Another Death Darkens This Weeks Top News Stories
Fraud, acquisitions, RFS and a petri dish burger round out the list
We are now in the fifth week of the new Views on the News, and things are starting to fall into place. The goal has always been to have Views done on Monday or Tuesday but in past weeks, the realities of the magazine business have kept me short of that goal. Anyone who has missed any past weeks and would like to catch up on the news over the past month, check out the Feed & Grain blog section.
This week’s top stories are…
- Man Dies in Ohio Farm Silo
- Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Cargill
- EPA Finalizes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards
- First Public Consumption Test of Lab-grown Hamburger Conducted
- The Andersons, Inc. to Acquire Mile Rail, LLC
Even though Purdue University statistics have shown agriculture-related fatalities have been declining, grain entrapment has not followed that trend. No one is sure what caused Charles E. Groh to enter the corn silo located on his farm Aug. 5, but he became trapped in it as it was being filled with grain. This seems to be a gruesome summer as far as grain bin-related fatalities are concerned. We’ve covered it in past posts on Views, but also in the Editors View column of Feed & Grain’s August/September issue. All we can do at this point is to send our condolences to Groth’s family and friends, and remind everyone reading this to be careful whenever you enter a grain bin.
We found this story on BND.com, and I touched on this story last week, but here is the full run down. Bob True Beisley III received false scale tickets from a scale operator at Cargill’s facility. Beisley then used those tickets to claim payment for nonexistent shipments of corn. Cargill noticed that the amount of corn in stock didn’t match the amount reported, and tracked down the perpetrators. In all, the scam reportedly cost Cargill $2 million, Beisley being responsible for just over half a million of that total. The defendant has agreed to pay back the money as part of his plea bargain.
Neither side in the Renewable Fuel Standards debate can really call this EPA report a win. It continues the EPA’s stance that ethanol and other renewable fuels are an important part of its goal for the nation’s independence from foreign fuels. They also admitted that the current requirement to steadily increase the amount of ethanol blended into the fuel supply every year is not feasible. They have extended the mixing plant's time to reach their goal by five months. However, most importantly the EPA has vowed to look into the approaching blend wall, the point where it will no longer be possible to add more ethanol to the fuel supply without going past the E10 blend.
Though this hamburger is being touted as one of the solutions to world hunger, it still has a long way to go before it can compete with the livestock industry. The texture is right, but the burger didn’t measure up tothe domestic cow in taste. The patty is grown with bovine stem cells in a dish with a nutritional solution. The patty is naturally yellow but was dyed red with beet juice. The scientists responsible for the experiment say that adding flavor will be simple; they will simply allow some of the stem cells to form into fat cells. The burger cost $330,000 to produce, and was funded by Sergey Brin the co-founder of Google.
The Andersons, Inc. is acquiring Mile Rail LLC in order to increase its ability to repair and clean railcars. Mile Rail is headquartered in St. Louis, but has branches across the Midwest, and The Andersons are looking for ways to expanding their reach as a company. It also adds the ability to repair tank car repair to their repertoire, which will boost the rail care maintenance of The Andersons’ profits by 25%. Other than that, it seems to be a very straight-forward acquisition even though this is the second major acquisition by The Andersons, Inc. in as many weeks.
We had some great stories this week. Email me if you have any story ideas, comments on what news you want to hear about, or just to say "Hey." Subscribe to Industry Watch, follow us on twitter or like us on Facebook for all the latest news in the industry.