Grain storage levels at all-time high in state

Another North Dakota harvest has resulted in a large amount of grain storage licensed again this year.

Posted on August 24, 2012

As of August 16, 2012 there were approximately 379.8 million bushels of storage licensed by the state and federal government, breaking the record of 368.1 million bushels at this time in 2011.

The number of licensed elevators fell slightly to 389 this year, down from 396 in 2011 and 399 in 2010.

“The 2012 grain harvest, despite the drought throughout some areas of North Dakota, was a productive harvest for producers,” said Commissioner Bonny Fetch, who holds the portfolio for grain elevators. “It is apparent the increasing production of North Dakota’s farmers set the stage for this increased level of licensed storage.”

Commission Chairman Brian Kalk said, “Despite a slight decrease in the number of facilities, we have seen significant growth in storage capacity. It’s clear this is a result of a larger transportation plan that entails larger elevators being co-located with shuttle train facilities. It’s important that we are able to move our commodities around the world but we must also keep sight of the importance of local storage facilities.”

Storage capacity at grain warehouses has steadily increased over the past several years. Increases in capacity can be seen all over the state, but they have been more predominant in the central and eastern regions this year. An increase in corn production of 80% over 2011 levels is also a cause for increased storage levels as corn takes more space to store than wheat or other small grains.

“In my conversations with producers and elevator managers, they tell me more farmers are building private storage facilities as well. The modern farmer uses more tools to market his products at better prices. Storage is definitely one of those tools,” said Commissioner Kevin Cramer.

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