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Rich Shumate, University of Arkansas | Delta Farm Press – Corn growers across Arkansas are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, erecting on-farm storage facilities to help them more efficiently market and harvest their product, rather than relying on commercial grain elevators.

Over the past decade, growers in Arkansas have increased their on-farm storage by about 70 million bushels, or about 52 percent, according to Scott Stiles, an Extension economist with the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture.

With many growers across the state shifting from cotton to corn production, “that sharp rise is consistent with the 141 percent increase in corn acreage seen over the same time period,” Stiles said.

Kris Baker is one of the growers who moved into on-site storage at his farm in Sherrill in Jefferson County, Ark.

“If you’re going to stay in the business of raising corn, you’re going to need on-farm storage,” he said. “It’s really helped us out in the efficiency of our harvest.”

By storing their grain themselves, growers don’t have to transport their crops as far and can get it out of the field more quickly. They can also dry the corn themselves, which allows them to harvest earlier at higher moisture levels without paying drying charges assessed by commercial grain brokers.