Grain Stocks Report

January 2010 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

According to report published by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture corn, soybean and all wheat stocks are up from Decemeber 2008.

Corn stored in all positions on December 1, 2009 totaled 10.9 billion bushels, up 9 percent from December 1, 2008. Of the total stocks, 7.45 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 15 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 3.49 billion bushels, are down 3 percent from a...

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Siting a new facility

January 2010 | Departments | By Gretchen Miller Busch & Treasa Burke

Expansion or relocation of one’s business, whether the change involves a small distribution site, a large manufacturing facility — or anything in between — is always an exciting and challenging process. Before you get to the point of determining how you’ll furnish, staff and stock your new facility, it’s important to take time to consider how you’ll use your new location, what restrictions will govern its use, and how you can fit the pieces together to ensure that your new location is one...

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Multistate research project impacts global agriculture

January 2010 | Departments | By Dr. F. William Ravlin

Marketing and Delivery of Quality Grains and BioProcess Coproducts,” dubbed NC-213, is a multistate research project composed of a team of scientists, engineers and economists from leading United States land grant universities, USDA, USDA-ARS research centers and representatives from private industry. This informal research association dates back to the first organizational meeting, held in January 1978 in St. Louis.

NC-213 objectives

NC-213 goals are to characterize quality attributes and...

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Benchmarking: Comparing performance over time and against industry norms

January 2010 | Departments | By Drs. John Foltz and Christine Wilson

Many of us have a bit of a competitive streak in us — whether it is pitting ourselves against some friends in a friendly game of cards, hitting the links on the local golf course with some acquaintances, bowling at the alley on league night or cheering for our favorite NFL team in the playoffs. We like to compare and compete against others — in fact, this is the psychological basis of the free-market system: Competition will best serve the needs of society.

A useful and productive method...

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Thank you and goodbye

January 2010 | Departments |

This is my last column as editor of FEED & GRAIN magazine. There, I said it and wrote it down on paper, so it must be real.

Now, faced with the unenviable task of saying goodbye to a job that I have truly loved, I find myself at a loss for words (for those who know me, you know how hard a feat that must be). But after looking at all I’ve experienced in the past three and a half years, I think the better path to “goodbye” is found by saying, “thank you.”

First, I’d like to thank those staff...

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Legal Q&A: Get on top of new tax tools for 2010

January 2010 | Departments | By Gerry Whitty

Many of the tax tools grain and feed facilities have employed over the past few years expire in 2010, which could lead to challenging times ahead for facility managers and their accounting and legal teams. In this issue, FEED & GRAIN visits with Adam Thimmesch of Faegre & Benson LLP to help us bid adieu to the old rules and say hello to new opportunities for those seeking tax relief in 2010 and beyond.

Feed & Grain: With the uneven economy of the last few years, certain programs were...

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Exploring the needs and desires of your customers

January 2010 | Departments | By Drs. Joan Fulton, Maud Roucan-Kane, Corinne Alexander and John Foltz

There is no doubt that the past year has been one of challenging times for all businesses and your feed and grain business is no exception. You may be tempted to move into “survival mode” in times like this, but now is the very time to be proactive, adapt your business to the needs of your customers before your competitors do, and ultimately you will be more profitable. Your customers’ needs and desires are changing and an excellent strategy is to actively explore these. In this column,...

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A harvest for history

January 2010 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

“And to think just four months ago I was worried whether I should raise my bids to avoid losing volume. Of all the things I didn’t need to worry about, that should have been No. 1 on my list. Oh well — there wasn’t any way to know Harvest 2009 would be one for the history books.”

Dave lays his glasses on his desk and closes his eyes briefly — it’s been another 16-hour day and he feels every one of his 60 years. He has a small but good staff and they’re as exhausted as he is. The guys...

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Bringing vision and values to life in your firm

October/November 2009 | Departments | Drs. John Foltz & Jay Akridge

Harvest is upon us and in some areas the feed and grain industry is hitting on all cylinders. The middle of what may be the most intense part of the year may seem like an odd time to be thinking about your firm’s vision and values, but that is what we are going to ask you to do in this column. Being in the midst of “doing what you do,” is not a bad time to take a look at the alignment between what your firm’s vision and where you are now. Likewise, when your organization is running flat...

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Climate change and food/feed safety legislation

October/November 2009 | Departments | By Elise Schafer

Since President Barack Obama has taken office, change has been abundant. Between his proposed healthcare reform, new strategy for the war in the Middle East and his views on funding for higher education, it seems there is little the president wants to remain status quo.

Members of Congress have recently seen two separate pieces of legislation that could profoundly affect the feed and grain industry. One deals with food and feed safety and the other pertains to climate change and cap and...

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Wheat: The Road to Convergence

October/November 2009 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

Staring ahead while standing on a railroad, it appears the rails converge on the horizon. But as we walk forward, we find the convergence is an illusion and the rails remain as far apart as where we started. That separation is fine if you’re running a railroad. It’s not fine if you’re hedging wheat, anticipating that cash and futures prices will come together; converge, when you reach the futures delivery month. Soft red wheat basis in many markets has resembled those railroad tracks for...

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Nincompoops & Stick-in-the-Muds: Dealing with Difficult People

August/September 2009 | Departments | Dr. John Foltz & Dr. Christine Wilson

Love your job but sometimes really dislike dealing with some of the people you work with? Trust us, you are not alone. In fact as a manager and leader in your feed and grain business, your job heavily involves dealing with people — your subordinate employees, other managers and co-workers, customers, and others. Some people are always pleasant, easy and enjoyable to work with, but as you well know, often you will find some very difficult people at work. As a manager, you are much like an...

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Navigating a course through coarse particulate matter regulations

August/September 2009 | Departments | By Gerry Whitty

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dropped its proposal to exempt agricultural sources from requirements to implement control systems to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for coarse particulate matter (PM), these sources remain exposed to further EPA regulation under the auspices of the Clean Air Act.

In this issue’s Legal Q&A, Feed & Grain visits with Eric Triplett of Faegre & Benson LLP to help lend some clarity to the potential impact the EPA’s action...

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Makin Money

August/September 2009 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

It’s a crisp morning with a hint of autumn in the air. Mike pulls up to the elevator in his pickup and shuts off the engine, pausing before climbing out to open the office and start another harvest day. As the trucks and wagons begin to arrive and farmers stop in for some morning coffee, Mike sits in his office looking over the year-to-date financials. Volume looks promising — he expects local crops will overrun the capacity of area elevators this harvest — but Mike wishes the fiscal year...

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Rootworm Research Leads to Synthetic Dye Alternative

August/September 2009 | Departments | By Elise Schafer

After years of breeding corn in an effort to discover host plant resistance, a husband and wife research team bred a unique purple maize with potential applications for the feed and food sectors.

Many of today’s commonly used household appliances, medications, and even foods were discovered by accident. The camera, microwave, potato chips and penicillin are a few examples of everyday products that researchers, doctors and inventors stumbled upon while aiming to create something entirely...

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