June/July 2010

June/July 2010

Grain Traceability = Good for Business


June/July 2010 Articles

Grains on the Plains

June 01, 2010 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

For years the wind blew freely through empty concrete silos and flats in the Western Plains. Space was readily available and storage rates were low; many traders figured a lot of space would never be filled again. But a dramatic shift has occurred that’s impacting logistics, basis, and should raise storage rates. The Plains farmer has steadily increased corn and soybean acreage, largely at the expense of reduced wheat and sorghum acreage. Plains corn and soybean yields were solid in the...

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Motivate and Engage Your Employees

June 01, 2010 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

Ever find that you would like to have several multiples (e.g., clones) of yourself? No, not as your children, but as your employees at work: little mini-me’s. You might think this would make your job easier because everyone would think, act, have the same abilities as you and be as motivated and engaged as you are, and even better — you would understand the methods most effective for engaging and motivating these mini-me (mini-you) employees. As a manager and leader in your feed and grain...

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Grain Traceability = Good for Business

June 01, 2010 | Special Report |

Grain quality is a broad term, one that means many different things given the context of the evaluation. Regardless of whether you’re looking at the physical attributes of the kernels or monitoring moisture levels, the ultimate goal is the same: money. Once the level of quality has been determined — and hopefully maintained — using grain traceability as a jumping-off point for other process improvements will allow elevators to maximize returns from both a market and a management...

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The Impact of Contract Laws

June 01, 2010 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

The world of forward grain contracting boiled down to its most basic elements is relatively simple. A grower and processor agree, for example, that the grower will deliver a certain quantity of grain at some definite time in the future for a price determined today. A major benefit to the grower is that it knows the price it will receive for its grain and can plan its operations accordingly. Conversely, the processor knows both the quantity of grain it will receive and the price that it...

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How to Manage Concrete Assets

June 01, 2010 | Departments |

Every now and again our industry endures a fatal accident involving the collapsing of a concrete grain bin. The heartbreaking news creates a shockwave throughout the town and surrounding communities, causing area elevators to suddenly question the sturdiness of their own structures. At this point a local engineer is called to examine the foundation, walls and roof. But if the facility doesn’t have a document called a baseline, the engineer is forced to act as a detective investigating a...

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Automation Feeds The Bottomline

June 01, 2010 | Feature | Jackie Roembke

It's a tough time in agriculture right now. It's a mature market place — one wrought by unpredictability — and in the words of Alan Wessler, vice president of MFA’s feed division, "they're not making more land and they're not growing more producers."  Competition is stiff. To combat the forces beyond its control, MFA Inc. has made it mission to make customer service part of its culture; and after 96 years, MFA Inc. has garnered quite a reputation for accomplishing this feat. 

"When you...

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Research Boosts Regulatory Efficiency

June 01, 2010 | Departments |

A new method developed by scientists at the Office of the Texas State Chemist, the state agency that regulates the distribution of feed and fertilizer in Texas, will reduce the cost of testing, improve sensitivity to toxin levels and speed up turnaround. The project to develop this new method was led by Dr. Wei Li, postdoctorial research associate at the Office of the Texas State Chemist, and will also help gain insight for future research into the mechanics of how fumonisin forms.

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