It’s not a sight one expects to see in town – a mountain range of reddish-orange milo heaped in piles taller than many buildings.
But, that is the sight near the intersection of Main Street and Railroad Avenue in Great Bend. Great Bend Co-op, which owns the land, has dumped over 250,000 bushels of the fall-harvest grain at the location.
"The pipeline is full," said GB Co-op Manager Dennis Neeland. "We just can’t get grain cars" to haul it away.
A good corn and soybean harvest, along with busy grain terminals farther down the grain shipment line, have kept storage elevators filled to the brim. Now, the area’s milo harvest is about half or three-quarters complete, but with no place to go.
The co-op also has about 150,000 bushels piled at its facility in Radium and will start piling it at its fertilizer plant three miles south of Great Bend if needed.
Neeland said they stored milo outdoors last year, but not as much as they have this fall. They opted to start at the in-town location first since it was closer.
"We’re just having a hard time getting it shipped out," he said. So far, however, it has not been detrimental to the farmers since crop prices remain relatively high.
As for storing outside, Neeland said it doesn’t really harm the grain. "If it rains, it can crust over and we can lose a little," he said. They just hope they can get rid of it before that happens.