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Officials: Indiana farmers may struggle with grain storage

October 1, 2018

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana farmers may see storage problems amid forecasts of higher-than-average yields and lingering tariffs from President Donald Trump’s trade disputes with China, according to state agriculture officials.

Greg Matli, a statistician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, told The Journal Gazette that the service’s September report predicts record yields for corn and soybeans.

Some crops from last year remain unsold and are occupying storage space because of low prices and the Trump administration’s trade tariffs, said Jordan Seger, the deputy director of the State Department of Agriculture.

“Some of the discussion has been, one of the reasons for those low prices right now is just some of the trade and tariff discussions that are going on at a national and international level,” Seger said. “And obviously low prices affect when a farmer wants to sell his or her grain. So, it’s all kind of interrelated.”

Indiana officials announced last week that licensed facilities, such as farmers and grain elevators, can apply to store grain outside in covered piles if grain bins fill up.

Some grain elevators have 25 percent of their capacity in leftover grain, said Roger Hadley, the Allen County president of the Indiana Farm Bureau. Some locations aren’t accepting grain yet this season, he said.

“They’re probably still a little bit full, and they’re trying to figure out how to get rid of this grain at a price that’s going to be good for them and still be able to make it to where we’re actually in full harvest,” Hadley said.

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