Summer grain quality issues

I’m writing this week’s blog ahead of the Hogs and Pigs Report, the planted acres report and the quarterly grain stocks report. All of these have big implications for producers as they make marketing and production decisions.

At the same time, producers are making decisions today as to corn supplies. In the past couple of weeks I’ve talked with several producers who have had trouble sourcing acceptable quality corn. Last falls’ harvest resulted in a lot of corn being put into storage at or above desired moisture levels. Now this corn is coming out of storage as the weather warms and we’re learning how many storage management mistakes were made this winter.

If you’ve driven around the upper Midwest this past month you’ve seen the outside storage piles that were opened in May and June. In many cases, a lot of moldy corn in the pile due higher moisture levels entering storage and lack of appropriate aeration as the seasons changed. I talked with one producer who had to view several full bins of corn at a commercial storage facility before he found one that was not going out of condition. He quickly identified that bin as his corn source for the coming months.

Have you had a conversation with your mill about the condition of the grain going into your swine diets? While toxin binders can be added to grow-finish diets with some success, bad corn in gestation and lactation diets always leads to reproductive problems. With a shortage of pigs due to PED and weaned pigs at or near record prices, now is not the time to jeopardize production by failing to monitor incoming grain quality.

With warm summer weather finally here, what are your plans for cleaning bulk bins this summer? Do you clean your bins yearly so you reduce the likely hood of mold in feed occurring in bins?

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