US storage capacity can buffer disruptions

Published: 03/11/2023

Mississippi River water levels have reached record lows in the first half of October this year. At Memphis, for example, the river stage, or height of the river’s surface relative to the zero-stage level of 189,9 feet, fell to a record low of minus 11,5 feet on 11 October.
These low river levels have reduced and delayed barge traffic and increased transportation costs for producers during peak harvest season. One factor that helps mitigate the impact of transportation disruptions is the quantity of available grain storage in on-farm and off-farm facilities.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest Grain Transportation Report from the Agricultural Marketing Service highlighted national agricultural statistics service data on grain storage capacity for both on-farm (including bins, cribs and sheds used to store grains and oilseeds on farms) and off-farm facilities (including elevators, warehouses, terminals, mills and crushers). As of 1 December 2022, the US had 25,4 billion bushels worth of total grain storage capacity: 11,8 billion (47%) of off-farm storage and 13,6 billion (53%) of on-farm storage.
A general increase in both on-farm and off-farm storage is a good sign for producers facing uncertain transportation conditions. – FarmWeek Now