A cool, damp fall has slowed corn drying and harvesting in Iowa. Farmers have several options when it comes to marketing grain that is above the moisture level for number 2 corn.

If storage or drying capacity is a limiting factor, selling grain directly from the field is convenient. The elevator or processor will accept the grain, weigh it and determine the average level of moisture. The net amount of revenue paid to the farmer will be calculated by applying a moisture discount factor to the selling price, or by drying the grain first and adjusting the volume for shrinkage.

Moisture discount

Under the moisture discount approach, the total pounds of corn delivered is first divided by 56 pounds to calculate the number of "wet" bushels. A moisture discount equal to a certain percentage of the current selling price is then assessed against each wet bushel.

This discount reflects both the cost of actually drying the grain and the loss of weight that will occur...