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Making the Most of your Marketing Efforts: Reconsider Your Customers Needs

January 2014 | Departments | Manager's Notebook | By Joan Fulton and John Foltz

Today’s business environment is more competitive than ever. As a successful manager in the feed and grain industry, you are actively responding to the many demands of this ever challenging business environment, which likely includes a multifaceted marketing program. It is easy to become focused on all of the immediate decisions that need to be made (such as approving the latest update to your website; finalizing the price quote that is due within the hour, etc.). In this column we invite...

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Web-based Feed Wizard Unites Manufacturer and Consumer

January 2014 | Feature | By Steven Kilger

The rise of the Internet has created a new business atmosphere, one where businesses are playing a constant game of catch-up, with consumer trends changing as soon as industries grow comfortable with them. In response to this rapidly changing pace, the feed and grain industry is starting to implement newer, more efficient technology. In the last decade, facility automation has gone from cutting edge to the norm, tablets and smartphones have begun their integration into facility...

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10 Things To See At IPPE

10 Things To See At IPPE

January 2014 | Special Report | Elise Schafer

The International Production & Processing Expo is the most anticipated event of the year for the feed, poultry and meat industries. Consisting of three expos in one — International Poultry Expo, International Feed Expo and International Meat Expo — it is the ultimate destination for anyone involved in animal agriculture from production through processing.

There is truly something for everybody at the IPPE, ranging from hour-long educational sessions to off-site networking opportunities...

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Congress Moves on Key Waterways Infrastructure Act

January 2014 | Feature | By Erin Anthony

With more than 60% of exported U.S. grain transported via inland waterways and a large percent of farm and ranch exports and imports moving through U.S. harbors, new projects for flood protection, port improvements and upgrades to the nation’s aging locks and dams are critical for all involved in agriculture, and the nation’s economy as a whole.

'Need for Speed and Space' Drives Co-op Expansion
The Evansville expansion included a 730,000-bushel storage bin. Photo by Elise Schafer

‘Need for Speed and Space’ Drives Co-op Expansion

January 2014 | Feature | Elise Schafer

Customer satisfaction is the core of Cottage Grove, WI-based Landmark Services Cooperative’s business plan. So, when the 15,000 member strong co-op’s board of directors conducted a study in 2012 to measure satisfaction with its Evansville, WI, shuttle loading facility, it knew something had to be done to improve the results.

The Evansville location serves producers across an expansive territory throughout southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois and has taken in a little more than 200...

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The Bagging Triangle

January 2014 | Feature | By Markus Lackmann

Dry bulk packaging is a simple yet sensitive balancing act. Maximum efficiency and productivity are at the center of a triangle with  product, bag and machine at the vertices. This delicate balance is called The Bagging Triangle. It describes the relationships between the three corners and how the right combination can positively impact an operation’s bottom line. It’s a simple concept; a shift or change in one corner — the product, bag or machine — necessitates a change in one or...

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Alaskan Brewing Company Uses Sonic Horn to Clear Boiler Ash Buildup

| Online Exclusive | Steven Kilger

An innovative brewery in Alaska has installed a sonic horn to help improve ash flow and prevent clogging in the exhaust stream of an ingenious hybrid boiler system that uses spent grain from the brewing process as fuel.  Ash accumulation issues had been forcing the company to shut down its equipment to cool and manually clean the swirlers and collectors of its ash handler on a weekly basis.  The process required an outage of 3-4 days, including as much as twelve hours of maintenance time...

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High Hopes for Late Harvest

High Hopes for Late Harvest

October/November 2013 | Editors Note | Elise Schafer

Even with last year's drought-stricken crop, the 2013 harvest is still well behind 2012. But this came to no one's surprise, as it was almost doomed from the beginning by Mother Nature. First, she ushered in Spring 2013 with cooler than average temperatures across the entire country and healthy doses of rain in the Corn Belt, pushing planting back dangerously late in over-soaked areas.  

GIPSA Regulations Related to Weighing of Livestock and Feed Amended

August/September 2013 | Online Exclusive | By Jacob D. Bylund, Scott L. Halbur

After more than five years of deliberation, including an extended period for comments from stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) final amended regulations take effect Friday, September 20, 2013.The USDA initially provided notice of proposed rulemaking related to the weighing of livestock and feed on February 11, 2008. The extended comment period for the proposed rules ended on May 21, 2008 after 33 comments...

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East Versus West - Again

August/September 2013 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

Frank Sinatra crooned that love is lovelier the second time around. But any repeat of the Drought of 2012 was less than welcome this year and it continues to impact grain flows and basis even as combines roll on the 2013 crop. The good news is all signs indicate elevators will end up with around 3 billion more bushels this season:  Beginning US carryover stocks of are lower this year but total production is forecast to be around 3.4 billion bushels higher. (Corn, soybeans, sorghum, wheat,...

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Using Data to Your Advantage

August/September 2013 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

As the ubiquity of facility automation spreads throughout the feed and grain industry, users are beginning to look for benefits beyond simply running their equipment electronically. Removing facility operations from manual control is still an undeniable advantage to automation systems, but there is also value in their often overlooked secondary function: nearly constant data collection.

“Data collection is showing to be of increased importance to today’s feed and grain facilities,”...

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Falling Commodity Prices May Change Planting Trends

| Online Exclusive | By Bob Young, American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist & Deputy Executive Director, Public Policy

After more than a few fairly good years for crop producers, 2014 is shaping up as a year where farmers are going to need to spend a little more time sharpening their pencils, a little more time sharing a cup of coffee with those that help them market their crops and maybe not looking at as much new paint as they did in 2012 or 2013.  While we are still likely to see one of the most productive years ever for the sector and cash receipts will be much higher than what we observed throughout...

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Triple Expansion Keeps Wheat Exporter on Top

August/September 2013 | Special Report | Elise Schafer

As you drive west on U.S. highway 2 in Northeastern Montana, you’ll begin to make out an enormous grain elevator on the horizon, amongst the oil wells that dot the Bakken oil field landscape. Impressive by all accounts, this high-capacity, state-of-the-art, highly automated loop track facility in Culbertson, MT, is strategically the only shuttle train facility within a 40-mile radius.

But despite its isolation, it is hardly one-of-a-kind. In fact, it is only one of a set of nearly...

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Country Elevator Conference Concentrates on Congressional Action

August/September 2013 | Feature | By Steven Kilger

Country elevator operators will soon converge on St. Louis for the National Grain and Feed Association’s 42nd Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show (CEC). The CEC is the largest gathering of country elevator personnel in the United States.  The show will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency hotel next to the St. Louis’ Arch. The tradesshow portion opens on Sunday Dec. 8th at 4:00pm with doors closing on Monday Dec. 9th at 7:00pm. The Confrance portion will be going on any time the show...

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IFEEDER Refines its Mission

IFEEDER Refines its Mission

October/November 2013 | Feature | By Steven Kilger

“One of the biggest challenges we face is getting the AFIA membership to realize we must attack the issues facing our industry with a united front, and IFEEDER gives us a vehicle to do that,” Crutcher states.  “As individual companies, we do not have enough critical mass to make an impact.  We must work together to pool our resources to make a meaningful impact on the issues our industry faces.”

 Ken Thomas will allow IFEEDER to keep its finger on the pulse of the industry, to make sure...

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