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Tynan Co-Op has to store grain sorghum in huge plastic bags
by Gary Kent
Jul 30, 2010 | 1414 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thick, plastic grain bags bulge with harvested grain sorghum on the grounds of the Bee County Co-Op at Tynan. Each of the 12 bags is about 200 feet long holds about six cars (600,000 pounds) of grain.
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They look almost like giant, white caterpillars crawling along the ground south of the grain office at the Bee County Co-Op in Tynan.

The huge objects are really heavy plastic bags filled with grain sorghum harvested in recent weeks.

“We just call them grain bags,” said acting manager Aaron Salge.

Each of the 12 huge containers holds about 600,000 pounds of grain. That’s the equivalent of six railroad grain cars.

Salge said the Co-Op had to resort to using grain bags when its silos filled up with grain this year.

The bags are filled and emptied using augers and they are designed to keep moisture from the grain.

“I don’t think there’s a whole lot left out there,” Salge said of the grain sorghum crop. Most of it has been harvested and delivered to the Co-Op.

Salge said south of Bee County, a lot of grain sorghum remained in the fields Friday but the majority of the crop in this county was already harvested.

Bee County farmers were expected to begin bringing in this year’s impressive corn crop.

South Bee County farmer Arturo Gaitan said the corn looks really good this year. Area farmers planted mostly corn this year and that investment seems likely to pay.

Because of the ample rain this year, the corn has not been stressed by drought. That means the tiny wrinkles in the kernels that allow the formation of the aflatoxin fungus are not present this year.

“We’ve got about zero aflatoxins,” Gaitan said.

Gaitan said the only thing slowing down the corn harvest this year has been the wait for the moisture content of the grain to get down to acceptable levels.

“It’s right there,” Salge said of that moisture content. He said last week that he expected farmers to be in the fields as soon as last weekend to start bringing in the corn crop.

Some delays had been expected because of rain forecast for the weekend. But those rains did not materialize and farmers took advantage of the conditions.

The rain did affect the grain sorghum, however. Salge said some farmers will see the price of their grain docked because of sprouting.

Salge and Gaitan both said the extent of sprouting damage was affected by a number of factors, including the amount of rain that fell on sorghum and the variety of the grain.

Damage levels have been running from as low as 3 percent up to more than 40 percent.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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