Area cooperatives prepare for 2016 harvest run

Cooperative Grain & Supply weighs trucks loaded with wheat on Monday as harvest moves forward. Dick Tippin, grain marketing specialist for Cooper­a­tive Grain & Supply based in Hillsboro, said he expects this year’s wheat harvest to range from 40 bushels to 60 bushels an acre.Crew members at area cooperative grain elevators have been preparing for a very large winter wheat harvest this month.

They also are preparing for a future that includes unprecedented increased harvests with new varieties of soybeans and corn.

Dick Tippin, grain marketing specialist for Cooper­a­tive Grain & Supply based in Hillsboro, said he expects this year’s wheat harvest to range from 40 bushels to 60 bushels an acre.

Darel Anderson, general manager for Agri Trails Cooperative headquartered at Hope, but including the elevators at Tampa, Durham, Lincolnville and Lost Springs, expects yields in the same range.

That’s true even though the co-ops’ territories extend over a variety of soils from the clays around Marion and Hillsboro to the edge of the sand soils north of Abilene.

In both cases the two men are part of efforts to build big concrete storage bins that average 124 feet tall, and hold 306,000 bushels each.

Tippin said CG&S’s newest third bin at Hillsboro was successfully completed June 1, including the new blue leg elevator with cups taking grain up one side of the elevator and down the other side.

Anderson said the same kind of effort has been going on at Agri Trails with a new bin just completed in the county at Lincolnville and also outside Marion County at Chapman and Hope.

Lyman Adams, CG&S general manager, explained in April that the giant bins are being built at an unprecedented rate since the elevator construction boom of the 1950s and ’60s, not only because of wheat but because of genetically modified corn and soybeans that may modify just the corn from yielding a very good 100 bushels an acre upward to 300 bushels an acre here.

Anderson agreed, although he said in his area a higher percent of acreage is more suited for wheat and less to corn and soybeans.

Some speculators predict farmers could hit 100 bushels an acre wheat in the future.

Anderson said the consolidation of three co-ops into ATC last year gave a combined storage capacity of 9 million bushels, with size being a big consideration in marketing strategy for the three crops mentioned plus milo.

Tippin said from his office, where he’s continually watching marketing reports, that the bin capacity is important in making decisions on whether to hold onto wheat or other grains, or whether to sell them.

He was expecting the market report Friday to be bullish.

CG&S also has two of the large bins in Marion, Tippin said, but not at its other locations at Canada, Lehigh and Canton. He acknowledged a third bin could be added at Marion.

With the high rates of ability to remove grain from the bins—35,000 bushels an hour at Hillsboro—neither of the companies expect there to be many slow-ups for trucks loading and unloading wheat at elevators.

Both companies have newer ground cover facilities where grain can be piled outside, but Anderson said that is unlikely to happen here as it is in western Kansas because the average rainfall that can deteriorate the wheat outside is higher.

With the better moisture this year, the managers agreed there probably will be more farmers planting soybeans immediately after wheat.

With the consolidation of cooperatives into ATC, the outlook for a good wheat crop plus anticipation for improvements in other crops, and the addition of more grain storage, Ander­son said there is a growing sense of excitement among co-op members.

At the same time, he said, it’s important that members remember the heritage of the cooperatives that joined together.

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