Magazine > June/July 2009
June/July 2009 Articles
Putting A Price Tag On Quality
We read and hear that phrase so many times that it's become part of our daily vernacular.
However, the problem with this phrase is that it is often difficult to define "value" to the end user. In simple terms, however, once money finds its way back into our pockets, only then can a product or service truly considered as having added value.
Is the expectation any different in the feed and grain industry vs. the consumer retail arena? Absolutely not.
Some would contend...[Read More]
Swaps, Spreads and Safety Nets
Last year took the world's financial markets to the brink. Trillions of dollars of real estate transactions, OTC credit swaps and other derivatives couldn't be valued; managers didn't know what their portfolios were worth, or how to exit their positions.
Grain merchandisers had it easy by comparison. Deep, liquid futures markets let you quickly and easily lay off price and spread risk. Everything is marked to market daily for complete transparency. Hedges are exchange-cleared, where the...[Read More]
Time Manange It or It Will Manage You
Today's economy is forcing most of us to try to do more with less. One resource that managers definitely do not have more of is time. Your work week — whatever it is — sometimes 60 hours or more — is a finite resource. Time is kind of like land: "They're not making any more of it!" So how do you utilize this precious commodity more efficiently?
In this issue we delve into effective time management. While we know there have been many books, seminars, websites and studies devoted to time...[Read More]
Managing Feed-Related Claims
The formulation and manufacture of feed is an increasingly complex science-based process. As is the case with food products for human consumption, great care is taken by feed suppliers to ensure that a high-quality and safe product is delivered to the customer. The business of marketing feed and maintaining client relationships is also increasingly complex and competitive.
As animal agriculture consolidates, and producers generally become larger, the size of individual customer accounts...[Read More]
Focus on Biofuels: DDGS Heads East
A cooperation agreement between the U.S. Grains Council and a Chinese dairy association has expanded the U.S. DDGS market eastward, where the potential for growth is enormous.
The U.S. Grains Council is helping to increase exports of U.S. dried distillers grains with soluables (DDGS), a co-product of the ethanol industry, through its cooperation program with dairies along China's coastline. On March 10, 2009, the USGC signed a cooperation agreement with the Guangdong Provincial Dairy...[Read More]
Treat Yourself Like You’d Treat Your Grain
I’m mad. I know I shouldn’t write when I’m mad, but I am. I’m mad at my friend Phil. Like many of us, Phil was dealing with a lot of stress lately at work. Sensing that the stress was starting to slow him down a little — and wanting a clean bill of health before turkey season and golf season got into full swing — he had some stress tests done, which he passed. But that’s not why I’m mad at him.
A few days after the tests he was at work and started feeling some pains in his arm. Knowing...[Read More]