Some NC Elevators and Feed Mills Accepting Wet Grain

To say that it’s been a challenge to get this year’s winter wheat from the field to the bin is an understatement. Here in the second week of July, we’re still talking about wheat harvest, an unprecedented statement. But, with wheat still in the field, much of it has begun sprouting in the head, which up til now would make it worthless. NC State Extension Small Grain Specialist Dr. Randy Weisz says some elevators and feed mills are accepting this grain:

“In the last two days there are a number of feed mills and elevators who have put in place what they need so they can purchase grain that has sprouted and may also have low test weight. It’s a good option for growers to have for moving this grain.”

Now, make no mistake, the load will be discounted unlike a load with 13.5% moisture, but Weisz explains it will certainly be less than 100% if the field were to be abandoned:

“There will be a discount. Each of the buyers will have their own set of guilde lines. What at least some of the buyers are doing, is counting the sprouted grain as foreign matter, they may be raising the percentage that they will allow so that they will be discounting on some kind of a scale that might be similar to their previous foreign matter guide lines, but they are opening up their tolerances.”

Weisz speculates why mills and elevators are open to accepting sprouting grain whereas they’ve usually turned it down in years past:

“There is a need in this state for feed grain and there is a market for it. That is what is driving it. They are setting aside the equipment and facilities and equipment that they need so as soon as it arrives they can grind it and not have to store it.”

Therefore, calling the grain buyer ahead of cutting or bringing in a load is in a producer’s best interest says Weisz:

“Call your buyers and find out what arrangements can be made for this grain.”

Dr. Randy Weisz, NC State Extension Small Grain Specialist. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.