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November 29, 2013 06:00 PM

Elevators Drying Piles Of Wet Corn

Bowdle, SD

By now, most of KELOLAND's corn has been harvested. Even with a bulk of the crop out of the fields, there's still plenty of work to finish.

After a quick Thanksgiving break, it's back to work at a North Central Farmers Elevator terminal west of Bowdle.

"We still have a long way to go in handling this harvest," Craig Haugaard said.

A lot of corn came off the fields wet this year, so it needs to be dried before being stored. That wet corn has been coming in faster than machines can dry it, so work has backed up in many places.

At several elevators, wet corn sits in piles waiting to dry. At some locations, farmers continue to deliver wet corn.

"In those most northwest portions of our trade area, there's probably 40 percent of the corn still in the field," Haugaard said.

Some of that is in North Dakota, but it stretches into north central South Dakota as well. As a whole, corn harvest in the state is behind last year but ahead of average according to the latest crop report.

Still, that corn is requiring more work than usual after it's combined.

"Our facilities that have dryers are going to be drying 24 hours a day, seven days a week until we get caught up," Haugaard said.

Some places already are. The central part of the state which received rain later in the growing season has plenty left to do.

All the drying this fall contributed to a propane shortage in the state. A propane supplier from the Aberdeen area says the shortage has eased as a lot of farmers have finished harvesting and drying corn.

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