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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GEAPS Ahoy!: Exchange 2011

January 2011 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Exchange 2011, GEAPS' 82nd annual international technical conference and exposition, will bring GEAPS member from around the world to Portland, OR, February 26 - March 1, 2011. Held at the Oregon Convention Center, the event features a sold out 263-exhibitor trade show and a dynamic educational program. 

For regulatory updates to equipment maintenance, GEAPS will be providing more than 30 hours of focused education programs, all geared for people in grain operations and related...

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Suction Aeration: A Better Way to Manage Pests

January 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

The practice of aerating wheat in storage bins has long been recognized as an integral part of any integrated pest management program — and ultimately, a good grain quality control measure. This is especially important in South Central states such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Colorado, where warm summer weather heats up the grain’s surface, creating an inviting den for insects and other pests.

Pressure aeration — using fans to push ambient air from the bottom of the...

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NGFA’s 115th Annual Convention

January 2011 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

The National Grain and Feed Association’s 115th Annual Convention will be held at the historic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego March 13-15, 2011. The event offers many opportunities for industry colleagues and customers to discuss business matters and network.

[Randy Gordon quote]

Speaker highlights

The NGFA convention's sessions feature a diverse group of speakers addressing the issues important to NGFA members.

• Greg Page, chairman and CEO, Cargill Inc., will provide his views on the...

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Appropriate Use of Financial Leverage in Your Feed and Grain Business

January 2011 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

In simple terms, leverage is the measure of debt (borrowed dollars) to equity (dollars the owners have invested in the business) in your feed and grain firm. When we say that a firm is “Highly Leveraged,” it means that the company has a large amount of debt relative to how much equity the owners have in the firm. Why is this important? Well, as we discuss in more detail below — if you can use someone else’s money to make you money — you can significantly increase your return on...

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OSHA to ‘Aggressively Pursue’ Safety Violations in Grain Handling Operations

January 2011 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

Recently, OSHA put grain handling operators “on notice” that it intends to “aggressively pursue” workplace safety violations in the grain handling and storage industries. On August 4, 2010, OSHA Administrator David Michaels sent a letter to over 3,000 grain handling and storage operators warning them that OSHA “will not tolerate” non-compliance with workplace safety standards. A copy of this letter is available at http://www.osha.gov/asst-sec/Grain_letter.html. In a related press...

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The Challenges of DDGS Caking in Transit

January 2011 | Departments |

The challenges of unloading Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS), the major co-product of corn ethanol production, from hopper cars or ship cargo holds at their points of destination have been a major logistical problem facing the marketing of DDGS.

Product caking in hopper cars is primarily the major problem when hopper cars turn up “hard” with nonflowable product (Figure 1). This problem has led to two Class I railroad carriers announcing that they will not permit railroad-owned...

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Save with Feed Mill Automation

January 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Advanced system controls take many functions of day to day feed mill operations out of human hands, reducing labor costs and the risk of error.

Automating major processes also helps facilities achieve maximum uptime, productivity and throughput, while promoting consistent product quality and compliance with safety regulations.

Feed & Grain sat down with experts from today’s leading automation system providers to gain insight on the benefits of implementing automation technology.

Our panel of...

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No Grain, No Gain

January 2011 | Special Report | By Jackie Roembke

J.D. Heiskell & Co., a 125-year-old grain and commodity trading business, motto says it all: “Right feed, right time, right place.” The privately held company as evolved it’s business to stay true to this promise, while maintaing the family values it touts as its foundation. The country's fourth largest feed manufacturing company by volume, J.D. Hesikell has boldly grown in order to keep up with the demands of its customer base, exceeding expectations along the way.

[Quote from chairman of...

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The tide also rises

October/November 2010 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

Happy 2011! As we all gladly welcome this new year of opportunity, we as an industry have to be cognizant of political and market trends — both domestically and abroad — to be able to capitalize on and maintain agriculture's momentum.

In early December I attended my first National Feed & Grain Association's Annual Country Elevator Conference. The dynamic and informative line-up of speakers touched on everything from hot-button regulatory issues to the financing tools; however, there seemed...

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How to maximize dust control

October/November 2010 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Government agencies are poised to more strictly enforce regulations, and operators in the grain handling and feed manufacturing industry are going to need to know the rules as they evolve or face the consequences.

The US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) study sharpened its focus in 2006 with its Combustible Dust Hazard Study, in which it reported that from 1980 to 2005, combustible dusts caused 281 incidents that killed 119 workers and injured 718. Even with the...

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KC Wheat Futures Shift Gears

October/November 2010 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

2010 has been rough on hard red wheat farmers, merchants, and the Kansas City Board of Trade. Farmers watched KC wheat drift lower from late 2009 until harvest. Exporters struggled to sell hard red wheat before harvest against cheaper overseas offers. But adverse weather slashed Canada’s wheat crop by 17% and the FSU crop by almost 30% and wheat futures climbed as the scope of the problems widened.

Then a 1+ billion bushel US hard red wheat harvest arrived. Terminals were ready, the early...

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Elevator Pitches for Elevators

October/November 2010 | Departments | Drs. Joan Fulton, John Foltz, Nicole Olynk and C. Gustav Helmers

Elevator pitches, or elevator talks, have received considerable attention recently in the media and business press. Elevator pitches got their name because they were originally associated with the scenario where an entrepreneur had the time it took for the elevator to go from the lobby to the executive suite (about two minutes) to convince the would-be investor of the value of his/her business or invention. The concept has evolved and now is used to fit a variety of important interactions...

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