Sell corn and beans sooner rather than later: Purdue University economist

A Purdue University economist says farmers may be better selling their corn and soybeans now than storing in hopes of higher prices later.

In most cases, farmers should skip storage and take their grain directly to the elevator, Corinne Alexander said in a Purdue release.

"From an economics perspective, in short crop years one of the things we tend to see is that prices peak early, either before or during harvest, and then decline through the remainder of the marketing year," Alexander said. "The market is giving a strong signal to farmers to deliver early and at harvest because storage will not be profitable. This is true for both corn and soybeans."

Farmers considering waiting out the market for even higher prices could be leaving money on the table if they put their grain in a bin, Alexander said. Prices are likely to come down in the first quarter of 2013 as South American farmers harvest their corn and soybeans and provide some relief for stressed world stocks, she said.

There are only two reasons farmers should store grain in a short crop year, Alexander said.

"Those would include livestock producers who are supplying their own feed or producers who have contracts with either food or ethanol processors where the contract specifies a later delivery date," she said.

In the same release, Purdue grain quality specialist  Richard Stroshine said storing grain could present a host of challenges this fall, including drydown methods, mould, leftover fine material in bins and insects.

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