grain

Milo and corn producers have gotten a lot done in a little amount of time when it comes to this year’s grain harvest that now appears to be winding down after late planting in the spring.

“Everything is going smoothly. We started later this year than we have historically. Normally by Fourth of July we are rocking and rolling, but this year it was two weeks later,” said Lindsey Bowers, grain merchandiser and hedger for United Ag.

Producers are 65 percent done on corn and 95 percent done on milo, Bowers said. Corn yields have varied across the Gulf Coast depending on soil type and how much rain fell and where, she said.

“We’ve seen yields that were less than ideal to probably some historical greats, but it is dependent on the ground it’s on and the amount of rain they receive.

“This year started out differently from most because of the wet winter we had and the wet spring. We had lots of varied stages of planting and emergence. We had a less than ideal start on corn, but considering that I think it will be OK,” Bowers said.

Grain sorghum yields were the most disappointing between the two crops, Bowers said. Milo seed varieties have not come as far along as corn varieties have and milo is a more hardy crop that fares better in drought-like conditions, she said.

“It didn’t perform as well as it looked like it was going to.”

So far, the grain elevators have taken in 3 million bushels of corn and 600,000 bushels of milo.

“We should handle more bushels than usual, but we still won’t be operating at capacity (6.4 million bushel storage capacity,)” Bowers said, despite being the largest elevator in the area. “With less acres (grown) it’s hard to operate at capacity.”

Producers have seen an increase in Aflatoxin (a carcinogen found in certain molds) on the corn than in years past, perhaps because fewer farmers used expensive Afla-Guard due to wet conditions when planting, she said.

“Typically we are around that 10 percent marker, where 10 percent has above 20 parts per billion of Aflatoxin. This year, we are going to be closer to 15 percent of what we will handle will have that,” Bowers said.

“Aflatoxin is a product of stress. You can have wet stress as well as dry stress. With the wet stress you tend to see more Aflatoxin,” she added.

United Ag does not accept corn at that level of Aflatoxin.

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