Written By: Lon Tonneson
Gary Wagner, Crookston, Minn. credits computerized grain inventory management for a recent 25 cents/bu premium on 10,000 bushels of barley.
A computer printout showed the exact amount and quality of barely Wagner had in storage.
“An elevator manager was looking for some high-quality malting barely the day I brought in samples and the computer printout,” Wagner reports. “He said that because he knew I wasn’t guessing about what I had, he’d pay a premium for it.”
Wagner, who wrote a the computer program, says it also helps him catch errors made by elevators. And it records where grain is stored.
“I admit it - I’ve lost track of some grain because I forgot which elevator it was hauled to,” says Wagner, who farms with two brothers (Wayne and Daryl). They store grain on several farms and in a half-dozen commerical elevators.
“But we don’t lose grain anymore,” Wagner says.
As grain is binned, samples are collected in plastic pails. The pails are marked by bin, field and variety. Later, the samples are analyzed for moisture content, foreign matter and other factors, which are entered into the computer.
As grain is sold, the computer subtracts the amount from the appropriate bin and computes the new inventory.
The program also calculates field-by-field yields, average selling prices and gross returns.
Such information has led to a switch from hard red spring wheat to durum, which made them more money.
“Everything the computer does, I could do by hand,” Wagner says. “But some of the stuff would take so much time in an operation our size that I wouldn’t even attempt it. The computer is much faster, neater and definitely more profitable.” -Lon Tonneson