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October/November 2014 Issue
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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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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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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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FSMA’s Tight Deadlines, Scope of Reform Worry Feed Industry

August/September 2013 | Feature | Steven Kilger

As the Food and Drug Administration picks up the pace in promulgating Food Safety Modernization Act rules, feed facilities and suppliers are working against the clock to prepare for some of the biggest regulatory changes the feed industry—with its 900 ingredients and facilities and suppliers of all sizes—has ever faced.  

“I think a lot about the ability of our industry to be sophisticated at all levels to absorb, understand and implement these kinds of controls. We’re not really sure we...

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OSHA’s Sweep Auger Policy Comes Full Circle

August/September 2013 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

After nearly five years of back-and-forth between the grain industry and OSHA over its fluctuating sweep auger policy, a recent agency memo has brought some degree of closure to the issue.

The controversy was sparked in 2008, when an insurance agent wrote to OSHA regarding its policies on whether employees could remove their harnesses and lifeline inside a bin if there were no engulfment hazards present, and if employees could operate sweep augers if the sump was not protected by grating....

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Accurate Nutrition Without the Lab

August/September 2013 | Feature | Steven Kilger

The United Nations’ department of Economic and Social Affairs released a report in 2012 that the world’s population will reach an estimated 9 billion by the year 2050 (http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/index.htm).  This estimate has placed a great deal of emphasis on agriculture and non-agriculture entities to determine the best way(s) to produce food for future generations. The current facts are that the amount of arable land to plow and sow is limited, and meat consumption is increasing as...

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Put Your Money to Work

August/September 2013 | Feature | Elise Schafer

Since 2008, the U.S. economy has remained generally grim as it’s teetered between periods of recession and slight uptick. Industries like manufacturing, construction and realty famously suffered, while others like technology and food weathered the storm less scathed. But one segment has consistently outperformed the rest throughout this tumultuous period in U.S. history: agriculture.  

Given the strength of the industry, banks are eager to lend money to the grain segment, but according to...

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Identifying the Core of Your Business

August/September 2013 | Feature | By Damien McLoughlin

In today’s market, companies often lose sight of their core. Most feed or grain companies have ambitions to grow their business but few have an actual plan, beyond working harder. With the agricultural sector’s increased understanding of how to optimize animal and plant performance, there is continuous pressure to keep up with genetic improvements. This manifests itself through choices made by owners and presidents whether to enter specialist or niche markets, open up new geographies and...

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Behind the Scenes: Cargill AgHorizons’ Hales Point, TN, River Terminal

April/May 2013 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

In early 2011 Cargill AgHorizons awarded Kajima Building & Design (KBD) Group Inc. the bid to overhauled its outdated Hales Point, TN, barge-loading facility located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The plan involved expansion of its storage and handling capacity and a structural foundation capable of meeting the demands of river terminal operation. However, given the unpredictable nature of Ol' Man River, the Atlanta, GA-based design/build firm had to overcome a number of unique...

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‘Strong’ Phosphine Resistance Found in U.S. Stored Grain Insects

June/July 2013 | Feature | By George Opit and Thomas Phillips

The lesser grain borer (Fig. 1) and the red flour beetle (Fig. 2) are two major pests of stored grain in the United States, and are often combated with phosphine fumigation. These fumigations are starting to fail, raising questions about their effectiveness. Resistance in stored-product insect pests has become a major problem in many countries, with very high levels of resistance found in some parts of Asia and Africa and, more recently, in Australia and South America. Drs. George Opit,...

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Getting the Measure of Mycotoxins

February/March 2013 | Feature | By Dr. Terry Mabbett

Getting the measure of mycotoxins is no easy task especially in the wide range of cereal crop commodities providing feed grain and the main ingredients of finished feed. Many field fungal pathogens and storage molds synthesize mycotoxins. Each group of fungi, including the aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus molds or the large number of Fusarium fungal pathogens delivering a broadside of Deoxynivalenol (DON), Zearalenone (ZEA), T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins, has its own environmental requirements.

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GEAPS Exchange Education Sessions

February/March 2013 | Feature | By Mike Martin

In late February, grain elevator operators descended upon the land of bourbon and thoroughbreds for the 2013 edition of the GEAPS Exchange. The event, held at the Kentucky International Convention Center in the heart of Louisville, featured a diverse line-up of educational sessions, which tackled many of the industry’s critical issues, and a trade show with more than 300 exhibitors eager to showcase their latest equipment.

GEAPS Exchanges focus on education and information that provide...

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Global Feed Industry Collaborates to Benchmark Livestock Sustainability

February/March 2013 | Feature | Elise Schafer

As members of the feed and agriculture industry, we slightly cringe when restaurant servers describe their grass-fed, locally sourced beef as though the alternative should be avoided; we shudder when television cooking show hosts refer to “meatless Monday” as having an overwhelming impact on the environment; and we shake our heads in dismay when animal rights activists claim it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat.  

It’s not that we don’t support small farms...

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To the Rescue: How Salvage Operations can Minimize Commodity Losses

February/March 2013 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Preparation 101: the Pillars of Safety, part I of this two-part series, focused on how grain and feed facility managers can prevent emergencies by preparing their staffs for a variety of disasters and following three fundamental safety rules: keep written safety policies, conduct frequent training and drills, and maintain a good relationship with first responders.

Part II takes into consideration that some catastrophic events, whether “acts of God (usually weather related)” or pure...

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