The Andersons in reclaim mode

Storage capacity in 2023 remains unknown for one Michigan elevator. 

In mid-December, The Andersons’ Hemlock facility near Saginaw caught fire and a month later, reports of smoldering grain continue.

Justin Strahan, a grain merchandiser with the company, tells Brownfield he remains optimistic the facility will be operational by fall.

“The elevator is obviously in reclaim mode now, we’ve got to get it cleaned up before we can get it operational,” he says.

The cause and what can be reclaimed from the three million bushels of corn affected is still unknown.  Michigan Agricultural Commodities has been assisting to dry some of the water-soaked grain.

Strahan says the fire has had minimal effect on producers while the facility remains closed for deliveries. Likely more than 16,600 acres of corn were affected when accounting for the state’s 2022 average yield.

Throughout the many logistical issues of the past year, he says the rise in diesel has had the largest impact.

“You see upwards of 25 to 30 percent price increase on moving freight on trucks in Michigan,” he shares.

Strahan expects 2023 to be a big year for corn planting in the state given the current price environment.

Brownfield interviews Strahan during the recent Great Lakes Crop Summit.

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