January 2008

January 2008

The Future is Now


January 2008 Articles

Riding Out the Perfect Storm of 2007: Part II

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

In Part One, featured in our January issue, Feed & Grain looked back at the 2007 corn crop and its effect on wheat and grain sorghum acreage use and production last year, and the prospects for trade in 2008. In Part Two, we take a similar look at barley, soybeans and cottonseed supplies.

As pointed out in the first installment of this two-part series, the 2007 corn crop — all 90+ million acres of it — literally and figuratively, cut an extremely wide swath throughout the agricultural...

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Riding Out the ‘Perfect Storm’ of 2007

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

Feed & Grain takes a look back at 2007 and the massive corn crop’s impact on other feed grains. In Part One of this two-part series, we examine how the grain sorghum and wheat markets responded to the challenges and opportunities of last year and what they can look forward to in 2008.

By any measure, 2007 will likely be remembered as the year grain marketing changed forever.

Fueling the metamorphosis — both literally and figuratively — was a 90+ million acre corn crop which received its...

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Do You Make the Grade? A Report Card for Your Feed and Grain Business. (Part 1)

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

Grades are a method of rating performance — most commonly used in our schools, colleges and universities. As university professors, we both find them helpful in ranking the accomplishments of our students. In this month’s column, we propose a report card for your grain and feed business. We suggest a number of areas where as a manager, you can grade your business and we also discuss why these areas are important to your business. We also provide some resources to help you improve your...

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Maintenance Made Easy

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

Ever try driving a car that hasn’t had an oil change, a tire rotation or its fluids checked in a year? Chances are you haven’t, and if you did, you were blinded by the check engine light the whole way to your destination. All those maintenance issues, when not properly tended to, can cause a major breakdown. Handling each tiny maintenance procedure at its scheduled time is simple and will save the driver from a serious headache.

Fortunately, cars come equipped with manuals that contain...

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Growing Back to the Future

January 01, 2008 | Cover Story |

In a society where nearly everything we touch is consumed and disposed of seemingly in a blink of an eye, its refreshing to hear of someone whose vision includes breathing new life and purpose into a century-old landmark.

Its even more exciting when that vision includes helping ease two of todays most pressing needs: fuel and food.

In an idyllic rural setting outside of Jefferson, WI, not far from Interstate 94 and situated between Madison and Milwaukee, the aptly named Renew Energy, has...

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Teaming Up to Reach New Markets

January 01, 2008 | Special Report |

The burgeoning biofuels market has created a whole new concern for grain producers: shipping DDGS overseas.

International Feed, a Minnesota-based supplier and exporter of animal feed ingredients, forged a relationship with an unlikely source to address the issue of storing and shipping their DDGS. Ashley Furniture, located blocks away from a grains transloading facility, offered a unique solution to their storage needs.

Arcadia Cooperative Association is a transloading facility located in...

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Partnering to Enhance the Food Chain

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

The Animal Agriculture Alliance will host its seventh industry-wide Stakeholders Summit April 8 – 9, 2008 at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, VA. One of the key messages for the day-and-a-half conference, “Animal Welfare: Building Bridges Across the Food Chain,” will advance is the idea that industry-led voluntary approaches are far superior to government-imposed approaches to animal welfare.

Former Congressman and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, Charles...

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‘Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

January 01, 2008 | Editors Note |

No really, I am! Okay, so I’m having a little fun at the expense of those tireless legions of workers who ensure your tax dollars are being spent wisely, efficiently and with only your benefit in mind. Oops, there I go again.

You can’t escape the fact our government commands a large presence in our daily lives. Whether we Americans are working hard or playing harder, one would be hard-pressed to entertain either activity without some degree of oversight.

Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not...

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A State of the Union Message for Elevators: Of Canaries and Black Swans

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

This market scares me — truly scares me. The last time I sounded a widespread caution like this was early fall 1995 — that should tell you something. Bull markets come and go. Bear markets come and can drag on for years. Explosive markets come far less often but leave their mark for decades. The bull market that began in 2006 is one of those explosive markets that will impact the grain industry for a long time to come. Grain elevators have never needed so much money just to operate, and...

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Combating the Chemical Threat

January 01, 2008 | Feature |

Chemicals play an important role in the agricultural world. Some chemicals, like propane, are used for fuel while others protect crops from pests.

Without the aid of chemical fertilizers, industrial farmers and feed mills would never be able to produce crops in the quantities they do today. But chemicals have an ugly side, as well.
Anyone who’s taken Chemistry 101 knows that chemicals can be harmful when used improperly. Life-threatening consequences can occur if stored incorrectly, at...

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AFIA Looks Forward to Landmark Show

January 01, 2008 | Special Report |

IFE offers an unprecedented opportunity to access a dynamic purchasing audience. Feed manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers and industry service providers find Expo the place to reach key decision makers and prospective customers from all segments of the industry.

Begun in 1949, AFIA’s Feed Expo has grown into the largest animal feed and ingredient show in the world. Co-located with the International Poultry Expo, IFE is looking to build upon the success of last...

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Selling: Where Marketing Meets the Customer

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

Selling is an integral part of your feed and grain business every day, and we are sure that you have extensive experience with selling. However, when was the last time you thought about your selling approach and identified factors that could improve your sales effectiveness?

In this column we use the four steps of the selling process to help you think about your customers and how to create a more effective relationship — making them more successful and you more profitable.

In the feed and...

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GEAPS Exchange 2008 Grows With the Industry

January 01, 2008 | Feature |

If anyone is wondering about the relative health of the grain processing industry an indicator things are going well could be found in the sold-out trade show for the GEAPS Exchange 2008.

Two months prior to the Exchange, almost 375 booths had been sold - this after expanding the exhibit hall floor plan five times - shattering the previous record of 300 set at Exchange 2000 in Kansas City. With exhibitors still coming in, there's little question that the remaining booths will get snapped...

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Getting the Full Scoop on Our Industry

January 01, 2008 | Special Report |

Those of us fortunate enough to have grown up on a farm are intimately familiar with “getting the scoop.” From getting the day’s job list from Dad to being advised to add an extra scoop of soy meal or cottonseed to our top producing hosteins, hardly a day went by without using information in the successful operation of our farm.

In this issue we preview three industry events that disseminate and deliver insights on complex issues ranging from retaining a capable workforce to protecting...

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Mark to Market: Facts vs. Financial Fantasy

January 01, 2008 | Departments |

Once again we are with Mike, the general manager of our mythical multistation grain cooperative located somewhere in the western Corn Belt. Today, Mike has wandered into an interesting conversation about subprime mortgages at the coffee shop. And what he hears is enough to make his coffee turn cold.

Mike rolled into the coffee shop parking lot past the crowd of pickups. Inside, farmers were scattered around debating the morning’s news when Mike overheard two of his co-op’s customers...

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