More farmers are turning to grain bags and other storage options for their soybeans over selling immediately in hopes that over the next few months trade tensions with China — the top market for U.S. soybeans — will ease, reports Bloomberg.

According to the article,

“The scramble for storage comes just as soy production is reaching a record. American growers are trying to recover as overall farm income is projected to fall for the fourth time in five years. Chinese appetite for soybeans, used in everything from hog feed to cooking oil, had once been a bright spot. But with the onset of tariffs, the country’s imports of the oilseed from the U.S. have plunged, falling almost 90% in September from last year.

“For some farmers, there is little choice but to keep their harvest. Millions of bushels have nowhere to go. Terminals in Portland, a key outlet in the Pacific Northwest to ship to China, are rarely offering bids. Supplies are backed up at terminals and elevators, even as cold, wet weather in North Dakota has left many acres unharvested. The country’s soybean inventories are expected to more than double to about 955 million bushels by the end of this crop year, according to the USDA.”

The James Valley Grain co-op in North Dakota will store at least 2 million bushels of crops in bags this year, which according to the report is twice as much as last year. In fact, the co-op has 400,000 bushels of soybeans in single use grain bags at its Berlin, N.D., location this year. That’s twice as much as in 2017.

As of the beginning of November, the Illinois Department of Agriculture had received requests for 11.6 million bushels of emergency storage capacity, which includes grain bags, or triple the amount last year.

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