Tom’s Take: Impact of Election Results on the Grain Market


I’m writing this article Tuesday, November 3rd 2020 before I leave home to head to my polling place to cast my ballot. As you read this email Wednesday morning, every news station, social media channel and almost all conversations will revolve around election results. 

However, in the world of corn and soybeans, today is likely to be focused on economics, not politics. 

Regardless of who becomes the President, the Corn Belt has good demand and some supply issues. This creates opportunities for our farmer-owners who are ready with a plan. It’s also a time when we can all get caught up in the election results and forget about some of the operational things we need to manage on-farm. 


While folks may be waiting for $5 corn yet this fall, we urge our farmer-owners to work with their Landus representatives on making a plan to take advantage of the spikes. In recent weeks our prices have already been impacted by China’s seemingly long-term growing demand for corn and also by the supply issues created by drought and derecho in Iowa and other parts of the Midwest. This may be the supply/demand opportunity you’ve been waiting for, but make sure you have a plan in place to take advantage. 

We also urge you to put some offers in place for coring your bins after January 1st.

Grain Quality

If you need a break from all the election analysis, we encourage you to take a walk and check your bins for grain quality.  Thanks to Dr. Charles Hurburgh for providing this update for our farmer-owners: 

Grain drying will be a crucial factor after harvest, with the need to dry quick and eliminate wet holding time. Hurburgh recommends increasing bin dryers to 120-degrees Fahrenheit at home and to not store this grain for too long – it needs to be in and out. If not dried quickly, the grain will continue to grow mold and become more dangerous. The current storage timetables put out by Iowa State University need the times cut in half and cut more than half in downed grain. 

This damaged corn won’t be giving up moisture easily and will lose less moisture during cool down than expected. It’s not recommended to directly store grain in silo bags after harvest, even at 17 to 18% moisture, although test weights of 55 to 56 bu/lb may get away with it.

At the end of the day, test weight is going to be your best friend, as it is the first indication that the grain is damaged or stressed. Low test weight grain that is not damaged by fungus, is not well handled by poultry, but there may be other feeding options for your damaged grain.

We’re continually thankful for the relationship we have with the Iowa State University Agriculture department and would like to extend our gratitude to Dr. Hurburgh for his time and expertise.