Magazine > August/September 2011
August/September 2011 Articles
Great Bend Co-Op Ends Six-Year Wheat Pest Infestation
With weather-related delays in the spring planting season affecting farmers across the country, many wheat storage facilities will be holding on to current supplies longer to maximize crop profits. Great Bend Co-Op in Kansas is no exception. But until recently, wheat storage options were very limited for the full-service agricultural company.
“For the last six years, we’ve had nothing but problems managing bugs in the wheat,” says Dennis Neeland, operations manager for Great...[Read More]
The Incredible Shrinking Margin
“I’m taking my soybeans down the road this year – their bid is a nickel higher than yours most days anymore, and their moisture discounts are better too.”
Sound familiar? Managers always dread when farmers say they’re going elsewhere — whatever the reason. Sometimes a customer does leave because of price; that farmer is commonly known as a ‘transaction customer.’ This customer typically has little loyalty and always has an eye for the better deal, and may come and go with the crop years....[Read More]
Biotechnology: The Debate, and the Litigation, Continues
The United States Department of Agriculture defines agricultural biotechnology as “a range of tools, including traditional breeding techniques, that alter living organisms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products; improve plants or animals; or develop microorganisms for specific agricultural uses. Modern biotechnology today includes the tools of genetic engineering.” The breath and variety of the plants, animals and other products currently available on the market that fit this...[Read More]
Not Your Daddy’s Feed Mill
Driven by the growing needs of its producer partners, Iowa’s NEW Cooperative created its NEW Feeds, LCC, feed division in the early 90s. As technology, regulations and automation shaped the feed manufacturing industry, Elwyn Bruhl, feed division manager and 40-year NEW Cooperative employee, has witnessed every stage of this evolution. Standing within the cooperative’s new state-of-the-art Liddendale, IA, feed mill, Bruhl smiles and confidently reports: “This isn’t your daddy’s feed mill.”... [Read More]
Managing Talent for Success: Today and Tomorrow
Leading a successful feed and grain business today is no small task. With commodity prices at or near historic highs, a world economy perched on the edge of another recession, and a political process so divided and contentious that few real solutions have been forthcoming, ‘planning for the future’ can sound a bit like a pipe dream. Despite these challenges, most would argue that these are heady times for agriculture, especially the crop related industries. Livestock looks a bit...[Read More]
Harvest 2011’s Winners and Losers
By the time this issue hits the streets, the 2011 harvest will be in full swing. Elevators in some areas will take in record volumes; others, however, will experience the diminished returns resulting from Mother Nature's bipolar regional spring and summer weather. With the numbers from the USDA's questionably optimistic June Crop Report dramatically dropping from its original estimates, the commodity market has mirrored this uncertainty.
By today's estimate, the national average corn yield...[Read More]
A Common Message for Agriculture
These days it seems there is a negative campaign going on, one that says agriculture is bad: bad for the environment, animals and people. It’s a matter of attitudes, and from these attitudinal roadblocks come unreasonable regulatory ones.
This is why we need to create a common message for agriculture. Unfortunately, we’re in danger of getting in our own way. Ag groups are duking it out over tight resources and market pressures. And while we’re fighting each other, who’s communicating with...[Read More]
Animal Ag Fights Attacks with Education
Animal rights activist groups have long attacked every aspect of the animal production industry and continue to gain support by distributing misinformation about agriculture’s toll on the environment. Thanks to their use of controversial gimmicks and celebrity endorsements, they’ve experienced a fair amount of success with campaigns like “Meatless Mondays” and “Rather go naked than wear fur.”
These messages easily reach the eyes and ears of America’s youth by simply turning on the TV or...[Read More]