John Zupancic, Morgantown, and his wife, Marie, took a late-summer vacation before harvest began, going into Michigan and Wisconsin. He reports that the crops were still very green. He only noticed one field of soybeans turning until he got well back into Indiana. And this was only about three weeks ago.
Yet he noticed grain trucks flying up and down the road for many miles as he came down from the north. Many were loaded with grain, others returning from their delivery point empty. He knew it couldn't be new crop – it had to be coming from stored corn in on-farm bins.
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Processors such as ethanol plants need a constant supply of corn. Likewise, soybean processors, such as Bunge, need a constant supply of soybeans, no matter what time of the year it is. So when the gap between old crop and new crop arriving gets close, especially when new crop is running somewhat behind schedule in maturing, they sometimes offer deals of various kinds to entice farmers to deliver grain.
Back home in central Indiana, a local elevator offered a great deal – only a penny per point dock on corn that was 25% moisture or under. Another elevator offered a huge bonus for soybeans because a plant needed to keep running.
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Unfortunately, these deals were short-lived. As soon as the corn elevator offering the giant forgiveness for wet corn got what they needed, they reverted to normal dockage procedures. But if you saw someone out harvesting early in almost green corn and thought they were crazy, they might not been quite as crazy as you thought. Their local elevator may have been offering enough incentive, either in higher price or less dockage, to make harvesting early worth it.
Keep your eyes open for these kinds of opportunities. Most will disappear as the harvest gets in full swing, but you never know when some sort of glitch might open up an opportunity.
For more corn news, corn crop scouting information and corn diseases to watch for, follow Tom Bechman's column, Corn Illustrated Weekly, published every Tuesday.