Many of you have probably heard the phrase “carry in the market”. What does this mean and how can I use it in my marketing plan? Carry, in simple terms, means that the market is willing to pay you more for delivery tomorrow than it is for today. Conversely, the term inverse would mean the exact opposite - tomorrow’s delivery bid is less than delivery today. Ex. The October delivery soybeans bid is $11.42 while the January delivery bid is $11.76 - there would be $.34 worth of “carry”. 

Market carry is not to be confused as an indicator of market direction.  If there is carry in the market that does not mean the market is going higher, it only means that when you decide to pull the trigger on that sale you would look at making that sale for a deferred delivery period. Carry is only real if you sell it.
What are the costs involved in carrying grain? There is a few things to consider like the cost of money (whether you are stopping interest or accruing interest this should be considered), handling cost (whether we like it or not there is cost to handle grain, auguring, etc. costs money), and risk/shrink (between auguring in/out and moisture shrink will shrink your grain volume and bushels will be lost in the process).

Ex- $12 soybeans at 5% interest costs $.05/month, $.05 for handling, and just a ½ % of shrink would be $.06. In this example to carry soybeans from October to January it would cost $.26.
Other factors apply to binning or carrying grain like combine ability and work ability (it doesn’t matter what the carry to May is if I can’t get a truck down my road in May to execute the delivery) that is difficult to quantify but should also be part of the equation. My advice would be to use carry as an indicator and store the commodity with the best net carry, i.e. best return on storage.