. Was LDP collcected on it? So forth. Be sure of what you are doing, there can be big penalties on messing with this. Is it yours to sell?

    Corn has been fluctuating 10 cents a bu most of the year. No point in holding on to it, if it is yours to sell, get rid of it. Soon. As we get into the heat of summer, it can go bad. Prices likely dip lower for the next several months unless there is a large-scale weather scare - not so likely. On 3000 bu you only look to gain $300. Might as well pull the trigger & get it gone.

    There are many ways to do this. Take a gallon sample of the corn to the elevator you want to sell it at, and talk it over with them.

    They likely will truck it, or know people who will truck it for you. Will cost 3 cents a bu or so for hauling.

    As to unloading, there are all types of bin unloaders - do you have an auger out the bottom of the bin & ends a foot or 2 above the ground? Those you need an auger to get into the truck. As the bin gets empty, the last load or so will need to be either shoveled to the middle, or a bin sweep used - if you have one. Either way takes some work, some danger, lots of dust - you typically need to do this work, the truck driver moves the truck is all. Many elevators have access to a grain vac, which is a huge vacumn cleaner designed to move grain. You might wish to look for a package deal where they come in with a grain vac & truck & take care of it all for you, no other fuss. Handling the grain might cost another dime a bu. All prices are variable......

    With uneven cooling or drying, grain develops hot spots which create their own local climate in the bin. Mold starts growing, which creates heat, which moves air, which causes moist warm air to condense when it moves up into cool grain, which creats a moist front, which creates more mold, which makes more heat..... And so on. Forcing air through a bit to evenly warm or cool the whole bin helps (once started, must keep fans running to move the temp change _all_ the way through the bin!), if you have a stirator & can move (stir) the grain really helps, taking 100 or more bu of grain out of the middle of the bin every month or so helps a lot, and so on. Anything to keep that little buble of spoiling grain from growing itself bigger. It is common to have a couple of bu spots here & there that are starting to spoil.

    If none of that was done, it is a good time to get that bin cleaned out. Now. Before the heat & strong sun hit.....

    Each load of grain will be tested by the elevator & see if there is any spoilage. If you hit a bad pocket, try to contain it & not mess up the whole bin full. Or if the pocket is very small or not very bad, blend it in with a lot of good grain so it does not show up. Either way works & is accepted practice with grain sales. You will either be accepted as good grain, docked money for poor grain, or rejected as spoiled grain on a load by load basis.

    This is how it is done here, been selling grain for decades.

    --->Paul
     
  5. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. Yes there is a lien on the corn. How's a $45,000 lien on 3K bushels sound? That one is not my debt, but I understand that the corn money must go towards that. All the inputs were paid (he sold a bunch of my calves to pay that). I wonder what he heck he did with that $45,000! He owed input money, sold the crop and didn't pay the loan...he doesn't gamble or smoke crack, but man he's got some kind of habit somewhere....anyways....

    I do plan on contacting the bank as I am selling it. They will get all the money anyways. If I don't sell it, it will sit there and rot, so I will just sell it.

    I know we got LDP for it. I know I got LDP just for this corn, the stuff in the bin. I didn't get it for anything else that has already been sold. What is the consequences of that? Should I check with the FSA office before I sell it? I don't want to owe them money, though I didn't get very much in total, so I don't think I'd be liable for too much else.

    That reminds me that the last payment I got last year was based on this years crops (I think). If I can't find a way to get a crop in, I'm sure I'll owe that back. I'd better call them.

    Thanks
    Jena
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you got LDP on that bin of corn, then you do not have any other govt liean against it (CCC loan, etc.) So, that is a good thing. The LDP is all cool, over & done with, no worries.

    For 2005 crop year, you may have recieved an advance payment of 50% of the Direct Payment as early as last fall. I am not sure of the consequences of no crop being planted, I guess I would check with the FSA office before (June? July?) 15th......

    It is also possible you are getting an advance payment for Counter Cyclical Payment for 2004 crop. It looks like you _should_ be a ble to keep that this year, tho anything you recieved for soybeans will most likely need to be refunded in some way by October 2006.....

    Complicated stuff... ;) Sounds like you are ok for the moment with it all.

    --->Paul