Grain bin sales are booming - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Grain bin sales are booming

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CHICKASAW COUNTY (KWWL) -

Iowa farmers are enjoying near record-high commodity prices.  Last summer, corn traded at more than $7 a bushel.  Right now, some farmers are already locking in contracts for close to $6.50  a bushel for this summer's crop that hasn't even been planted yet.  And the high returns are pushing many farmers to increase how much grain they can store on site.

For Kyle Wendland farms in rural Chickasaw County, recent high commodity prices mean he's been able to store up a bit of extra cash and make some investments on the farm.  Recently he built a new shop, and soon he'll add new grain bins.

"I kind of saw it as…equipment prices have been very high and getting higher.  Also, land prices have been exploding.  I see grain bins as one of the things that hasn't inflated a horrible amount yet," Wendland said.

And Wendland's not alone by choosing to invest in grain bins.  In fact, nationwide, on-farm storage has risen two percent each year since 2008.

"Our business has been steadily growing for several years.  So yeah, it's good to have a successful business where the phone continues to ring and where you're selling a product that actually adds value to the bottom line," said Joe Holschlag, owner of Holschlag Bin Sales in New Hampton.

Added profitability is exactly why grain bins are a popular choice for farm investment.  Right now, Kyle Wendland's only able to store 30 to 40 percent of the grain he harvests.  With two new grain bins coming this spring, he'll be able to store 100 percent of his grain.  

Increased storage means increased flexibility.  He can store the grain, watch the numbers, and sell it at the best possible price, without forfeiting potential profits by paying an elevator to store the grain for him.

And as farmers continuing making investments on their farms, it will only help Iowa's ag economy keep climbing. 

Grain bins can cost anywhere from several thousand dollars to upwards of a million.  Experts don't think that farmers adding on-site storage will drive up prices for consumers too much.  That's because grain is a perishable item and can't be store indefinitely just so the farmer can make extra money.

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