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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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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OSHA Steps It Up

October/November 2010 | Feature | By Shannon DeCamp

The tone has changed in the OSHA Administration and efforts to ramp up and crack down are already in motion. More resources are being allocated to enforcement, and penalties and fines are being increased. Now is a good time to review your safety program and ensure that it is iron-clad. Here is a brief overview of some of OSHA’s recent and planned actions.

Improved record keeping

Part of the stage for stronger enforcement was set with the initiation of the Recordkeeping National Emphasis...

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Rising’ To The Occasion

August/September 2010 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

With a corporate mantra like “Rising”, it’s fair to assume exciting things are happening at Aurora Cooperative. This bold statement is based in the firm’s pride in moving itself away from the old cooperative mentality, and shifting its focus toward a progressive business approach.

For more than a century, Aurora Cooperative, a grain marketer and agricultural supplier, has been a partner in the success of agriculture in its part of the world. Serving Nebraska and surrounding states, the...

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Grain Engulfment Prevention

August/September 2010 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

As summer nears its end, elevators are preparing for an influx of grain: cleaning bins, inspecting machinery and investing in new equipment to handle what will no doubt be another record harvest. During this time new employees will be brought on board, and seasoned veterans will be bracing themselves, knowing what to expect from peak time. In the midst of making these necessary preparations, management also be reviewing its safety and training policies.

Ask yourself: When was the last...

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Automation Feeds The Bottomline

June/July 2010 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

It's a tough time in agriculture right now. It's a mature market place — one wrought by unpredictability — and in the words of Alan Wessler, vice president of MFA’s feed division, "they're not making more land and they're not growing more producers."  Competition is stiff. To combat the forces beyond its control, MFA Inc. has made it mission to make customer service part of its culture; and after 96 years, MFA Inc. has garnered quite a reputation for accomplishing this feat. 

"When you...

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2010 Grain Testing Trends

April/May 2010 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

The cold, wet harvest of 2009/10 brought with it, not only handling problems, but increased incidents of vomitoxins, a mycotoxin which is a naturally occurring chemicals produced by a variety of molds; and they will continue to be a thorn in the side of elevators into the future.

“It’s been an unusual year indeed,” says Paul Pfeiffer, territory managers — grain & milling, Neogen, says. “In some areas, elevators are lucky to get one out of 10 trucks with an acceptable level in some areas.”

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Pest Control: Fumigation 101

April/May 2010 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

If your firm has used fumigants, you’re no stranger to fumigation management plans (FMP). A FMP is a written record providing specific logistical, performance, and contact information to help "characterize" the fumigation of a commodity storage site. Designed to ensure legal and effective fumigation, FMPs ensure the safety of the applicators, the storage facility employees, the surrounding community, and the environment. Consequently, FMPs must be enforced from within each organization...

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Granulation: A Novel Method to Improve the Bulk Density and Flowability of Distillers Grains with So

April/May 2010 | Feature | By Klein Ileleji

The growth in fuel ethanol production has dramatically increased the production of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a granular bulk product obtained from the non-fermentable residues of corn during ethanol bioprocessing using the dry grind production process.
For every bushel of corn converted into ethanol — a third which constitutes the unfermentables — is dried and sold as DDGS. Since DDGS is primarily used as a feed ingredient for livestock diet rations (beef cattle, swine...

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Turning Opportunity Into Profit

April/May 2010 | Feature | By Jackie Roembke

On occasion, opportunity falls into your lap; other times you have to seek it out. Such is the case with the evolution of JBS United Inc.’s western Illinois grain division. From successfully adopting a continuous improvement program to seeking out a unique partnership with a local feed mill, this grain terminal has not stopped innovating.

In 1998, Sheridan, IN-based JBS United Inc., an international feed nutrient and grain marketing corporation, acquired a rail terminal in Griggsville, IL....

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Infrastructure’s impact on grain flow

January 2010 | Feature | Jackie Roembke

Grain transportation involves much more than moving commodities from Point A to Point B. To make efficient transportation happen, many logistical intricacies must synchronize; however, it’s no secret that the foundation of our nation’s transportation delivery system — our infrastructure — is in need of special attention. As international markets catch up with our ability to handle and export grain, capital investments need to be made to keep the United States competitive in the global...

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CO2 Monitoring: a New Grain Management Tool

January 2010 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

The 2009 harvest, characterized as unusually late, wet and followed by a warmer-than-average winter, has raised grain quality concerns among grain handlers, processors and users across the country. Over the past decade, grain quality has been generally good and taken for granted, but faced with today’s grain condition challenges, grain elevator operations managers are looking for better ways to monitor their stored grain.

A joint research effort by Kansas State University and Purdue...

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Looking to the future: Observations from the millwright’s vantage point

January 2010 | Feature | Jackie Roembke

It’s the beginning of a new decade, and everyone — in every industry — is wondering what lies ahead. After facing the unique challenges posed by 2009’s  later-than-usual, wetter-than-average — and overall  record — harvest, elevator operators and feed manufacturers have been forced to take a critical look at their operations.

Given their insider perspective on the needs of the industry, FEED & GRAIN spoke with leaders in the millwright community to gain insight into the issues critical to...

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AFIA leaders reflect on the state of feed industry

January 2010 | Feature |

Feed industry prepares for better conditions in 2010

By Joel G. Newman

We all know the economy in the United States and around the world was affected profoundly by the economic turmoil of the last one to two years. We likely know family members, friends or others in our communities who have struggled mightily in these times.

The feed industry has not been immune to the difficult conditions. The dramatic escalation of corn prices and other commodity prices in the first half of 2008, combined...

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A personal test of mettle . . . and concrete

January 2010 | Feature | By Gerry Whitty

Every day we juggle career obligations, family schedules and other responsibilities in an effort to keep our professional and personal lives humming along at peak efficiency. Juggling schedules is a concept Chad Allen, manager of the Milling and Grain Division for Allen’s Hatchery Inc., and Allen Family Foods, Seaford, DE, understands in spades.

“We had quite a lot to accomplish in a short period of time,” says Allen. “In order to take advantage of certain marketing opportunities, we had...

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