Seasonal utility limitations not good for wet corn crop

A delayed harvest has put Illinois farmers and grain drying facilities up against increased seasonal rates for utilities to dry wet grain.

Jeff Adkisson is executive vice president of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois. He tells Brownfield with colder temperatures expected this week, some facilities will be faced with higher premiums if they choose to dry grain. He says commercial customers of Ameren in Illinois, for example, have this limitation.

“If you use gas on a day when it is forecast to be an average of 25 degrees or less, you get penalized by the utility company with what is called a demand charge.”

He says the rates increase because of higher demand for utilities from others in the community heating their homes and businesses. Adkisson says in some cases utilities companies might even interrupt supply for a certain period because of a latency.

“One day you might be able to use as much gas as you need, but the next day it takes a little bit of time for that pressure to get built back up in the system, is my understanding so, when you get cold weather you can have those delayed reactions.”

He says these situations could delay harvest even further if elevators cannot store anymore wet grain.

“And we know that is not good for the farmer, it is not god for the elevator, it is not good for anyone on these situations and we hope there will be some patience and understanding on everybody’s part.”

He says elevators could make the decision to go ahead and dry, but utility tariff penalties could add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Interview with Jeff Adkisson

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