The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa on January 16, 1962 · Page 20
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The Algona Upper Des Moines from Algona, Iowa · Page 20

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 16, 1962
Page 20
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SWITCH TO An interview with Mr. Velmar M. Davis, U.S.DA. economist and grain handling authority, Washington, D.C. jMeld-shellmg is growing in popularity throughout the Corn Belt If field-shelling or improved storage and drying is for you, new is ihe time to lay your plans. Problems and inefficiencies of even a few years ago have now_ been ironed out.. .paving the way for much greater efficiency and profit in com handling - ' Combined with a well-planned system of cost—and labor-saving equipment all Hie way from field through storage to market or livestock and poultry, it has now become economical in spine cases for even the 3,000 bu. «im producer to make the complete switch to shelled '. corn. • '•,:•. ' . • - .-•'•• Com «n the ear wsqy.res tw t « the storoge space of shelled corn. Shelled corn is cfco eas,er to handle, load and transport. These are only a few <rf the reason! why every year more farmers in the Cornbelt are switching to field shelling Corn combines, such as this Gleaner, allow versatility of «se. Detachable header converts it from corn to grain or bean harvesting in^hort order. On the other hand some farmers prefer picker-shellers which can be easily converted for ear corn or shelled use. Studies show about 1600 bushels of shelling per year will return the original investment in the sheller attachment. SHELLED CORN "Five years ago, only 2% of the com harvested in die „ ^L^ elt was field she Ued," says Velmar M. Davis, U.S.DA. agricultural economist who has conducted extensive on-fann studies on the economics of various grain handling systems the past seven years. "By I960, the percentage had climbed to five or six .times that great. This past season field shelling probably zoomed to more than 15% of the Corn Belt total. It has already topped the halfway mark in some high-producing counties." It wouldn't make sense, of course, to shift to shelled corn handling just because other successful farmers have already done so. Work it out for your own farm . . . looking closely at all phases of it in terms of hard dollar-and- cents economics. That's where Davis' research becomes especially important. His detailed analysis of cost-and-retura studies on hundreds of farms by crews of USDA, state and industry reseachers can help you take the most profitable steps. The two big advantages of field-shelling over picking are lower field losses through earlier harvesting and 30$ to 60% lower storage costs than with bulkier ear corn. And whether you store the corn as wet or dry grain, shelled com ties in directly ^vith the big swing toward labor-saving mechanical feeding. Early Picking Prevents Field Losses From the standpoint of field losses, best harvesting time is much earlier than most farmers ever imagine. Com Belt surveys show 2&5% losses in October often jump to 10% during November, as high as 25% by mid- December. That could be more than $1500 loss per year on 100 acres under extreme conditions. In one three-year study, field 'losses on com picked when it had dried to 18%-22% moisture averaged 402 greater than on com picked at 22%-28% moisture. Other results confirm these conclusions that much more grain is lost when com dries out to less than 2235 moisture. After extensive experiments in a number of states, researchers say machine losses are lowest at 25%-2S%. With a corn picker and ordinary crib drying, moisture at picking time must be limited to 2O% or risk costly storage damage, especially in humid areas where corn is not used up in a short time. Shelled^com, easier to dry and store, offers more opportunity to harvest earlier • and avoid expensive field losses. Harvesting wet corn, of course, means drying or storing in air-tight bins or silos . . . additional investment in special facilities if not already on your farm. But, as USDA and state studies show, some of these costs can be offset by savings in preventing field losses due to delayed harvest. Since shelled com takes up only half the space of ear corn, annual storage costs are lower — about 3<Mf( per bushel on grain bins compared to about 7#-8* on corn cribs. This saving was mentioned as a deciding factor in shifting to field-shelling by 79% of Illinois farmers surveyed Unless kept in relatively air-tight storage, com must be dried to about 13% in the Corn Belt for extended storage, 15X-16X if fed before warm spring weather. Drying coste usually range from 1$ to 15* per bushel, depending on the land of system used, the moisture removed and the number of bushels dried. «A *M s Diying System A field-shelling system involving natural-air drying M conventional ear corn harvesting ' drv "ST* r° n0miSt Davis - " But »must ave about "** volume to unlfi « * e dimate »

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