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Agronomy Update

Corn and Soybeans Getting Too Dry?

Published on Friday, October 16, 2015

“How much money are we losing by not hauling in the water?” That’s the question some farmers have been asking this year. 

Late summer and fall were very dry and warm this year, which caused corn and soybeans to dry down fast and early. As usual, soybean harvest began and beans quickly dried down below 13 percent during harvest. 

In some areas, corn is getting dryer than 15 percent moisture in the field. Not only is some corn coming out of the field dry this year, in some cases it is TOO dry. Whenever corn gets dryer than 15 percent (15.5 percent at some elevators) it means you are hauling in less pounds to the elevator than you could have. It is water that you are not selling that you could have with no dock-age. So how much does it cost?

You lose 4.5 cents per bushel of corn and 10.5 cents per bushel of soybeans for each point of moisture below the standard, depending on grain price.

Here’s the rough math. Though there are some differences in opinion on how to calculate this, these numbers will get you close:

  • Corn that is 14.5 percent moisture instead of 15.5 percent is one point dryer than the elevator standard (some shrink to 15 percent). 

  • Corn shrinks about 1.2 percent for each point of moisture. So 0.012 shrink x $3.75/Bu. = 4.5 cents worth of water weight you lost per bushel.

  • Soybeans that are 12 percent instead of the standard 13 percent would figure this way: 0.012 shrink x $8.75/Bu. = 10.5 cents worth of water weight per bushel you lost. 

There isn’t much we can do about it now, but it’s a good reminder about what impact harvesting in a timely manner can have on our bottom line. These estimates do not take into account other losses such as increased shelling at the head, harvest loss, lodging, or phantom yield loss. 

Be sure to reach out to your local seed advisor or dealer with any questions.

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Alex Johnson

Alex Johnson

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1 comments on article "Agronomy Update"

Jay fisher

4/22/2017 12:30 PM

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