Bin building boom continues

Despite flooded fields, some farmers are still expecting a sizeable corn crop this fall. And they're putting up more bin storage to accommodate that crop. I was on the Gary Wachtel farm earlier this summer as he was putting a new bin and wet holding tank up on the Altamont, Ill. family farm. The main reason? Ironing out harvest logistics.

"Before this year we probably had only enough storage for half our crop,•bCrLf says Wachtel, who farms in a four-person, multi-generation operation. "We're adding a little over 150,000 bushels, trying to work our way up to that 75% range. It's too hard to move that many bushels to the elevator and harvest at the same time.•bCrLf

The Wachtels are sinking about $1.60 per bushel into the new 60-ft bin and a wet holding tank, but saving some money by doing most of the labor themselves.  Gary says costs for steel and labor have gone up 37% since they purchased the bins back in November.

Either way, he's confident the farm will recoup costs within five years.

"Hopefully we'll have return on investment of 30 to 40 cents each year from picking up the carry in the market,•bCrLf says Wachtel.

According to an Illinois Farm Bureau expert, the price of galvanized steel jumped 46% since March 1. Farmers who booked a 50,000-bushel bin last November probably spent about $49,000 for the bin shell (no concrete). To book that same bin today costs about $81,000.





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