- Rescuers Free Five Men From Grain Silo in Camden, NC
- Leaked EPA Proposal Significantly Scales Back Biofuel Blending Requirements
- Grain Tube Catches Fire in Huron County, Ohio
- North Carolina Department of Labor Investigating George Wood Farms
- Cargill Closing Another Texas Feedlot Due to Drought
It’s a refreshing change of pace to be able to report a happy ending to a grain entrapment incident. Initially, three men were trapped inside a 125,000-bushel silo; the other two became trapped when they went in to try and save them. By the time they were rescued, one man was covered up to his neck in the grain, another up to his chest and the rest up to their knees. The fire department vacuumed out the grain around the workers and cut holes in the tank to drain it. Rescue tubes were also used, but it is unclear how effective they were. This year’s wet conditions make grain engulfment more likely to occur, so make sure to stay safe.
The scaled back blending mandates that this report suggests may have an impact on the availability of corn for feed next year, but its effects may be felt far into the future. In it, the EPA not only acknowledges the blend wall, but also notes that it is an important factor to consider. This report confirms what oil advocates have been saying for years and may lend credence for requests for individual mandates by refineries. The report also goes against increasing the amount of fuel blended with higher 10% ethanol, mirroring statements made by refineries. It says “Few retailers are able to sell ethanol blends beyond the 10 per cent maximum, or willing to take the legal risk that comes with it.” Although the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard is still uncertain, both sides seem prepared to take their issues with the EPA’s blending requirements to court, with oil groups suing over the 2013 mandate and biofuel groups getting ready to do the same for 2014.
Part of the system that was moving grain between silos in Huron County, Ohio, became clogged and caught fire. It took 12 firefighters to put out the blaze. Even though the fire took only a few hundred gallons of water to extinguish, it was a challenge for the local firefighters due its location about 150 feet in the air. No one was hurt during the incident, and other than the lost grain, the damage was minor.
Due to the events covered in the No. 1 news story (Five Men Rescued from a Grain Bin), The North Carolina Department of Labor is looking into the operations of George Wood Farms. The investigation is making sure that the employees were properly trained and that all safety regulations were followed. They will also look for past incidents.Though the company was cited once for missing safety signs, it has never been fined.
While the Corn Belt had a wet spring that delayed planting, followed by a dry summer and then a wet fall, the South has dealt with only one weather condition, an omnipresent drought. Going into its fourth year, the extreme drought that is plaguing the region has claimed another victim, the Lockney, TX, cattle feed yard. The yard will be closed next summer due to dwindling supplies. The area’s ranchers have been forced to cull herds due to lack of pasture lands and the high cost of feed in recent years.