Strong weekly soybean export sales indicates demand responding to early June selloff.
Soybean export sales were reported at 317,200 – well above trade expectations for around 150,000 tonnes sold. This morning’s report included the large reportable sale of 140,000 tonnes to unknown destinations from last week. This was a very strong week for U.S. soybean exports, considering the fact that excluding the large reportable sale it would have been the largest week for U.S. soybean sales since March. Keep an eye on the July and August soybean contracts as the market opens this morning.
Corn export sales were reported at 321,000 tonnes, also above trade expectations for this morning’s report. Our models now indicate that U.S. export sales of old crop corn are running 145 million bushels ahead of pace to meet USDA expectations. Wheat export sales were very strong, but in line with trade expectations. Gulf basis for SRW wheat has moved 20 cents higher in the last week as export demand and quality issues at harvest have forced merchandisers to improve their spot wheat bids.
The cash basis at the gulf has increased in the recent days as moisture during flowering has elevated the levels of Vomitoxin. The quality of SRW wheat does not meet quality standards leaving exporters willing to pay a premium for high quality wheat. The Kansas City wheat market was also supported by confirmation that Brazil has postponed the usual 10% import tariff for up to 1 million tonnes of wheat through August 15th, a terrify that usually applies to U.S. and Canadian wheat. Brazil was forced to take action after concern about supplies from Argentina which is Brazil’s primary source of wheat.
For corn and soybeans traders are mostly focusing on the USDA acreage report and quarterly stocks numbers. Soybeans quarterly stocks will be closely watched as analysts expect the smallest stocks since 1977. This morning soybeans are trading higher, moving up through its 100 day moving average, but still within the consolidation range that we have traded in since the 13th.
A female reader shares her experiences as a woman in agriculture.
Have you ever walked into a room full of people and been the only one that is “different?” — I have, and I do frequently.
Welcome to being a woman in commerical agriculture, a still male dominated field. In many of my classes at Michigan State University, they told us this, but it was hard to believe when most of my classes had a higher percentage of women than men. This disparity tells me that the agriculture world is changing — slowly but surely.
Working at an elevator is different from where most of my colleagues ended up. At the elevator where I work, there are a total of three females out of 50 employees. I am the only one who is not in administration out of those three women.
We have never had a woman stay in a position outside administration for more than six months. There are many reasons why, but in my mind it all comes down to the fact that it is a challenge. I also have had days where I want to throw in the towel, but I am determined to make a change in the ag world. My goal is to make it known who I am and what I represent. The entire world is changing, and women are taking a stand and moving up in all aspects of society. Agriculture is not any different.
I work with farmers on a daily basis, and I understand how their parents and grandparents grew up. They were told women were put on earth to take care of men and their families. Men were the breadwinners and women stayed home. I understand this mentality and try to handle each situation with someone of that generation with it mind. When I get out of my truck on a farm to visit a producer, I am being judged. I know this. I have been told multiple times “Ah, um, you’re not, uh, what I expected.” I smile kindly and ask “Well, what were you expecting — a gorilla?” I make a joke to make it less awkward. I’ll have to prove myself a million times to win over a producer’s trust. Some I honestly don’t think they mean to, but they just have a hard time taking advice or direction from, not only a woman — but a young woman. I also find this to be very true with the employees that work for me in my division.
I am in charge of one of our divisions at the elevator. I have all men working under me, and all are older than I am. It has proved to be a challenge for them to take me seriously and do as I ask. It has gotten better, but we have a long way to go.
Women also work differently than men for physical reasons. For example, one day I went out to help a co-worker soil test in a field. We had been working for hours, and I suddenly could not hold the urge to have to go to the bathroom! I said to myself, "oh boy, now what? Where can I go to the bathroom in the middle of this open field?" I knew the co-worker I was with well, so I asked him, “where am I to go to the bathroom?” He laughed and replied with, “I never thought about that for you. I just stand behind the jeep and go.” I then said “well isn’t that just great for you!” We both laughed before I took the jeep to a fence line.
And we're different in the way we think and express emotions. It is no secret that men and women view things in differently, but neither way is necessarily wrong. We all need to remember to view everyone’s opinion, even if it isn’t the way you would do something. Though women express their emotions more easily than men, this does not make them the weaker of the sexes, it is just the way we express ourselves. Men need to remember that sometimes being blunt is not the way to get the job done. Just a word to the wise: watch your words and be aware of how you say things. Women tend to pick up on tones of voices and word-choice very easily.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge how much harder women work to move up in not only their company, but through society. I want everyone to understand that if we get a promotion, we deserve that promotion. We got it through going above and beyond the call of duty. We put more sweat, tears and hours into it than you may realize. The next time you or someone around you judges a woman on “why” she got a promotion; just stop yourself. Women are going to continue to break the “glass ceiling.” So, to the entire world, I just want to say “accept it.” Women are here to stay, and we will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. We all want that top dog position, so let the best man or woman win.
Feed & Grain continues to update its digital offerings to improve user experience
“Views on the News” is taking a break from its regular format this week. Instead of a list describing the top five news postings from the past week, it will focus on the changes to the most popular way our readers consume the news —Feed & Grain’s Industry Watch eNews.
Over the last few weeks, you may have noticed changes throughout Feed & Grain’s digital offerings. We started by launching a new website design, followed by a new app for iPad and android tablets, then an interactive digital issue and now a new newsletter. The fresh features have been designed with readers in mind. They are easier to navigate, more engaging to read, and ultimately, further immerse you in the world of feed and grain. The new newsletter is user friendly, but let me give a behind-thescenes look at why we made some of the changes we did and how they can benefit you.
The first change you may notice is the new headline of the newsletter. While the lead article headline is still the email subject line, the newsletter now features a headline at the top of the email that summarizes what appears in this issue of Industry Watch eNews. It will be an easy way to gauge if you want to read on … or move on to the other pressing issues of your day and save Industry Watch for when you have free time.
When we explained our industry to an outside consultant, showing him some of the equipment and facilities, he exclaimed “you guys are a big industry; you deserve big photos.” We’ve taken that to heart, and you may have noticed that the new newsletter features big, beautiful images. Larger pictures have been sprinkled throughout the redesign to show you news, products, logos and stunning images of agriculture in the size and detail that our industry deserves.
The section we call Breaking News will now feature the top two news stories from the current day. These stories will often send ripples throughout the feed and grain industries, or agriculture as a whole. These are the stories with the widest range of interest, and if you only have time to read a few, we highly recommend these.
The last part of the newsletter will house Web Exclusives, more Industry News and Supplier Briefs. Excellent information for those who want to know what companies, associations, other facilities and academia are up to. It will also house all of Feed & Grain’s made-for -web content.
We hope you have fun exploring everything new Feed & Grain has to offer. We’ve always prided ourselves on being the best at what we do, and these new developments are a continuation of that ever increasing goal. Let us know what you think of the new e-newsletter or any of the other new features that have been rolled out over the past few weeks. Don’t forget to email me if you have any story ideas, comments on what news you want to hear about, or just to say, "Hey." Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for all the latest news in the industry. See you next week.
AFIA reacts to FDA’s denial to extend the animal food rule comment period
Last month, the FDA denied several feed and grain industry groups’ request to extend the comment period for the “Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals,” under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Commonly referred to as “the animal food rule,” it will affect nearly every feed manufacturer in the nation, and does not provide the exemptions the industry feels are necessary. Some of the changes proposed include new CGMPs for facility operations, equipment design and process controls, as well as mandates on Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls.
Among the groups requesting an extension was the American Feed Industry Association, the largest organization representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal feed industry. Richard Sellers, AFIA’s senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, expressed disappointment over the decision in a statement, noting that the agency received an extension by the courts; however, it did not pay it forward by granting the feed industry the same privilege.
I caught up with Leah Wilkinson, AFIA's director of ingredients, petfood and state affairs, for more on the association’s reaction to FDA’s denial of their request. Wilkinson is heading up the mammoth task of compiling AFIA’s comments on the FSMA’s proposed rules. She said “[We] continue to be surprised by the lack of recognition from FDA on how massive of a change these proposed rules will be on the animal food industry. With the human food industry receiving eleven months to comment, AFIA thought seeking additional time over the five months given seemed rational, but it appears FDA concluded otherwise.”
Despite their hurdles, the AFIA met the March 31 comment period deadline; however, the additional time would have allowed for further analysis and examples to justify their positions. Wilkinson explained “As a member-driven organization, AFIA utilizes its members and committee structure to review proposed regulations and legislation. In this particular case, AFIA has been working diligently with 80 individuals from 50 different member companies who volunteered their time to participate in our work groups for FSMA. These members broke into work groups and sub-work groups to review different portions of the proposed rule, develop a position and then draft the text for the comments.”
But considering the diversity within the feed industry itself, Wilkinson noted that the AFIA carefully examines and evaluates its positions’ potential effect across its entire membership before submitting comments. It takes time to “make sure we have input from the varied segments of the animal food industry to assure everyone is aware and will not be negatively impacted by the proposal or AFIA’s positions. [The] FSMA is the most significant change to how the feed industry is regulated since 1958, and our review and comments have required much thought and analysis for how it will impact the industry.”
Despite AFIA voicing concerns over the enormous implications of the rule, don’t expect the FDA to issue a re-proposal. Instead, it will publish revised language, and the AFIA is committed to making the feed industry’s interests known throughout this process.
“We have repeatedly told FDA from the start that we anticipate additional issues will be identified after the comment period deadline and that we will raise those issues with the agency when they do. After the final rules are published and efforts are made in earnest to comply, AFIA will survey our membership for an understanding of how small to medium-sized firms are adjusting. If more time is needed to comply, AFIA will petition the agency with adequate justification to request more time for compliance.”
In January, the FDA published its “Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Proposed Rule,” with a comment deadline of May 31. The rule covers less ground and is more focused, and Wilkinson anticipated that the AFIA will be able to provide comments by the set deadline utilizing its work groups and members to review the rule’s impacts.
In addition to AFIA’s comments on the industry’s behalf, you can make your own voice heard by clicking here to comment directly to the FDA before the end of next month. Look for more information on the proposed transportation rule in the article “Industry Braces for Rules Rollout,” in our April/May 2014 issue.
April 08, 2014
| By Lin Shen, Wilbur Ellis | Views: 1993
Beer co-product is a great source of feed, containing up to 20% protein dry weight and up to 60% fiber
The “brew-to-moo” connection, which involves sourcing cattle feed from spent grain created after brewing beer, isn’t new – it actually dates back to the advent of beer. As the amount of spent grain resulting from production continues to increase, there is a growing need for a sustainable method of disposal as producers reassess the way they manage their co-products. Large-scale brewing can provide large quantities of spent grain, with up to 10 tons produced per brew and constituting as much as 85% of a brewery’s total co-product. Not surprisingly, this presents a potential problem for breweries as production bottlenecks can quickly occur without quick and expedient disposal of these products.
Since brewers have little storage for spent grain, there is an opportunity to address the challenging storage problem by partnering with feed marketers. Rather than become waste headed for the landfill, discarded materials become valuable resources that offer valuable nutrition to animals and also become important revenue streams for brewers. Increasingly, beer co-product is being used to feed animals because it is a great source of nutrition, containing up to 20% protein dry weight and up to 60% fiber.
As a leading agricultural marketer and distributor dedicated to environmental sustainability, Wilbur-Ellis helps various food processors identify alternative, sustainable solutions to manage their co-product waste. In addition to helping suppliers and customers find different market opportunities, the company also provides supply chain management support to ensure regulatory compliance and minimize risk in the process. The infographic above demonstrates one of the many ways Wilbur-Ellis helps suppliers make efficient use of our food supply by turning co-products into marketable animal feed ingredients.
Feed & Grain magazine launches a new and improved website
You may have noticed over the past several days that one of your favorite bookmarks on your web browser looks a little different. That's because Feed & Grain launched a new website earlier this week. This makeover has been months in the making, but after a few days of testing and tweaking, we're ready to announce it: The new FeedandGrain.com is live!
Our site retained many of the features it's known for, like our DTN Commodity Quotes page, our expansive Online Buyers Guide, and a steady stream of news updates relevant to your daily lives as grain and/or feed handlers. But the look is notably different, fresh and cutting-edge. From day one, when our web designer asked the staff what we wanted most out of our new site, it was easy to answer him: make it simpler. From the color scheme, to its seamless display on mobile platforms, to the streamlined homepage, I think we've achieved just that.
Now, if you've ever participated in launching or re-launching a company website, you know it's never as cut-and-dried as anticipated. Some of the pages are still being enhanced or modified, and we ask for your patience while we work out those features. But in the meantime, there is plenty to love about the new site:
It's easier to navigate
We boiled down our main navigation to the top five news topics that drew people in to FeedandGrain.com. They are: Feed, Grain, Safety, Government and Commerce. Search within these sections to hone in on the news that matters most to you.
It looks great on your smartphone
In digital jargon it's called "responsive design," but all it means is that you can view FeedandGrain.com on your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or any size tablet and it looks like it was built especially for that device. No more limitations from a mobile-specific site with hard-to-read text ads. You now have access to all of our content anywhere at any time.
You can be a part of our Blog
The feed and grain industry is a tight-knit community with unique challenges and experiences that only others like you can truly appreciate. We know how important it is for you to stay in touch and communicate your successes, ideas and opinions with eachother, as evidenced by our growing social media following. So, we'd like to extend an opportunity to our readers and industry suppliers to blog for FeedandGrain.com and share your perspective with your peers. Whether you're interested in contributing on a regular basis or making a single guest entry, go to the Blog page and click the "Be part of our blog" button for more information.
The new and improved Buyers Guide
Feed & Grain has the most comprehensive online Buyer's Guide in the feed and grain industry, thanks to new entries being added on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. Carrying the simplicity theme to our BG, this section is easier than ever to navigate between company, product and category information. Bigger pictures and a more user friendly information request form enhance the shopping experience for interested buyers.
Better looking ads
We know you visit FeedandGrain.com for its breaking news, magazine articles, product information and blogs, but we're also excited about the new attractive and easy-to-read digital ads. To avoid a cluttered layout, we've reduced the number of online ads, but they're larger to fit more information and can scale down or up for viewing on any platform.
I welcome your feedback on the site's new features. You can email me, or tell us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter. Have fun exploring the new FeedandGrain.com!
GEAPS speaker expresses concern as the retirement rate reaches up to 12% in our field
Today's blog entry comes courtesy of guest blogger Mace Thornton, executive director, communications, for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Mace traveled with Feed & Grain to GEAPS Exchange 2014 in Omaha, NE, and gathered the insights below at the educational session titled "Building a Bench - Succession Management," presented by Mike Koenecke, HR recruiter/talent management, Ag Partners LLC. For more of Mace's musings, follow @AFBFMace on Twitter.
With an aging “Baby Boom” generation at or nearing retirement age, the topic sweeping American business boardrooms these days is succession planning — who will be ready to lead once today’s executives punch out their time clocks for the final time.
In the grain industry, due to its higher-than-average demographic of men in leadership positions, with most carrying the traditional baby-boomer trait of working at one place for the bulk of their careers, the issue of succession planning takes on even greater importance, according to Koenecke.
To complicate matters, Koenecke said that when it comes to picking the next person to be in charge, succession plans fail approximately 70% of the time due to “a lack of sustained commitment from company leadership.”
Koenecke told a packed educational session at the 2014 GEAPS Exchange that companies must have in place a systematic way of fulfilling future management personnel needs.
Among other points, comprehensive succession planning must be based on a plan that includes:
Evaluating the company’s internal talent pool
Aligning the company’s goals with its future leadership needs
Continuous professional development for employees
Working to minimize a company’s loss of intellectual capital by retaining the best and brightest
Narrowing the competency gap among employees
Developing an objective way to measure “promotability” of employees
Koenecke said it is vital to harness both strategic and objective thinking when establishing the definition of the type of employee worthy to take the helm. The best way to do that is by measuring the employee group’s competencies, knowledge, skills, abilities and leadership traits.
This can be done through the use of scientifically validated assessment tools, and tools such as 360-degree peer reviews. He told the crowd that by using three or more scientifically validated tools, the succession plan success rate climbs to 92%. But, he added, success hinges on more than simply having the HR department trotting out the latest tools.
“HR is a strategic part of this, but it’s really the managers who need to own the process,” Koenecke said.
In the grain industry, there is plenty of incentive to plan for the future. As the wave of baby boomers are hitting retirement age, on average, across all industries the retirement rate usually runs between 3% and 5%. In the grain industry, however, Koenecke said the retirement rate today frequently hits double digits, 8-12% or higher.
Food safety expert says your feed or grain facility likely already meets many FSMA rules
In a refreshing message about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Dr. Gretchen Mosher, assistant professor of agricultural & biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, said that although the FSMA may seem overwhelming, you’re probably closer to complying with the rules than you think.
Speaking at a jam-packed educational session at GEAPS Exchange 2014 in Omaha, NE, Mosher stressed that breaking down the regulation into individual requirements can help put the massive bill into perspective. “It may seem overwhelming, but pieces are already in place,” Mosher said.
For example, FSMA requires a written plan to control all reasonable hazards. If your facility is HACCP certified, or certified by a third-party verification program like AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food, you already meet this requirement.
Mosher noted that several current regulations governing feed and grain facilities overlap the Food Safety Modernization Act. The Bioterrorism Act of 2002 requires a 24-hour recall time for records as requested, and the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005 set forth sanitary transportation practices to be followed by shippers, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, receivers, and others engaged in food transport – like feed mills and grain facilities. Many OSHA regulations also cover FSMA’s worker safety requirements.
Of course, the FSMA does have some requirements unique unto itself, like registering your facility with FDA and providing information about the grain or feed processed there. But the session’s moderator, Dr. Charlie Hurburgh, professor, Iowa State University, noted that this is a simple process that should have been completed more than a year ago.
Perhaps the most frustrating hurdle the FSMA presents is the fact that unlike USDA’s GIPSA or APHIS inspectors, many FDA inspectors have little or no grain industry background. They’re used to inspecting food plants where you can “literally eat off of the floor,” Mosher said. “Your facility is never going to look like that, but cleanliness is an indicator of grain quality. Especially be careful to clean up pest’s droppings.”
What struck me about Mosher’s presentation was her positive attitude about the Food Safety Modernization Act. There’s no doubt the FSMA will change the way feed and grain facilities operate for decades to come, if not forever, but these changes are not as new or groundbreaking as one might think. By complying with pieces of various other regulations, you’re probably more prepared for an FDA inspection than you know.
Ultimately, complying with the FSMA comes down to proactive grain quality management, which you already care deeply about. The FSMA is simply a formalized layer of preventive controls you can and should be taking. In closing, Mosher expressed a sentiment I strongly agree with, to “think of the FSMA as an opportunity to improve your facility, and not just a set of requirements to meet.”
Alert: First Notice for August Soybeans is on Thursday, July 31st. Grains are trading lower in Chicago, with corn down 3 cents, soybeans off 10 and wheat unchanged to lower. This morning there were reportable sales of 135,000 metric tons of new crop Soymeal to unknown destinations and...
Tune in as Cody describes the 24-cent higher move soybeans made and how new crop soybean sales are helping it out. Export inspections, weather outlook and crop conditions also were covered in this report.
The grains are mixed this morning with corn trading 3 cents higher, wheat 3 ¾ cents lower and August soybeans 12 cents higher this morning. The August soybean contract is trading at $12.24 ½ and has first notice on Thursday, July 31. Currently, the spread between August and September...