Grain drying, storage concerns go beyond derecho damage zone

A Wisconsin farmer says grain storage is going to be a major problem thanks to the one-two punch of COVID-19 and last week’s devastating derecho storms.

Casey Kelleher is on the Wisconsin Corn Growers board and farms outside of Whitewater, Wisconsin about 20 miles north of the Illinois state line.  He says, “It’s either piles outside or letting it stand in the field unless this crop is not as big as what they claim it’s going to be.”

Kelleher tells Brownfield getting grain handling equipment was already difficult. “We were looking at a new grain dryer for this fall, and because of the virus, we couldn’t get one. They were trying to work out a deal with people that had already bought and paid for and scheduled to have a dryer up, and they couldn’t deliver to them because the factories are shut down in Iowa.”

Kelleher says a lot of farmers were looking at additional grain storage because so many of them held onto their 2019 crop.  Now with factories still limited by the virus and widespread damage to grain bins from storms, Kelleher says it’s only going to get worse.

Media reports say the impact of last week’s derecho storm might reach 500 million bushels lost on up to 40 million acres across multiple states with the most damage in Iowa.

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