A Descriptive Study of Grain Production, Consumption, and Storage in Virginia
Caffarelli, Peter Anthony
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Agriculture is an important industry in Virginia, with an array of crops grown and animals produced. Virginia's crop, livestock, and poultry sectors sold agricultural products worth $1.4 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively, in 2012. One of the products, grain, serves as an important input for raising livestock and poultry. Virginia needs to import grain from other states (Eastern Corn Belt states) to meet current livestock feed requirements, an expense that raises the cost of production over locally sourced grains . Further, such movements of grain from producing-areas to demand-areas rely on the efficient and timely interaction of grain storage and transportation. Describing the details of the grain supply chain provides insights into the interplay and relationships among production, storage, transportation, and end users of grains and oilseeds in Virginia. Results of a state-wide survey of Virginia grain producers shed light on the following topics: current cropping practices; current grain storage practices; available farm-level storage and its use, age, and expected life; and future storage plans and constraints. Overall findings include, grain production in Virginia has generally increased over the last decade, yet storage capacity remains constant and continues to age; livestock and poultry populations are declining leading to less demand for feed grains and oilseeds; grain farmers report satisfaction with their current storage situation and higher returns to stored grain may encourage "non-storers" to build storage; and the majority the grain leaving the farm is hauled by truck over short distances (25 miles or less). Overall, the results provide a foundation for understanding the grain supply chain in Virginia and offer useful information to Virginia's agricultural stakeholders.
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