The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 26, 2011

On the move

New year rings in activity at grain elevators

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— Country elevators have been preparing for this year’s wheat harvest by sending more grain to Enid terminal elevators.

Truck traffic this year has been typical of what normally is seen as elevators make room for the next crop. Another reason for the movement of grain is increased demand.

“Usually just after the first of the year there is an uptick in truck traffic and grain movement,” said Jeff Bedwell, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service ag educator for Garfield County.

“It’s hard to tell what kind of grain it is. We grow substantial amounts of grain sorghum, corn and soybeans, in addition to being the largest producer of wheat in the state in 2009,” Bedwell said.

“The market is saying we need more grain. When the market goes up, it encourages people who still have it to sell it, and they transfer it to endpoint terminals.”

As farmers take advantage of prices, they sell wheat to buyers as soon as buyers are arranged. That can be a few days to a few weeks, Bedwell said.

Rodney Jones, OCES area agricultural economics specialist, said the truck traffic likely is grain movement to terminal elevators. Country elevators move grain to Enid, and it is shipped here.

“It would not be unusual for elevators to be moving grain to terminals this time of year,” he said. “Also, some elevators are freeing up space for wheat, but they have also had a tremendous fall crop harvest in this area.”

There is a lot of grain sorghum, soybeans and corn harvested in the Enid area. Looking at the bigger picture, there have been reports of a lot of movement of grain into the market; however, Jones said it will take a long time to move all of the grain currently in storage.

“We had some phenomenal crops in the U.S., not necessarily here, but very large ending stocks of grain from recent years harvest,” Jones said.

“That would be the normal thing. Most country elevators are connected to terminal elevators in the Enid area, so they ship to Enid.”