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Understand and Sharpen Your Decision-Making Skills

June/July 2011 | Departments | By Drs. Christine Wilson and John Foltz

Decisions, decisions, decisions. They fill our activity every day. From what to wear and eat, to which words to use, to which project to tackle next, to how to spend money. As a manager in the feed and grain industry, your job is filled with problems and decisions too: Should the business expand into new products or into a different geographic area? Should you purchase new equipment or just repair the old stuff? Should you let that low-performing employee go or try to modify his/her...

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Selling Your Company? How To Obtain a Premium Price

June/July 2011 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

For one reason or another, companies of all sizes maybe looking to get out of the grain handling or feed manufacturing business. George Spilka, president of George Spilka and Associates, a national investment banking firm based in Pittsburgh specializing in middle market, closely-held corporations, offers Feed and Grain readers his advice for getting the right price for your business. 

Current Deal Pricing

Deal pricing is making strides to return to normal levels and middle market deal...

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The Feat of Moving Wheat

June/July 2011 | Cover Story | By Jackie Roembke

Southwest of the Wichita Mountains, in the heart of cattle country and Tornado Alley, agribusiness firm Gavilon Grain LLC has staked its claim to export wheat market accessibility. The company, assembled from the acquisitions of ConAgra’s Peavey grain division and DeBruce Companies, holds claim to the No. 3 position for most grain storage in the United States. Just behind Cargill and ADM, Gavilon holds 300 million bushels of grain across 10 states and Mexico.

Now, building off this...

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The Floods of 2011

April/May 2011 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

This season the Northern Plains faced major flooding of the Red River, disrupting grain flows and delaying planting. Then the rains hit the mid-South and the Eastern Corn Belt, swelling rivers and streams that soon pushed the Mississippi to levels not seen since the infamous flood of 1927. Numerous barge stations became forlorn, sandbagged islands as millions of cubic feet of water rushed past every second on the Lower Mississippi.

The 2011 floods will hit agriculture in several ways:

(1)...

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Stormy Harvest Ahead?

April/May 2011 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

Tornado outbreaks and epic flooding, the spring of 2011 will be remember as one of the most destructive and deadly in recent history. Add less-than-ideal temperatures, and agriculture is sent reeling, trying to navigate the unpredictable and attempting to catch-up with delayed planting. The Northeast and central United States have endured their wettest late winter and early spring on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. As of mid-May, 63% of the nation's corn was...

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Industry Pushes for Science-Based Salmonella Regulations

April/May 2011 | Feature |

In August 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a long-awaited Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) on Salmonella in feed. CPGs provide to FDA’s field staff interpretations of laws and regulations and represent current thinking on enforcement and compliance. For the first time since 1975, the agency completely overhauled its stance and agreed to separate human food from animal feed with respect to enforcement of Salmonella regulations.

This conclusion is consistent with...

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Novus International Wins IT Award

April/May 2011 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

In early 2011 the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) launched its first-ever Information Technology Innovation Award to recognize the AFIA members creating technologies meant to tackle the issues impacting feed, pet food or ingredient manufacturers.

Novus International was awarded the honor for its submission of AIMS®, a vendor-managed, remote inventory monitoring system for feed ingredient bulk liquids. The system provides daily inventory management of Novus’s ALIMET feed...

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Tips for Approaching a New Lender

April/May 2011 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Despite the difficulty experienced in financial markets in the last few years, agriculture has served as an economic bright spot. Not to say serious volatility hasn’t posed challenges, but the sector overall remains an attractive prospect for banks.

“It’s an interesting time for agriculture with lots of opportunities out there andthe financial resources have to be managed relatively well,” says David Oppedahl, economic researcher with Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, noting that repayment...

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Micro-quality: Making Every Kernel Count

April/May 2011 | Special Report | By Elise Schafer

Technology drives innovation. In the grain industry, this adage can be applied to everything from automation to invoicing. Notably, post-harvest grain quality measurement technology has proven to be a critical, ever-evolving tool for the industry. Quick and accurate mycotoxin testing has improved feed safety and blending techniques, however, they are limited in their ability to provide a snapshot of quality attributes at an individual-kernel level.

Analyzing singular kernels could be the...

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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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August 22-23, 2016

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