The Minnesota Grain and Feed Association will be sponsoring a Rail Loading Safety Seminar on Wednesday, November 29 at the Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center, Alexandria. The seminar instructors will include Dave Nelson, MGFA Safety Program Director and Steven Fry, a trainer/instructor with Northern Plains Rail Services (NPRS). The NPRS is a customer-focused regional railroad that began in 1997, which not only operates a 350 mile network in North Dakota and western Minnesota but also provides a â€œone-stop shopâ€ for third party rail services, including track construction, rail car repair, locomotive servicing and supply, industrial switching, technical training and consulting.
The seminar will cover how to assess and mitigate potential hazards, explain why railcar inspections are so important, go into detail on railcar air brakes, explain basic rules pertaining to handbrakes, cover the safe operation of a locomotive or rail car mover and safe switching operations. This seminar also offers your employees an opportunity to network with colleagues who are similarly involved with various tasks associated with loading rail cars. See the agenda here
The registration fee is $125/person for MGFA members or $140/person for non-members, which includes class materials, lunch, breaks and instructor time. The seminar will run from 8:45 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m. For lodging, you can call the resort hotel at 320-762-1124. We have a block of rooms reserved for $89/night. Please request a reservation under "Minnesota Grain and Feed Association." The room cut off date is November 10. Confirmations with directions will be sent prior to the event. Cancellations will be accepted through November 17. After that date, a full refund cannot be guaranteed. To register, click here
We want to encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity, to expose your employees to the various hazards associated with loading railcars and smart ways to mitigate these hazards. By doing so, you are protecting your most important asset - your employees!
To support renewable fuels, Syngenta developed Enogen® corn enzyme technology, an in-seed innovation that enhances ethanol production and delivers alpha amylase enzyme directly in the grain. Syngenta has licensed growers to produce Enogen grain to support a growing number of ethanol plants, representing approximately 2 billion gallons of ethanol capacity, with plans to continue expanding the footprint for this game-changing innovation. Enogen corn enables growers to serve as enzyme suppliers to their local ethanol plants and offers the potential to earn a $.40/bu (on average) premium for grain delivered to the ethanol plant. Enogen corn is expected to generate approximately $32 million of additional revenue for local growers in 2017 through per-bushel premiums. Basically, the robust alpha amylase enzyme found in Enogen grain helps an ethanol plant significantly reduce the viscosity of its corn mash and eliminates the need to add a liquid form of the enzyme. This breakthrough reduction can lead to unprecedented levels of solids loading, which directly contributes to increased throughput and yield, as well as critical cost savings from reduced natural gas, energy, water and chemical usage.
Caution: Grain elevators selling to corn milling operations should be diligent. Too great a concentration of Enogen may adversely affect the compositional nature of corn chips, etc. I believe corn refiners may be similarly concerned. Our industry strongly encouraged Syngenta to stress to growers and their seed guys that Enogen is different and care should be exercised to keep it segregated, making sure it was ONLY delivered to ethanol plants who contracted for it. I am not totally confident that Enogen is always handled as carefully as needed. It was reported that last year, some tortilla makers were having issues that could have been due to a low presence of Enogen corn in their ingredient stream.
I also understand Syngenta has started promoting it for dairy and beef cattle feeding. Enogen® Feed corn for dairy apparently helps provide more digestible corn silage for dairy producers. Enogen Feed corn features a higher concentration of alpha-amylase than other commercially available corn hybrids, which (they say) helps break down starch more effectively and and "may" result in a more digestible feed ration for dairy and beef cattle This adds more reasons to be concerned about whether or not growers and seed guys clearly communicate and exercise proper care to keep it from becoming a contaminant for other users. It is helpful for everyone in the grain handling industry to ask questions and reinforce the need for "stewardship".
We've received some reports of white mold in soybeans showing up at the elevator. White mold development in soybeans is favored by cool, cloudy, wet, humid weather at flowering. The disease is more problematic in soybeans in high-yield environments where high plant populations, narrow row spacing, and an early-closing canopy are commonly used. No single management strategy is 100 percent effective at eliminating white mold, and in-season options for at-risk fields are limited. There are fungicides available for in-season management of white mold, however not all commonly used fungicides are labeled for use against white mold in soybean.
If a soybean field is diagnosed with high levels of white mold, this field should be harvested last. This will help reduce the movement of the survival structures of the white mold fungus by harvesting equipment, to fields that are not infested. Also, your farmer customers should be sure to clean all harvesting equipment thoroughly at the end of the season to avoid inadvertent infestation of fields. Rotations of 2-3 years between soybean crops can help reduce the level of the fungus causing white mold in field. At the elevator, the best you can do is consider using a scalper and/or screener and possibly blending, if necessary. You may also want to be alert to the possibility of receiving small immature beans that may exhibit signs of green damage in the bean. As always, good communication between the elevator and your farmer customer is important!