Anatomy of a grain trade

anatomy of a grain trade infographic

The global grain trading business is risky. Avalanches and mudslides can stop trains in their tracks. Striking union workers can halt grain loading at port. Freezing sea spray and high swells can delay ocean vessels for days. Commodity prices and costs shift constantly.

While those situations may be beyond a grain company’s control, there are countless other factors that a team of CHS experts successfully manages 365 days a year – always focused on efficiency, safety and profitability. (more…)

Keep an Eye on Stored Grain this Planting Season

stored grain

Photo by Iowa Grain Quality Initiative

Being aware of dew point and humidity can prevent grain spoilage

With the arrival of planting season, producers need to regularly check their stored grain in order to prevent spoilage. According to Charles Hurburgh, grain quality and handling specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, producers need to double the frequency they inspect their grain because this is a high-risk year and the condition of stored grain could deteriorate quickly.

“Pay attention to dew point temperatures in the air,” said Hurburgh, who also serves as director of the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative. “If we have a stretch of big storms, there will often be dry air afterward with dew points in the 30s and 40s. Run fans if the grain is warmer than that in order to keep gain cold as long as possible.”

Humid weather can cause grain storage problems and can become an issue if the grain is not cooled. If the relative humidity is 65 percent or above, fungi and other spoilage organisms can develop. Aeration in storage bins is done to stay below 65 percent humidity in the grain mass, which helps prevent spoilage.

“If the corn is cold, occasionally water will condense on the top of the bins, so having a bin with a roof ventilator is a plus,” said Hurburgh. “If the water has condensed on the roof, take care of it right away with a roof fan and it won’t be necessary to aerate the whole bin with air warmer than it needs to be.”

Last fall was not a good cooling period, as temperatures were warm with relatively high dew points. More of the grain’s storage life was used up, which will mean higher risks this summer. The large carryover means that some of the 2016 crop will need to be in condition even into 2018.

Wet weather is delaying planting in some areas, but a higher moisture harvest is not currently being forecasted.

“A common misconception is if planting season is later, then harvest season will be later,” said Hurburgh. “It’s also a misconception that early planting means early harvest, but there is no real correlation between planting date and having wet corn in the fall. The planting date will have no predictable impact on harvest moisture, at least up to a time corn is likely to be switched out in preference to soybeans. It has everything to do with the weather in August and September.”

For additional information, the Iowa Grain Quality has developed online learning modules to help producers learn proper grain storage practices. The Iowa Grain Quality Aeration Module (CROP 3083B) and Iowa Grain Quality Fan Performance Module (CROP 3083C), produced in cooperation with the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative and Crop Advisor Institute, helps users understand the function of aeration in preventing grain spoilage and how fan performance helps to cool grain, as well as the requirement for fan selection.

Other available modules address grain storage economics, food safety and animal nutrition, supply chain analysis and processing. The modules are free and can be accessed on the Extension Store.

Original Source: Feed & Grain

2016 AnswerPlot Recap

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend this year’s AnswerPlot®, we had a great turnout even with the nearby storms. We had three stations placed throughout the plot to discuss different topics in today’s agriculture and addressed issues that we are seeing in our area.

Station One: One reoccurring topic that was discussed is the challenge of weed control in our trade area. A big shift of farmers are switching to LibertyLink® soybeans and we have been using this program with great success. It is important to spray weeds while they are small and layer a residual. By doing this, the weeds are knocked out early and the residuals keep controlling the seedlings. If we are spraying taller weeds, we usually find ourselves coming back in 7 to 10 days with a sequential application to knock out the weeds that were not fully covered.

BayerCrop Sciences Specialist Calvin Brown talked to our growers about AGVOCATE, a BayerCrop program designed to educate people who are not from a farm background about sustainability, the growing world population, and environmental stewardship. Anyone can be an advocate for agriculture. It’s our job, as members of the agriculture community to lead these conversations.

CHS employees take an active role as agriculture advocates by speaking to local students about where their food comes from. Some schools provide science books for third graders with articles about GMO crops and why they are bad for consumers, animals and the environment. YieldPoint Specialist Joe Huebener and I have went to the classroom to share with students facts and research results on GMO crops. Becoming a leader in ag advocacy is important to us at CHS because if we don’t educate the next generation, someone else will.

Station Two: Another program discussed was the new Extend® program that will use dicamba herbicide. Currently these soybeans are approved to sell across the world but they are still awaiting approval from the EPA to be able to use this chemical over the top of the soybeans. Monsanto is expecting approval sometime this fall. Engenia is one of the chemicals with the dicamba molecule that we will use to spray the Extend® soybeans. Engenia is a new formulation with decreased volatilization and improved drift reduction so we don’t experience off target movement and damage susceptible crops. When using Extend® soybeans we still recommend applying a layer of residuals to prevent as many weeds coming up. Brad White with BASF discussed Engenia because they are bringing it to market. Mycogen Seeds Agronomist Andy Robinso discussed Enlist soybeans as well and stated, “the soybeans are not approved for export to China or Europe as of today but they are hoping they will be in early 2017.” Mycogen will not sell Enlist soybeans until they are approved for export to China and Europe. Enlist soybeans are 2,4-D soybeans and the Enlist chemical we will sell is approved for use on the crops. There will be a small amount of this product for sale this year that we can use in burndown applications before corn or soybeans with a restriction on when we can plant.

Station Three: Winfield Technical Seed Manager Adam Ivy and CHS Agronomy Specialist Rich Metzger discussed what you can expect from the 2016 corn crop. Some of the issues we have been seeing is anthracnose stalk rots. We are seeing anthracnose stalk rot symptoms in 1-3,000 plants per acre. This is caused by the large amounts of rainfall we experienced in July and August across our territory. This disease can cause for premature deterioration in the stalks causing the corn to go down. Ear molds was another threat we discussed. Again, because we experienced a lot of rain after pollination this can be a common occurrence. So far the outside edge of the field have the worst damage mainly Diplodia but there is some Gibberela visible.

Please feel free to call me if you’re interested in a private tour, I’d be happy to meet you at the plot to answer any of your questions.

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