More Wisconsin Farmers Holding On To 2016 Crop With Hope For Better Prices

Heading Into Harvest Season, Storage Facilities Have More Of Last Year's Corn, Soybeans Than Usual

Carsten ten Brink (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

As Wisconsin farmers prepare to harvest this year’s corn and soybeans, some producers are still holding on to last year’s crop.

“There is still quite a bit of the 2016 crop in storage locally,” said Trisha Wagner, University of Wisconsin-Extension agricultural agent from Jackson County. “What’s in storage now is probably going to have to be moved to other storage or sold just to make room.”

According to the September report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin storage facilities had 55 percent more corn and 58 percent more soybeans than this time last year.

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Wagner said low commodity prices motivated some producers to take a gamble and delay selling last year’s crop.

“The hope was that the storage costs would pay for themselves if they could hang on to it, thinking that maybe the growing season would result in some inclement weather that would create issues for a productive crop in 2017,” Wagner said.

But with this year’s harvest numbers looking good, Wagner said many farmers will have to take whatever price they can get to free up storage space or pay additional fees.

Sometimes farmers who have been paying a co-op to store that crop will have the storage fees and also additional fees for keeping that crop on beyond kind of this new harvest date,” Wagner said.

The latest USDA crop progress report found corn and soybean maturing several days behind 2016, but closer the five-year average.

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