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This harvest season has been a challenge for farmers. With the current forecast showing a stretch of dry weather to hopefully speed up harvest across Wisconsin, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reminded farmers and elevators to closely evaluate the quality of grain this fall. 

“Because of the challenging conditions this growing season, there is an increased likelihood of damaged or moldy grain,” said DATCP Secretary Sheila Harsdorf in a news release. “If you suspect you may have a problem with your grain, consider having it tested prior to commingling or delivering it.”

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According to the DATCP news release, farmers are encouraged to contact their crop insurance agents if there is a question of quality, to understand options and be aware of any testing or reporting obligations. If a farmer is considering applying for interim financing this fall, grain quality is critical. Lenders may require verification of quality before issuing loans. 

Elevators should closely evaluate incoming grain and be upfront about their standards and what loads will be rejected. Elevators should have clear procedures in place for testing, according to DATCP. If there are questions about grain quality between the farmer and the elevator, a third party test may be necessary.

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An abundance of grain is expected during the fall harvest, which could leave "some scrambling for a place to store it," according to the DATCP Grain Warehouse Keepers page. Expected record or near record grain harvests in the next few weeks, coupled with grain already in storage could put a squeeze on grain storage space. 

DATCP recommends that elevators understand requirements for storing grain and farmers should make certain their commercial storage facility is properly licensed. 

Information about temporary or emergency storage, how to increase license storage capacity or to find a state-licensed grain warehouse visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/GrainWarehouseKeepers.aspx.

“This is a busy time,” Harsdorf added in the news release. “Taking precautions and time for communication between parties is key and will lead to a more successful harvest for all of us.”

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