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ADM Offers Free Corn Drying at Some Processing Plants
USAgNet - 11/12/2019

Grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co is waiving the fees it charges farmers to dry grain at three of its Midwestern corn processors as it seeks supplies to keep the plants running at optimum levels through a slow, wet harvest period, a spokeswoman said on Thursday. Farmers, who are weeks behind schedule in much of the U.S. corn belt due to rainy harvest conditions, have been reluctant to sell their grain at current price levels. Free drying offers them a significant break as tight supplies of propane needed to run grain driers have sent costs soaring this fall.

ADM'S chief financial officer said last week the company expected wet crops would lead to increased revenues from its drying operations, reports Reuters. But a spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement that ADM on Wednesday started offering free drying of corn at 19% moisture rate or less that farmers brought to its wet corn mills in Decatur, Illinois, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Clinton, Iowa. The plants process corn into ethanol and produce ingredients used by food and beverage companies.

Corn must be dried to a certain moisture level to be sold, stored safely or processed.

The three plants can produce an estimated 1.08 billion gallons of ethanol a year, according to data from the Renewable Fuels Association. ADM is considering spinning off its ethanol business as the industry struggles with tight profit margins.

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