February/March 2012 Articles

How to Proactively Address Fall Hazards

February 01, 2012 | Feature | Jackie Roembke

Protecting workers from fall hazards has always been high on Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) priority list; however, the organization has recently honed in on agriculture’s enforcement — or lack of enforcement — of fall protection-related standards and regulations. Though OSHA’s “four-foot rule,” or general industry standard 29 CFR 1910, requires employees be tied-off or restrained from falling anytime they are four feet off the ground. Agriculture had been exempt...

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A Quality Aeration Strategy

February 01, 2012 | Online Exclusive |

Four years ago, Calgary, AB-based OPIsystems Inc. launched OPI-integris to introduce the U.S. market to a novel grain management approach that has been widely adopted throughout the world for more than 25 years. The company’s mantra is “be proactive, not reactive” with respect to grain conditioning.

Utilizing a myriad of grain temperature and moisture monitoring components, OPI-integris claims to deliver the highest return on grain investments with its Advanced Grain Management solution,...

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Long-term Planning Offers Gains in Grains

February 01, 2012 | Online Exclusive | Jackie Roembke

Feed & Grain’s editor Jackie Roembke sat down for an informal discussion with Elizabeth Hund, senior vice president and division head of U.S. Bank Food Industries, to discuss the current state of global credit markets and strategies borrowers can implement to better manage their risk.

Feed & Grain: In your opinion, what trends are influencing the credit market?

Elizabeth Hund: Right now, the largest issue is what’s going on in Europe — particularly the impact of the European financial...

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Ultrasonic vs. Radar Level Measurement in a Grain Shipping Terminal

February 01, 2012 | Online Exclusive |

State of the art ultrasonic level measurement equipment was installed in 1997 on 42 silos at Cargill’s Irving Elevator in Portland, Oregon. The equipment was to provide level data  to an existing PLC which would then use the data for alarm and control and make the data available to a graphic display in the control room which was being added as part of the level measurement system. The goal was to improve utilization of the silos and decrease demurrage fees on rail cars and ships by...

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Industry Reaction to USDA Office Closures

February 01, 2012 | Departments |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture ushered in the new year at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting on January 9, with Secretary Tom Vilsack's announcement of USDA's "Blueprint for Better Services."  This initiative will close 259 USDA offices across the country in 2012.  Vilsack explained that the closures were required because the operating budget for USDA has been cut by $3 billion between 2010 and 2012.  He assured the nation that the closures in the food safety area "are...

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Progresses

February 01, 2012 | Feature |

What originally started as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement in 2005 among Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and Chile — known as the Pacific Four (P4) Agreement — has evolved into what is now called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), potentially one of the most influential Free Trade Agreements in the last decade. While the TPP requires every country participating to eliminate all tariff lines by 2015, its main objective is to eliminate many non-tariff trade...

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OSHA Amplifies Efforts

February 01, 2012 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

Popularized in by the misspeak of former president George W. Bush, we're all familiar the following idiom, though I ask that you allow me to take liberties with it for the purposes of this column: "Cite me once, shame on me; cite me twice, shame on me and the entire enterprise." Thank you for humoring me, but this was the first thing that came to mind as Eric Conn, head of OSHA practice with law firm Epstein Becker Green, outlined OSHA's new strategy for adding new members to its least...

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Aeration Upkeep and Optimization Guide

February 01, 2012 | Feature |

The practice of aeration is used in grain handling facilities to maintain the condition of stored commodities after harvest. Guidelines for aeration are based on long-established scientific principles involving static pressure, relative humidity and moisture content.

Aeration may seem like a complicated science, but it can be distilled to one simple concept: Evenly distributing air to maintain a safe storage temperature will result in the desired grain condition.

This is achieved through a...

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IFEEDER Raises $1 Million

February 01, 2012 | Departments |

On Jan. 25, at the International Poultry Expo /International Feed Expo in Atlanta, IFEEDER conducted a luncheon to update the media, donors and industry stakeholders about IFEEDER’s progress on its two year anniversary.  IFEEDER, The Institute for Feed Education and Research, was launched at IPE/IFE in 2010 with great interest to the U.S. feed and food industries.

The mission of IFEEDER is “To Sustain the Future of Food and Feed Production Through Education and Research.”  After two years...

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8 Essential Operations Management Software Features

February 01, 2012 | Feature | Jackie Roembke

In the world of agribusiness software development, three key trends have driven innovation: the rapid speed of technological advancement; the consolidation of the private elevators into multi-division, multi-location conglomerates; and the volatility of commodity markets. Agribusinesses began overhauling how they collect and use data decades ago, but today’s operations management software has been tailored to assist sites in managing their risk exposure. Instant access to real-time...

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Risky Business

February 01, 2012 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

Everything we do has some risk. Walking down the street you could get hit by a car, or an asteroid for that matter; eating an ice cream cone you could choke on the cone or get sick from bacteria in the ice cream. There are risks in investing in a new feed mill — the technology may change, sales may drop such that your payback period lengthens, or the crane installing new bins for the feed mill could fall over and destroy some of your existing grain storage — but some risks can have a...

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Tying The Islands Of Automation Together

February 01, 2012 | Departments |

As automation continues to grow in grain storage facilities, it can be challenging — for many reasons — to implement the right automation plan. Many facilities have operated for years with existing infrastructure and disparate control systems from days of the past, such as pushbuttons, switches and lights.

Typically, automation systems grow little by little over time and become a hybrid of antiquated hardwired controls along with programmable logic controllers and human machine interfaces....

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