From spring planting right up to the fall harvest, it’s been a challenging cropping season across many parts of the nation. As many farmers look for ways to handle immature corn this fall, the University of Wisconsin’s Greg Blonde offers some tips for pricing standing corn for both corn silage and high-moisture corn. Since 2016, the extension’s corn silage pricing app, available for free for Apple and Android mobile devices, has helped determine both floor and ceiling prices for hundreds of buyers and sellers.

Corn silage pricing
“This year an additional 10 to 30 percent price discount or deduction from the final price may be appropriate for corn chopped between early-dent and half-milk due to lack of maturity and lower silage feed quality,” explained Blonde, an extension agriculture agent who is based out of Wisconsin’s Waupaca County.

When it comes to pricing standing corn for silage, the new Apple version of the app also includes links to the latest Wisconsin Custom Rate Guide to help determine silage harvest costs. When using the app, the financial difference in soil nutrient removal between silage versus grain harvest is also calculated to help sellers calculate their price. To get users up to speed, a short YouTube tutorial of the corn silage pricing app is also available online at: https://youtu.be/BRLWsL4xM18.

High-moisture corn pricing
Blonde says another option for wet corn is high-moisture shelled corn when kernel moisture is between 24 to 32 percent. High-moisture shelled corn can be an excellent source of energy for dairy and livestock animals while helping the corn grower reduce lodging and harvest losses, as well as cut extra drying, handling, and storage costs.

“A bushel of dry shelled corn weighs 56 pounds at 15 percent kernel moisture. That’s over 8 pounds of water in each bushel of corn,” said Blonde. “However, corn at 25 to 35 percent kernel moisture with 17 to 25 pounds of water per bushel will be much more common this year following delayed planting, excessive rain, and saturated fields across much of the region,” he went on to say.

Knowing the value of wet shelled corn is important for farmers when making marketing and management decisions like buying, selling, feeding, drying, or storing corn. To help with those decisions, Blonde reminds farmers and their advisers to check out the free extension mobile Android app “Pricing Wet Corn.”

The app quickly calculates a value for wet shelled corn based on kernel moisture and the price of local dry shelled corn (a direct link to local elevator bid prices is built into the app). The equivalent wet corn price is then calculated for both price per ton and price per bushel. Additional costs for drying (gas or electric) can then be entered by the grower to evaluate a breakeven sale price compared to drying and storing the grain. Again, the “Pricing Wet Corn” app is free and available only for Android mobile devices on the Google Play Store.

Make it better
Blonde reminds buyers and sellers, extension colleagues, and other farm advisers to use the “share” button in either app to send results, including specific input values, as well as an output summary of their analysis directly from their mobile device.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2019
September 30, 2019
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