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Master of Agribusiness

Corn Storage and Marketing Feasibility in Northern Mississippi

Andy Milstead, Walnut, Miss., defended his thesis, “Corn Storage and Marketing Feasibility in Northern Mississippi” on March 29, 2017. He is the Owner of Milstead Farms LLC. Milstead was a spring 2017 graduate from Kansas State University with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree.

On-farm grain storage can have economic impacts on a farm’s profitability and production efficiency over time. Market fundamentals can be a key component of farm-based decisions regarding the construction of grain storage facilities and how they affect marketing decisions. In his thesis, Milstead examined how grain storage decisions in the Northern Mississippi area depend on corn basis differentials in local markets and how this impacts total farm profitability. 

“My thesis provides an economic analysis of known costs associated with building and operating grain storage facilities. It provides opportunities to further research other areas of economic efficiency associated with grain storage such as harvest logistics.

Milstead’s research found that the biggest obstacle affecting the profitability of on-farm grain storage in Northern Mississippi was the upfront cost of the facility. He discovered that on-farm storage can become profitable over a shorter storage period once the upfront costs of grain storage and handling facilities are paid. Due to changing market conditions, his future recommendations suggest that on-farm grain storage should not replace the need for the development of grain marketing plans to increase the likelihood of profitability.

Dr. Dan O’Brien, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics and Milstead’s thesis advisor, said, “This thesis provided an economic analysis of construction of grain storage facilities and corn marketing opportunities for northern Mississippi. The results were promising, especially when considering sales to northern Alabama livestock feed markets.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/35327.