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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 (  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In early 2011 Cargill AgHorizons awarded Kajima Building & Design (KBD) Group Inc. the bid to overhauled its outdated Hales Point, TN, barge-loading facility located on the banks of the Mississippi River.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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Compliance and Sustainability Dominate IPPE Agenda

February/March 2013 | Feature | Elise Schafer

The 2013 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) once again gave feed industry professionals a bird's eye view of today's most pressing issues, opportunities and challenges facing the industry. Providing that information was the American Feed Industry Association, the sponsor of the International Feed Expo, one of the three shows co-located at IPPE 2013.

AFIA presented educational programs including the International Feed Industry Institute and the annual Pet Food Conference as...

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Preparation 101: The Pillars of Safety

February/March 2013 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

It's often said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Perhaps in the grain industry a better analogy is a kernel of prevention is worth a bushel of cure, but however you look at it, safety experts and emergency responders close to the grain industry couldn't agree more.

Preparing for natural disasters, explosions and other emergencies should rank among facility managers' highest priorities  — right up there with boosting efficiency, meeting regulatory compliance and increasing...

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Sweeping Changes Come to OSHA’s Sweep Auger Enforcement

January 2013 | Feature | By Amanda R. Strainis-Walker and Eric J. Conn

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) roller coaster ride of enforcement policy in connection to sweep augers and bin entry has taken another major turn.

After a recent string of confusing interpretation letters issued by OSHA effectively banned the practice of employees working with sweep augers inside of grain bins without nullifying the equipment’s functionality by requiring the auger to be guarded on all sides, a ground-breaking settlement of an OSHA case against an...

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Cash Grain Observations

January 2013 | Feature | By Cody Bills

The 2012-13 growing season and marketing year will go down in history as a year of extremes. The American farmer experienced the worst drought in a half century and a second straight year of sharp price increases for grains. Along with these higher prices came higher volatility, whipsawing grain prices and straining margin accounts; and, after two years of disappointing production, basis have ratcheted up yet again to historic levels.

Not only did the drought affect how much grain was...

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41st Country Elevator Conference Adjourns

October/November 2012 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

Just as the first hints of frigid winter weather began hitting the Corn Belt, more than 600 country elevator managers and front-line employees traveled to Omaha, NE, for the 41st edition of the National Grain & Feed Association’s (NGFA) Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show.

The event, held Dec. 9-11, featured a day and a half of seminar sessions as well a full trade show featuring more than 100 exhibitors. The over arching theme of the conference program focused on preparing...

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Aflatoxin Attacks

October/November 2012 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

The summer of 2012 was one for the books! Record-breaking high temperatures in much of the Corn Belt and the Western Plains coupled with intense drought had a detrimental impact on the corn crop harvested late in the summer and into the fall. The extended dry heat spell —especially the lack of night-time temperature drops — created the perfect breeding ground for mold, leading to the most widespread outbreak of aflatoxin in recent history.

Levels of aflatoxin, a carcinogenic, naturally...

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