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Why Storing Corn Will Take Work to Make It Pay this Year

August 3, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
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December corn prices have been below $5 for nearly two weeks. Jerry Gulke explains how to still make money if you've miss marketing opportunities.


With as last as much of the U.S. corn crop was planted, it’s hard to believe the crop is almost now back on track. As of July 28, USDA reports 71% of the corn crop is silking, which is only 4 percentage points behind the five-year average. And, 8% of the crop is in the dough stage.

In terms of crop condition, 17% of the crop received an excellent rating, 46% good and 26% fair. That leaves just 11% at a poor or very poor rating.

Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group, is predicting a large overall crop, with the only potential hiccup being a frost.

The current rosy outlook for the corn crop has sent the market on a pretty steady plunge. While Gulke has been predicting $4 corn since January, even he is surprised it happened so quickly.

"But, it all stems back to the fact we’ve curbed U.S. and global demand so much," he says. "Now we have the rest of the world growing corn and taking our market away from us."

Hear Gulke's full audio analysis:


Make On-Farm Storage a Post-Harvest, Profit-Enhancing Tool

Gulke says there is still hope for this marketing year.

"Farmers are a lot different than speculators," he says. "They have to be correct, right away." Farmers have the advantage of owning the product.

"If someone missed the selling opportunities in previous months for 2013 new crop corn, there may still be an opportunity to garner a profit or a higher selling price by storing the corn on-farm at harvest and actually make money storing it this year by earning the market carry."

Gulke says you can still work the basis and act like a mini elevator. "Elevators make their money on storing and drying, but mostly on capturing the carry."

But, to "capture the carry," he says, it requires management, due diligence and not just sit and wait.

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