This year, perhaps more than most, there is going to be a lot of grain quality variability. Specifically, corn quality will be a big concern in a large part of the Landus footprint. We expect to see issues with damage, test weight, and perhaps mycotoxins. Many, if not most, of these issues, will be due to the growing conditions we’ve seen this crop year. However, there will be some that could be prevented with a little extra time and/or effort.
Communication is Key
We continue to encourage people in both the drought-stricken and derecho-impacted areas to make sure to follow the instructions from their Federal Crop Insurance representative. They are the people that will make decisions on how to compensate for losses.
However, we’d also like to emphasize that we are here to help as much as we possibly can. If you want to bring samples into our location, please make sure to call ahead and verify the COVID social-distancing status of visiting that office. You could also contact one of our GMA’s or FSA’s and see if someone is available in the area to come out and get your samples.
Don’t Make it Worse in the Bin
We all know there really isn’t anything you can do to improve poor quality grain. However, there is a lot you can do to make it worse, once it’s put into a bin. Low test weight, high damage, and potentially high moisture is generally not a good combination. But, if you’re also dealing with any mycotoxins, like aflatoxin or vomitoxin, things can go from bad to worse in a big hurry. If you are seeing either of these, it’s usually better to get that grain into the market sooner rather than later.
In the case of aflatoxin, 20 parts per billion (ppb) might not sound like a lot, but that is the industry standard for acceptance. I’ve had to deal with this problem more than I’d care to during my career. And, it’s always frustrating for everyone involved. It can’t be seen, felt, or even quantified without a chemical test. It can, and does, vary from one end of the field to the other. It varies from truckload to truckload. But, it is very deadly. Anything fed to a dog above that level will cause a slow painful death, as it attacks the liver and promotes tumors. Some feed ingredient manufacturers restrict incoming corn to 10 ppb, simply because aflatoxin concentrates in the protein of the finished product, sometimes tripling or quadrupling.
So, the last thing you want to do is put something with 5 to 10 ppb in a bin in October and then pull it out later and find out that it’s now grown to 30 or 40 ppb or worse. In that scenario, your crop insurance most likely won’t compensate for any “extra” issues of disposing of grain that doesn’t fit into your normal distribution channels. Our advice is to move any suspect grain at harvest off-farm and only put good quality grain in your bins this fall.
Our team is here to help. Our role is to find a home for damaged corn by blending it off or identifying new markets. Please, communicate withy our team. You are not alone in your concerns and our locations have plans in place to deal with damaged grain. You own this cooperative and we’re here to put you at the center of our operations this fall.