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Anxiety rising about crop standability, drying costs
By SUSAN K. DAVIS
Ohio Correspondent

LONDON, Ohio — Ohio State grain marketing specialist Matt Roberts said farmers are concerned with harvest conditions and grain-drying prices this fall.

“Drying this year will be painful,” Roberts said about the skyrocketing liquid propane costs.

Roberts shared his outlook at the Question the Authorities session during the Ohio Farm Science Review last month.

Let the crop dry down in the field, if possible, he told the 20 farmers in the crowd. However, many farmers won’t be able to leave the crop in the field.

“Half of Ohio has serious stand issues,” he said.

Robert’s advice: Pray for dry weather during harvest.

Along with weather are storage concerns. The United States is expected to have the second largest corn harvest on record in 2005.

“That’s a lot of storage pressure,” Roberts said. River flow is the biggest question. “Can the crop move fast enough and well enough at a rate we’re accustomed to?”

Because of the anticipated backlog, this will be a good year to store corn on the farm, he said.

Another scenario to watch is the 2006 planting intentions. High fertilizer and fuel prices could cause farmers to switch from corn to soybeans next year.

“Come January if energy prices stay where they are we’ll see a lot of speculation about a big shift to soybeans,” Roberts reported.

Speculation about acreage shifts will pressure soybean prices downward in January, February and March.

“I would not be a big fan of holding beans past January,” Roberts said. “I would not want to be a holder of unpriced beans at that point.”

10/5/2005