By Tom Collins
Eastern Ontario grain elevator operators say they are in a much better position to handle record yields than they were three years ago when they ran out of storage room.
Kevin Wilson, of Wilson’s Elevator at Vankleek Hill, said he was putting extra crop in grain bags as he ran out of room during the bin-busting 2015 harvest. Since then, he’s installed an extra 20,000 tonnes of storage, almost doubling the size of the elevator in three years to 50,000 tonnes. He doesn’t believe storage will be an issue as many Eastern Ontario elevators have increased storage in the last three years.
Elevators needed to accommodate a faster and a shorter harvest window and added storage because they never want to be caught again looking for ways to store 15 to 20 per cent of the crop that is still in the field, Wilson said. “We should have enough room to keep everything moving as long as the boats keeping coming into the ports.”
North Gower Grains elevator owner Dwight Foster doesn’t foresee any issues this year, even if corn and soybean yields were to break records. Not only did many elevators increase storage space but many farmers built more on-farm bins as well, Foster said.