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Affordable Options

April/May 2011 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

“Options cost too much!” What elevator manager hasn’t heard this from a farmer about minimum price contracts? Premium cost may be the most commonly cited reason for not buying put or call options as a form of price ‘insurance’ in volatile markets. The irony is that options, with their inherent flexibility and limited risk for buyers, should give managers the confidence to buy puts or calls to set price floors or ceilings, especially in volatile markets.

The CME/CBOT tackled this dilemma...

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Working with the Facebook Generation

April/May 2011 | Departments | By Dr. John Foltz, Jim Miller and Dr. Joan Fulton

Facebook, cell phones, smart phones, YouTube, Twitter — aren’t we already way too connected? Old timers might say, “Yes, this is all too much!” Younger producers may say, “I pick and choose how I connect and communicate and the more options the better.” The reality probably falls somewhere in-between. However, there are multitudes of ways to communicate with your feed and grain customers in today’s world — and some of these mediums and techniques can and should be looked at — and used!...

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Food Safety Regulations Impact Feed and Grain Industry

April/May 2011 | Departments | By Kristin Eads, Jennifer William Zwagerman and Steve Toeniskoetter

From the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) to the Reportable Food Registry to calls for increased penalties for some food safety violators, food safety is clearly on the national radar. What many are unaware of is the extent to which these new food safety regulations impact the feed and grain industries.

FDA regulates animal and pet food products and ingredients under the same authority and regulations as it does human food products — the Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic Act. The...

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Feed & Grain Turns 50

February/March 2011 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

When Feed, Grain and Farm Equipment published its first issue in 1961, the world was a very different place. John F. Kennedy was in the thick of the Civil Rights movement. Mainframe computer systems took up entire floors of office buildings and held less memory than a common Flash Drive. Instant communication was limited to telephones and telegraphs, and the primary form of written communication was made possible by a 4 cent postage stamp. Due to advancements in technology and medicine,...

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Steps to Starting and Implementing a HACCP Plan

February/March 2011 | Departments |

On Jan. 4, President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law, requiring all facilities registered with the FDA under the Bioterrorism Act to develop a written food/feed safety plan that evaluates hazards and details procedures to control those hazards so they do not cause adulteration or misbranding of product.

The regulation applies to all commercial grain elevators, feed mills, feed ingredient manufacturers, grain processors, millers and exporters, as well as...

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Fast Forward

February/March 2011 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

Thumbing through his son’s issue of PC magazine, Mike shakes his head in amazement. "Just look at all the gizmos and gadgets available these days — and how cheap they are; I remember getting my first fax machine in the late 80’s - it cost almost $1,000 and spit out that curly paper! Didn’t have an email address ‘til about ten years ago. Time sure does fly….” Looking across the room at his grandson, Mike’s even more amazed to see his four-year-old grandson easily doing something on an...

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Trade Tension: China Launches Anti-Dumping Case Against United States

February/March 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

On Dec. 28, 2010, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) began an anti-dumping investigation into the import of distiller's dried grains with or without solubes (DDG(S)) originating from the United States. 

Production of the feed co-product, which is derived from corn during the ethanol making process, has increased steadily in the United States over the past three years. Meanwhile, China’s need for high-protein feed ingredients has increased sharply, so livestock producers boosted...

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Grain and Feed Industry’s ‘Finest’ Attend NGFA’s Annual Convention

February/March 2011 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Nicknamed "America's Finest City" San Diego proved to be a beautiful and welcoming destination for the National Grain and Feed Association's 115th Annual Convention. More than 700 attendees descended upon Hotel del Coronado March 13 to 15 for networking opportunities, educational open forums and committee meetings.

The keynote address was presented by Greg Page, chairman and CEO of Cargill Inc. Page's presentation "Finding The New Center of Gravity With Policy" explored unprecedented...

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What’s on the Horizon? Predictions for the Future of Agriculture

February/March 2011 | Special Report | By Jackie Roembke

At the intersection of technology and population growth, the future holds unimaginable opportunities — and likely some unprecedented challenges — for agriculture.

According to the United Nations’ Population Division, by 2050 the median global population is projected to reach 9.2 billion people — about a 30% increase from today’s population. In order to meet global food demands, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates the need for a 70% increase in farm production and an...

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The Next Generation of Management: Creating a Succession Plan

February/March 2011 | Departments | Drs. John Foltz and Jay Akridge

Who will succeed you as owner or manager of your feed and grain business? If you are like many owner/managers, this is a topic you may not have seriously considered — or it may be something you would prefer not to think about. It is a bit like facing your own mortality — but the reality is that this is something which should be given some very careful thought. Perhaps the most important sign of a great manager is the ability to transfer control to the next generations successfully — it...

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Beyond Vertical Integration: Vertical Coordination As A Way To Capture Market Value

February/March 2011 | Departments | Jacob Bylund and Adam Hertzke

Vertical integration in the food, agricultural and biofuels (FAB) industries has been a topic of much focus and discussion over the past several years. The increased use of vertical integration within the sector has often been seen, as a way for companies to increase value captured in a product and improve efficiencies in production, among numerous other reasons. However, due to the number of challenges faced by those engaged in vertical integration, more attention should be given to the...

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IFEEDER Funds Research to Feed the World

February/March 2011 | Feature | By: Elise Schafer

“Shape the Future. Feed the World.” It’s the motto and guiding principle behind the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER). IFEEDER has many goals, but its main purpose is to provide knowledge relating to the nutrition of animals and sustainable feed manufacturing practices and through education and research.

IFEEDER sees a critical need to support the research and education projects necessary to provide answers to the question of how to provide safe, affordable food and feed...

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Feed Industry Concludes Biggest Event of the Year

January 2011 | Feature |

The 2011 International Feed Expo (Expo), organized by the American Feed Industry Association in conjunction with the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association’s International Poultry Expo, was a success. This year’s event featured a series of speakers and educational programs, and more than 900 exhibitors displayed the latest in products and technologies that are beneficial to the feed, pet food and poultry industries.

The Expo and related events were attended by both U.S. and international feed and...

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WHEN $7 = $4.80

January 2011 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

“You mean to tell me that with corn futures at $7, I can’t sell you the bushels today because I might have to sell them to you months from now at $4.80? What kind of a deal did you get me into, anyway.”

Imagine a producer sitting in your office during the height of a bull market, demanding an answer to that question. Most managers would rather be outside loading a train in January than face that farmer. Now think about the grain marketing strategies you offer your producer customers, and...

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Attitude Impacts Efficiency

January 2011 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

Among the many thought-provoking educational sessions at the International Feed Expo, Leland McKinney's presentation "Energy Conservation Tips for Your Feed Mill" stood out above the rest. While McKinney, an associate professor of grain science and industry at Kansas State, offered up very practical advice for maximizing energy consumption and increasing savings within a feed mill, the real message I walked away with had little to do with pipe insulation or the repair of compressed air...

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