Safety is Our Priority

Apr 01, 2019


By Trent Bohling
Grain Merchandiser

Our number one goal in this business is safety. Profitability and success mean nothing if you’re not here to reap their benefits. Corn and soybeans went into the bin in less than ideal conditions last fall; whether it was the actual grain moisture a little too high, damaged soybeans, or the tire tracks left as you plowed your way to the bin. It wasn’t a fun harvest.

The lack of grain movement this winter due to prices and weather, is causing some issues as many bin centers didn’t get pulled out as they usually would. These issues have led to some out of condition bins or at least an increased risk of out of condition grain which leads to bridging and spoilage.

Please, if you have a bin that has bridged or quit flowing, do not try to attack the problem on your own. Too many things can go wrong even if you do things right. If you need assistance, safety training or equipment, please reach out and we can provide you with our suppliers and ideas. I often see the “store and ignore” plan for marketing. I understand it, as well, because we get busy with more time sensitive activities in the spring. I ask you to consider the risk of “doing nothing”, especially in a year like this. Sour corn comes with a 10¢ dock. Insects come with a 20¢ dock. Bridged grain poses a major risk to your life. Spring and summer moisture and heat exacerbate grain quality concerns. If you have questionable grain, I recommend moving the grain at attractive basis levels and if you truly feel futures should rally, own paper (i.e. calls, call spreads, or a futures contract). Currently, an at-themoney July corn call is 13¢ plus commission and fees. That 13¢ could mitigate a 10¢ sour dock, the potential of basis weakness, interest expense on your operating note, or a volatile and negative tweet by trade negotiators, just to name a few.

Remember, you can’t mitigate all risks in this business so it’s imperative we control what we can. Marketing farm stored grain earlier in the year through these nontraditional avenues can assist in the safe handling of grain. Our ultimate responsibility is to our families but we have all seen too many examples of when a producer didn’t make it home.

Our number one goal in this business is safety. Profitability and success mean nothing if you’re not here to reap their benefits. Corn and soybeans went into the bin in less than ideal conditions last fall; whether it was the actual grain moisture a little too high, damaged soybeans, or the tire tracks left as you plowed your way to the bin. It wasn’t a fun harvest.

The lack of grain movement this winter due to prices and weather, is causing some issues as many bin centers didn’t get pulled out as they usually would. These issues have led to some out of condition bins or at least an increased risk of out of condition grain which leads to bridging and spoilage.

Please, if you have a bin that has bridged or quit flowing, do not try to attack the problem on your own. Too many things can go wrong even if you do things right. If you need assistance, safety training or equipment, please reach out and we can provide you with our suppliers and ideas. I often see the “store and ignore” plan for marketing. I understand it, as well, because we get busy with more time sensitive activities in the spring. I ask you to consider the risk of “doing nothing”, especially in a year like this. Sour corn comes with a 10¢ dock. Insects come with a 20¢ dock. Bridged grain poses a major risk to your life. Spring and summer moisture and heat exacerbate grain quality concerns. If you have questionable grain, I recommend moving the grain at attractive basis levels and if you truly feel futures should rally, own paper (i.e. calls, call spreads, or a futures contract). Currently, an at-themoney July corn call is 13¢ plus commission and fees. That 13¢ could mitigate a 10¢ sour dock, the potential of basis weakness, interest expense on your operating note, or a volatile and negative tweet by trade negotiators, just to name a few.

Remember, you can’t mitigate all risks in this business so it’s imperative we control what we can. Marketing farm stored grain earlier in the year through these nontraditional avenues can assist in the safe handling of grain. Our ultimate responsibility is to our families but we have all seen too many examples of when a producer didn’t make it home.

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