- Cargill Sued Over the Failure of a Personnel Elevator at a Facility in Westwego, LA
- 2013 Corn Harvest is a Record Breaker
- Fire Crews Rescue Man Trapped in Grain Bin Near Smithton, IL
- Corn Crop at 84% Harvested and Soybeans at 91%
- Ethanol Groups Take Aim at an Associated Press Investigation
The family of one of the young men who died in a personnel elevator accident on Oct. 15 is suing Cargill for damages. The family claims that Jeffrey Feucht, who had never worked at a grain elevator, was not properly trained. They also claim that neither employee involved with the accident was issued a walkie talkie, rendering them unable to call for help. Feucht was descending on the elevator when it failed, severing his arm. Feucht died from blood loss at the bottom of the elevator shaft, and was not found until a cleaning crew happened upon Feucht and the survivor. The lawsuit is being filed by Melissa Feucht, on the behalf of herself and her child, for an unspecified amount.
The fears that a late planting and inopportune drought might severely affect the corn harvest has past as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new estimate jumped up to 13.99 billion bushels in the November Crop Progress Report. This is up from the 13.1 estimate from September, which many experts were skeptical of at the time. But with a record amount of acres planted and most areas reporting a good harvest, those doubts have been waylaid. This is far more than the previous record of 13.1 billion set in 2009. The Corn Belt performed better than expected. Even states such as Nebraska —where the drought was expected to cut down yields — ended up having record setting years.
A man was submerged in grain while cleaning a bin at a hog feed facility in Smithton, IL. The stuck grain broke off the walls and initially covered the man above his head in grain. Due to the actions of his fellow workers, by the time the fire department arrived, the grain had been cleared from his upper body and only came up to his waist. Though the man did not appear to be injured, he was airlifted to St. Louis University Hospital to be examined.
The harvest continues to move forward at a rapid pace with corn jumping another 11% over last week to 91% in total. This a full 12% higher than the five-year average, though it still lags behind last year’s nearly complete 97%. Soybeans are within 1% of the five-year average at 91%, but still behind last year’s 95%.
An Associated Press series of articles that looked at the effects of the ever expanding ethanol industry has come under attack by ethanol supporters. The articles focus on how the Renewable Fuel Standard — the ethanol portion in particular — has not been as environmentally friendly as it was first touted. The ethanol industry has called the report inaccurate, with false information and misleading facts, some even calling it a smear campaign. Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said the report is inaccurate, and doesn’t show farmers other conservation practices. The AP stands behind its story, pointing to the many peer reviewed scientific articles and government data used in the article, along with interviews from parties on both sides of the debate.
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