Falling Commodity Prices May Change Planting Trends

| Online Exclusive | By Bob Young, American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist & Deputy Executive Director, Public Policy

After more than a few fairly good years for crop producers, 2014 is shaping up as a year where farmers are going to need to spend a little more time sharpening their pencils, a little more time sharing a cup of coffee with those that help them market their crops and maybe not looking at as much new paint as they did in 2012 or 2013.  While we are still likely to see one of the most productive years ever for the sector and cash receipts will be much higher than what we observed throughout...

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10 Sweep Auger Safety Principles

February/March 2013 | Online Exclusive | By Amanda R. Strainis-Walker and Eric J. Conn

Attorneys with the law firm Epstein Becker Green's OSHA practice office in Washington, D.C. recently resolved a citation delivered by OSHA to an IL grain company due to an sweep auger violation. The citation was withdrawn and the agency agreed to allow employees to work in grain bins with energized sweep augers in the future assuming they comply with the agreed upon terms of the 10 Sweep Auger Safety Principles outlined in its settlement agreement. 

Below is the list of Sweep Auger...

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Practical Application of the Sweep Auger Safety Principles

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

As part of the settlement negotiations that resulted in the Ten Sweep Auger Safety Principles, the cited employer also developed and submitted for OSHA’s review and approval, a specific Sweep Auger Policy that included actual, practical engineering and administrative controls the employer intended to use at its facilities.  The following is a non-exhaustive list of the engineering and administrative controls that OSHA affirmatively approved as being consistent with the Ten Sweep Auger...

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Cost Advantages of Point-of-Use Dust Collection in Dump Pit Applications

January 2013 | Online Exclusive | By Chrissy Klocker, Donaldson Torit Applications Engineer

Grain, feed, and seed facilities are often faced with a dirty situation when designing dust collection for rail car and truck dump pits. Designing a dump pit with good dust collection in mind not only addresses the dirty situation but can save you operational time and money.

Traditional dust collection for these applications includes local hoods that capture nuisance dust using large volumes of air that are then transferred to a remote baghouse dust collector. With an integrated...

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Research Highlight: Using Radiation to Control Pests

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Guy Hallman, Center for Grain and Animal Health Research

A study authored by Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR) entomologist G.L. Hallman by Submitted to the Journal of Stored Products Research. It stated the use of food irradiation is increasing in the world because it can assist in solving some food problems such as food-borne illness and quarantine of agricultural commodities. This review article focuses on the use of irradiation in stored products for pest control. The doses required to control stored product pests range...

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Who’s Minding the Store?

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Mark D. Aljets

For decades the grain handling industry has struggled with the catastrophic effects of dust explosions at facilities throughout the United States. However, the industry has made tremendous strides to make the workplace safer upon the harsh backdrop that the industry faced as of the 1970s. Chart 1, issued by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) as of 2011, establishes how far the industry has come in the past 35 years.

The stark reality that forced the grain handling industry to...

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Research Highlight: Lesser Grain Borer

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Dr. Paul Flinn

The lesser grain borer, Rhizopertha dominica, is one of the most common and damaging insect pests of stored wheat in the United States. In the autumn, the periphery of the grain bulk cools faster than the center and this allows grain insects to continue to reproduce in the center. Very little is known about the movement of the lesser grain borer in temperature gradients in stored grain. The Stored Product Insect Research Unit (SPIRU) of the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research...

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Aggressive Wheat Fungus Defeated with Gene Pyramid

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Dr. Robert Bowden, Published with permission from the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR)

‘Ug99’ is the term used for a group of highly virulent races of stem rust that emerged in central Africa starting in 1999. Since then, the Ug99 group has spread to South Africa and north to Ethiopia, Yemen, and Iran. Experts expect that it will continue to spread and will eventually reach North America. The threat to the global wheat crop is high because Ug99 is able to defeat almost all of the older resistance genes that have been used to protect wheat from wheat stem rust for the last...

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Research Highlight: Improving Wheat Scab Detection

June/July 2012 | Online Exclusive | Published with permission from the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research (CGAHR)

Fusarium Head Blight (FHB), also called ‘scab’, is a fungal disease that infects wheat and other grains such as rye and barley. The direct and secondary effects of this disease cause billions of dollars in losses world-wide. In addition to reducing wheat yields, the fungus produces a toxin, deoxynivalenol (DON), which makes infected grain unsafe for food or feed purposes. One of the most effective strategies for managing this disease is the use of less susceptible or resistant wheat...

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Paradigm Shift to Lead to High-tech Solutions

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive |

The following essay earned Colin Hurd a $2,500 scholarship from Feed Energy Company  for its 2012 “Excellence in Ag” Scholarship Program.

Agricultural technology has changed the industry beyond what many of us could have imagined. Its relatively brief history has created value in areas that we did not even know existed 20 years ago. Remote data capture is one of the most paradigm shifts happening today, offering producers the ability to measure and manage. The potential for technology...

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Is Social Media the Most Important New Tool for Agriculture?

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Bethany Olson

The following essay earned Bethany Olson a $2,500 scholarship from Feed Energy Company for its 2012 “Excellence in Ag” Scholarship Program.

When asked what one believes to be the impact of technology on agriculture, a standard and
common answer might focus on scientific and technological developments that have been made in all areas of the agriculture industry. These developments include (but are certainly not limited to) genetic advancements in the livestock industry, bio-tech agronomic...

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Beyond a Simple Display

Beyond a Simple Display

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Billy Folkerts, agricultural product manager, Avery Weigh-Tronix

The agricultural industry provides products and services that are vital to everyday life, and in order to continue delivering quality goods and maintain profit margins, these applications require the highest level of precision in all aspects of production. The ability to record data and provide real-time reports is arguably as important as precision in these times of volatile commodity/input prices. To ensure these operations achieve the necessary accuracy and data management, indicator...

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Food Defense and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

August/September 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Jackie Roembke

Enforcement of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) has placed the spotlight on food defense, a collective term used to encompass activities associated with protecting the nation's food supply from deliberate or intentional acts of contamination or tampering (Source: FDA). Given the nature of the feed manufacturing and grain handling industries — industries where the products often make their way through a number of touch points and encounter numerous counterparties (farmer,...

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Three Secrets to Lowering Insurance Premiums

June/July 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Elise Schafer

Most insurance agencies offer credits to lower insurance premiums based on a variety of factors, such as driving records, workers’ compensation history and recorded training programs. Three agribusiness insurance experts revealed to Feed & Grain their top tips for saving money on insurance costs every month.  

  1. Raise your deductible

One way to control premiums is to take the highest deductible that the insured is comfortable handling because the higher the deductible, the lower the...

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Limiting Recall Risk with Tracking Technology

June/July 2012 | Online Exclusive | By Meetesh Shah, president, iRely

Everyone in the agricultural business is well aware of the significant damage a product recall can have on all the companies involved. It is bad for the customers, bad for the partners, bad for publicity and certainly bad for the bottom line. Experts follow best practice rules to help lower the risk of recalls but for many, one slip up can be devastating to the business.

Yet despite this risk, many feed and grain operators are still running basic, outdated technology. It’s no secret that...

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