Gleaner k2

Small scale corn grower opinion on drying

Recommended Posts

Ok for five years now since I started farming I been bumming equipment I need relying on somebody to come plant corn spray or combine! And its screwing me! I posted last week I still had corn out well my combine guy finally came it shelled horrible on the head I bet I lost 20 bushel a acer its sickening not only combine loss but wildlife lost! Im losing money! Its time to change! One paid for step at a time!  so this year I did get my own corn planter 4 row IH 800 did good job got some updates Id like to make but! Updated my grain drill to IH 5100 hope it does better at getting the seed covered in my stoney ground than my old one! I did find me a combine and I bought it but not bringing it home till next spring guy has storage for it and I already had combine guy lined up! Dont bash me to hard its green but I half to have a side hill machine so I found a jd 6620! Well to get the question I have I know farming your always losing money but you gotta fix the things you can to get all you can! So back to corn is it worth it to dry your own corn lets say if your 50 acers or corn where im at now (im small guy)  hoping to reach 250 acers of corn someday! What is the magic number that it pays to dry! Would I be money ahead to shell at 25% moisture and dry it or let it dry down in field! I think I want to shell as early as I can to minimize head shelling on combine and where im at the sooner you get it off.the less the deer eat! The guy I got the combine from has a 500 bushel batch dryer and im thinking I want it to dry my own corn!  Or am I better off to shell it and sell it and take my deduction on moisture? Thanks for any opinions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before we quit we were running about 70 acres each of corn and beans.  We had a Farm Fans AB180 dryer and it was a good fit to our operation.  Wouldn't have wanted anything smaller than that (which we did at one time).  Still makes me sad its all gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know a thing about drying corn but I do know that sitting down with a calculator and what  numbers you have to work with makes these decisions way easier.  

I would start out by factoring things out at worst likely, anticipated likely, and realistically best likely for production Vs sale value at each estimation and how that relates at the crop value with and without drying.   

If the with drying values work in your favor then you have your answer to whether it's worth it or not!;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Drying it on the farm allows storing it on the farm which allows selling it when the market is highest. You can pay the co-op to dry or store it but they are gonna take a cut- costs plus profit. Put up a crib and buy a 234 and you won't have to dry it! lol 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I let it get down to 18 doesn't shell much at that depends on the hybrid. Find a good seed guy he can help you pick numbers that you can be patient with. A lot of this corn nowadays is bred to be harvested at 25% it won't wait 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happens when the drier breaks down on the weekend and all your wet storage is full with 25% corn? It can be an issue. As far as always losing money why would you continue to do something that is not profitable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, tcmtech said:

I don't know a thing about drying corn but I do know that sitting down with a calculator and what  numbers you have to work with makes these decisions way easier.  

Tcmtech

True but.  I've heard of calculations like this that make me want to ask the brand of calculator so that I never buy one.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, jass1660 said:

What happens when the drier breaks down on the weekend and all your wet storage is full with 25% corn? It can be an issue. As far as always losing money why would you continue to do something that is not profitable?

Well when your starting from scratch I guess you gotta do it till you figure out how to make money! I didn't have a million dollars to buy a operation ready to go and I didnt take over daddys farm one afternoon! I rent all my ground! Im still gathering up equipment and want to make the best choices I can with the limited money I have! Atleast one thing I can say I own everything I got except the combine! So if I decide to call it quits I can! I blaming alot of my past money lost because I was waiting on equipment poor equipment and poor timely harvest waiting on other people! Once I get all my equipment I can fix all those problems a broken down weekend you cant run is better than a month waiting on someone to come I think!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I went to strictly grain farming, decided to not build storage but sell ahead and what storage I needed would be commercial. It worked perfect for me. I had a drier, holding and 10000 bushels cooling bin. 5 years ago I did a 1031 land exchange with the farm that had the drier and decided not to build a new setup at this stage in my life. Since I have planted all corn under 102 day (some very powerful early season seed on the market today).  Now I try to have 70% presold and the rest is spot sold at the elevator and am making more money with less work than I ever did. The elevator stores the money for me until January 1, no charge. If I feel the market will excelaerate, I buy the corn back on paper.  On one farm I farm on 50/50 shares for 35 years that the landlords share has always been sold across the scales at harvest. Last winter we pulled all the paper work up to 5 years ago and found the over 30 years the total made was the same for the landlord as me. My share went through the drier and was sometimes stored. We put a price on everything we did right down to every time we loaded the trucks. 

Not saying this will work for everyone but it worked for me. I got the idea from a BTO I know that has been doing it a long time and he is making money hand over fist. If I was handing the farm down to the next generation, I'm sure I would be doing things different, but in a couple years, an era will end. I have lived a very comfortable life and am satisfied with the way I did it. 

Jerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.Like someone said you can sell it when the price is high when you store it. It can also work out that you start making payments on a drier and bins and the price can drop just before you want to sell. Now you have a payment due and the price is down, this would be much less profitable than taking it to the elevator and getting it sold right away with less money invested in it. 

It's always easier to say what day you should have sold it last year, however I have seen ALL the experts wrong on the direction of the price lots of times. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I guess the first question is, do you have on farm storage? Without that a dryer is kin of pointless. Also keep in mind that with a dryer comes the need for a wet bin or some type of wet holding, propane tanks, etc.  Dryers are not low maintenance items by any means.

Do you have any neighbors that would dry it for you for the time being? Any dairies around that you could sell it as high moisture out of the field? Honestly with that acreage that would be the route I would try and go. Sell it right off the combine, no storage, no drying no handling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don`t forget , with a batch dryer ( Do you have the time to baby sit the dryer?)

Takes a lot of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We usually haul half to 2/3 crop in at harvest. Wheat and soybeans. If wheat is wet or soybeans are coop doesnt mind they dry it fast. a plus is our coop elevator is in very good shape so drying charges are usually 50% refunded as patronage. Corn if you are having that much shelling and wildlife it is the header or combine setting wrong. We have combined 15 % moisture in the spring with less shelling than 25% we have let corn stand and other people have like I said before maybe 2 % from fall to spring loss. But if corn is wet and light it will gain test weight as it dries naturally.so then it pays to let it go. One year Dekalb 83 day went from 52 lbs wet at 24 %in the fall to 59lbs in the spring and dry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, dale560 said:

We usually haul half to 2/3 crop in at harvest. Wheat and soybeans. If wheat is wet or soybeans are coop doesnt mind they dry it fast. a plus is our coop elevator is in very good shape so drying charges are usually 50% refunded as patronage. Corn if you are having that much shelling and wildlife it is the header or combine setting wrong. We have combined 15 % moisture in the spring with less shelling than 25% we have let corn stand and other people have like I said before maybe 2 % from fall to spring loss. But if corn is wet and light it will gain test weight as it dries naturally.so then it pays to let it go. One year Dekalb 83 day went from 52 lbs wet at 24 %in the fall to 59lbs in the spring and dry

What do you half to change setting wise since next year I will shell my own corn! Gonna run a 444 john deere head on a 6620 what can I change on the head to make better?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in the red river valley most elevators charge 3-5 cents a bushel per point over 15% to dry, with a 3 point minimum. So at the minimum you are looking at 9 -15 cent charge/discount for moisture at any elevator. If you can dry your corn for less then your money up.

 

In Braham were I farm, all our grain goes to the Twin Cities and onto a train or barge, they won't take any corn over 15%, IF they do it's a considerable discount, more then the drying charge. During harvest they will take it to 16% for less of a discount, but your still being discounted something. So if you want to move your grain at harvest you either have to leave it in the field till its dry, or dry it yourself.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Gleaner k2 said:

What do you half to change setting wise since next year I will shell my own corn! Gonna run a 444 john deere head on a 6620 what can I change on the head to make better?

The deck plates and the header speed can be changed sometimes. Plus new chains and having header in good shape helps. If you don't have a corn ready combine filler plates between rasp bars help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Smoker1 on this. I plant early to mid season maturity corn and haul it from the field to the elevator. I market most of my crop for October and November delivery. Yes I pay some drying charges, but I dont have to buy, maintain, insure and pay taxes on bins, augers, a drier, etc. and if the elevator doesn't get it dried correctly, that's not my problem. And let's not forget the safety issues that surround grain drying and storage. As for moisture I like hauling 15% moisture corn to town, dry corn usually has good test weight, but everyone around here always says that 20% moisture is the sweet spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are lucky here they send our corn west to go to china. The big elevator that handles corn has a natural gas dryer plus it is a big one probably close to 100,000 bushels a day. So drying charges at 20% are 20cents a bushel. Would cost you at least 10 to dry it yourself so the other 10 is minuscule. Plus we have a couple ethanol plants people haul to. If I had money I would set up in bin drying but I don't so I won't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys up here were touching over 200 bpa wet on 77 day corn up here. And on the southern part of North Dakota were hitting 240 to 270 on test plots with 83 day corn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ian Beale said:

Tcmtech

True but.  I've heard of calculations like this that make me want to ask the brand of calculator so that I never buy one.  

I don't follow.

 What does the brand of calculator have to do with the operator's ability, or lack thereof, to do basic budget analysis using known past and present values and extrapolating the worst to best likely profits Vs worst to best investment costs to get to those levels to see what their ROI (Return On Investment) for something works out to be and whether it looks favorable or not?  :wacko:

Market range for corn is easily found.  

Crop yield range is not hard to figure out,

Cost of dryer system is known,

Operating costs of the dryer per bushel are easily calculated given estimated operating costs range based on cost of fuel input and general upkeep work.

After that it's just looking at the numbers and seeing if there could be a profit in drying yourself and if so how long would it take to break even on what the systems purchase cost is by what selling price advantages it open up.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe he left 20 bpa on the ground, that's 11,200# per acre, the field would be gold to look at. Was it the head or were the sieves not set right? Driving too fast blowing it out the back or not fast enough to keep machine full? One year I had a variety that dropped whole ears and I was disgusted and thought I had tremendous loss, we measured off several spots and calculated it and it averaged 7 bpa loss was all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, tcmtech said:

I don't follow.

 What does the brand of calculator have to do with the operator's ability, or lack thereof, to do basic budget analysis using known past and present values and extrapolating the worst to best likely profits Vs worst to best investment costs to get to those levels to see what their ROI (Return On Investment) for something works out to be and whether it looks favorable or not?  :wacko:

Market range for corn is easily found.  

Crop yield range is not hard to figure out,

Cost of dryer system is known,

Operating costs of the dryer per bushel are easily calculated given estimated operating costs range based on cost of fuel input and general upkeep work.

After that it's just looking at the numbers and seeing if there could be a profit in drying yourself and if so how long would it take to break even on what the systems purchase cost is by what selling price advantages it open up.   

*you can use propane in a drier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, dale560 said:
5 minutes ago, dale560 said:

Guys up here were touching over 200 bpa wet on 77 day corn up here. And on the southern part of North Dakota were hitting 240 to 270 on test plots with 83 day corn.

200 bushel on 77 day corn? Thier be noway possible here in Pennsylvania where im at! Least seems that way! But I do know seed companies pick which varieties the sell in areas my area may get poorer quality/performing corn! I dont know but 175 on under 80 day corn id be happy with! And thrilled in 200

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, jass1660 said:

*you can use propane in a drier.

Yes, and?   

Would the cost of propane per unit of measure dried be one of the factors looked at in dryer operating costs that gets used to determine the cost  effectiveness of the operation at any point in time?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now