March 28, 2013


With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work, brothers Joe and Louis Wenger founded Wenger Mixing Company in a small Kansas (USA) town in 1935. They went on to design a machine that blended molasses with dry feedstuffs and produced pellets in 1948. Theirs was the first extrusion cooking system and the basic technology for all commercial extruders used today. Click on image to visit website

Grain exporters owe Argentina $1 Billion in taxes

Cargill Inc. and Bunge Ltd. are among a long list of grain exporters that owe the Argentine government $951 million in taxes and won’t be eligible for a reduced interest rate under a payment plan unveiled by the government.
Argentina will reduce monthly interest charges to 1.35 percent from 2 percent for some unpaid taxes that were due Feb. 28. The payments can be made in as many as 120 monthly installments, the government said.
“Grain exporters have been excluded as they were disingenuous and therefore don’t deserve a plan to regularise their situation,” Ricardo Echegaray, head of Argentina’s Federal Administration of Public Revenue,  (AFIP)  said at a press conference in Buenos Aires.
The nation is seeking full repayment with interest from Cargill ($228 million) and Bunge (BG) ($126.3 million).

Grain and oilseeds are Argentina's main export

28/03/2013: Batch of grain stolen from strategic reserve in Arkhangelsk; US grain futures rise after crop damage

A large batch of grain worth over 200 million rubles ($6,440,066.49) has been stolen from a strategic grain reserve at the Arkhangelsk bakery plant.

Agents of the Arkhangelsk FSB department together with experts of the Vologda territorial reserve, who inspected the grain storage containers, have established the fact of the theft of strategically important grain.

The grain containers were equipped with tents adjusted on different levels to give the impression of being fully packed, while in fact they were empty. According to preliminary estimates, the losses inflicted on the state totaled more than 220 million rubles ($7,084,073.14), the press service said.

Wheat may be scarcer in the coming months because a hard freeze stretching from Tennessee to Texas killed some crops this week, analysts said.

"We did see some wheat damaged overnight," said Sterling Smith, vice president with Citibank Institutional Client Group. "The wheat was the spark that got things moving."
Trading has been relatively quiet this week ahead of a government report on grain stocks. The report will likely show corn supplies at a 15-year low, said Smith. Traders are bidding up grains because they expect demand to increase after the report is released.

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March 27, 2013

FEFANA celebrates 50th anniversary

FEFANA marked its 50th Anniversary with a sustainability workshop and a celebratory event in Brussels. The first statutes of FEFANA were signed in 1963 by the National Associations of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. 

The EU Association of Specialty Feed Ingredients and their Mixtures celebrated this important milestone with a Workshop on Sustainability, held in Brussels on the 21 March and attended by over 80 delegates from the FEFANA Membership, which now counts more than 100 companies from 28 countries across Europe. 

The Workshop comprised presentations by internationally renowned experts on sustainability such as Henning Steinfeld, head of the livestock sector analysis and policy branch at FAO; Hans Blonk, expert in the environmental assessment of food products; and Koen Boone, Director Europe of The Sustainability Consortium. 

That same evening, FEFANA held its celebratory 50th Anniversary event at the Museum of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, with more than 100 invitees comprising representatives from national authorities, the European Commission, and fellow associations active in the food and feed chain. 

The event was opened with a speech by FEFANA President Marco Bruni, who focused on the specialty feed ingredients industry’s achievements in the past 50 years and its continuous support to the European Union policies aimed at ensuring the highest standards of food and feed safety. 

Mr Bruni also stressed the current and future opportunities and challenges faced by association. The future of the specialty feed ingredients industry is of course intertwined with that of livestock production in Europe and worldwide. 

'Growing Forward 2' Agricultural programs launched in Alberta

Gerry Ritz, federal agriculture minister  and Verlyn Olson, Alberta agriculture and rural development minister, announced the signing of the Canada-Alberta 'Growing Forward 2' agreement on March 25 2013.
“This agreement is an important milestone in our continued efforts to deliver effective programs that farmers need to compete in global markets, while positioning Canada as a strong leader in agriculture,” said Ritz. “We will continue to work together to ensure that targeted investments in priority areas benefit the entire sector through increased productivity, jobs and economic growth.”

Alberta’s farmers and the agri-food sector will benefit from a $406 million investment provided through more than 30 new or enhanced programs focused on priorities like international market development, food safety, agri-business innovation, research and environmental management.

This funding is part of the $3 billion Growing Forward 2 initiative announced in 2012 and highlighted in Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013. The five-year agreement with provincial and territorial governments supports innovation, competitiveness and market development in agriculture.

“As the province’s largest renewable resource industry, agriculture holds tremendous potential,” said  Olson. “Through Growing Forward 2, we are providing our producers and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to build their businesses and further diversify Alberta’s economy.”

Growing Forward 2 focuses on the future prosperity of the sector, with a more than 50 per cent increase in cost-shared investment in strategic initiatives and programs to strengthen the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of Canadian agriculture. 

For more information about Growing Forward 2 click here

27/03/2013: Rothamsted applies for autumn GM wheat trial; ‘Dangerous’ levels of gas at Graincorp depot in Dingo

Rothamsted Research has submitted an application to DEFRA to plant autumn-sown wheat as part of its GM wheat trial. The application requests permission to conduct the winter sowing of Cadenza wheat, which involves exactly the same GM lines and experimental design as the current spring-sown experiment.

Scientists believe the extension of the trial would allow them to study the effects of autumn aphid infestations on their experimental aphid-repelling wheat. They say autumn-sown Cadenza wheat engineered to repel aphids - a major crop pest - would allow them to gain further data for the experiment.

"With the trial up and running, it seems sensible to make this small adjustment," said John Pickett, head of chemical ecology at Rothamsted Research.

He added, "This additional data will add a great deal of value to the overall investigation by testing our wheat plant under a more varied range of environmental conditions throughout the year and in accordance with the different times of the year farmers plant their wheat."

The request to DEFRA will be assessed by the independent Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) and by members of the public during a 60-day consultation period.

Duaringa police are investigating an incident of dangerously high levels of a chemical gas  found at Graincorp's Dingo depot this month.
Sergeant Paul James said police and an expert Graincorp clean-up crew were called to the depot after two drivers tried to unload grain with Phosphine gas readings of 57 parts per million and higher.
Phosphine levels over 50 ppm are considered to be immediately dangerous to life and health of farm workers, drivers and the public.
"It would appear the truckies have transported the grain to Dingo, maybe the night before, and placed their Phosphine (tablets) in cut-down 1.25l coke bottles, put water in there and put it with the grain, pulled over the tarp and gone to bed," Sgt James said.
"In the morning the containers were almost depleted and they have thrown them into the Dingo roadhouse bin and gone to Graincorp where the grain has been tested and… Graincorp staff have said no we're not taking it because it is way beyond what is safe and legal."
He added that  police recovered the evidence from the roadhouse bin and disposed of it safely. The grain's property of origin is unknown.

March 26, 2013

26/03/2013: Grain bin rescue training for local first responders; Erich Erber awarded Asian Personality Award during VIV Asia 2013

First responders from several area departments were on the scene at W.I. Miller & Sons in Farmdale, ready to participate in a mock rescue demonstration.

"We're trying to prepare for a bad situation that we hopefully never have to get into," said Doug Elser chief of the Kinsman Township Fire Department.

With United States farms producing more grain than ever, the amount of farmers dying from entrapment in bins and silos is alarming, and preventable.

"A lot of the volunteer firefighters don't have a farming background, and they wouldn't know how to handle an emergency on a farm like this," said Rod McNeely chief of the Gustavus Township Fire Department. "That's why the fire departments from Kinsman Township and Gustavus Township are going through the Ohio Fire Academy's training program."

The simulation trailer was designed by Ohio State University students and is only being used for the third time.

Local fire chiefs said all firefighters in this area should be well-rounded when it comes to rescue. 

"This class is basically to save somebody if they're trapped from say the shoulders down or somewhere where you can still see where the victim is," said Chief McNeely.


Erich Erber, chairman of the executive board of Erber group and founder of Biomin was awarded the Asian Personality award at VIV Asia 2013 in recognition of his 30 years of contribution to the field of animal nutrition. 

Erber's dedication and foresight has led to numerous innovative and trend-setting solutions for animal production, with a successful business spanning over 100 countries worldwide and more than 1100 employees.

The award adds to a series of important events that mark 2013 as the company also celebrates it's 30th anniversary and introduces a completely new approach to counteracting fumonisins in animal production. 


Erich Erber awarded Asian Personality Award at VIV Asia 2013

Event: Flour Mill 2013

A date for your diaries...

The 7th international conference, Flour mill 2013 will be taking place September 24-26 2013 in Moscow, Russia!

The Ministry of agriculture of the Russian federation, Russian union of flour mills and cereal plants and the international industrial academy are the main conference organisers.

On the event agenda:

 - Flour milling and cereals industry of Russia: current situation and the future prospects. Programme for its development until 2020.

 - Forecasts of development of the markets of grain, flour and cereals taking into account ensuring food security and export-import opportunities of the enterprises

 - Development of technology and equipment for flour mills and cereal plants for deep and effective processing of grain

 - Expanding the assortment of products with regard to consumer demands

 - Improving nutritional value of flour and cereals products

 - Industrial safety and labor protection on flour mills and cereal plants

 - the first results of work flour-mills and cereal plants after Russia's accession to WTO

 - Rewarding of winner's contest "The best Russian flour mill - 2012"

The conference will be held at 20, Pervy Shchipkovsky pereulok, Moscow, 115093

(nearest metro stations: Serpukhovskaya and Paveletskaya)

March 25, 2013

Peasant farmers’ markets in Colombia

Since the late 1940s Colombia has had a long string of what may arguably be the most anti-peasant governments in the world. Between the army, paramilitary death squads, armed drug traffickers, and the cross-fire between the various guerilla movements and government forces, several hundred thousand peasant farmers have been killed. Decades of anti-communist government propaganda have led city dwellers to virtually equate the word “campesino” (peasant farmer) with “subversive,” in a climate where the extra-judicial killing of subversives is “normal.”

How then did Colombian peasant organisations – some of whom are members of La Via Campesina, and others that are allies – together with nuns who promote ecological farming, and academic researchers in the city, win a very good public policy in the capital of Bogotá to promote peasant farmers’ markets?

In the mid-2000s, the mayor’s office wanted to restructure the distribution of fresh produce in the capital by creating a series of transfer point markets between rural agribusiness and giant super-market chains. By 2010, some 2,500 peasant families were doing more than USD 2 million in annual business.

Today the peasant markets in Bogotá are contributing mightily to food sovereignty, providing peasants from four provinces with a very profitable market option, have given political training that is dynamising the struggle for food sovereignty policies in home municipalities, are changing Society’s perception of peasants in a very positive way, and are using a gentle touch to promote the transition to agroecology.

Peasant markets in Bogotá are contributing mightily to food sovereignty, providing peasants from four provinces with a very profitable market option

25/03/2013: USGC Stepping Up in Venezuela; Canadian Bio-Systems expands team

The U.S. Grains Council has a long history of working in challenging environments, but site visits in an armored embassy van is not usually part of the program.
A U.S. Grains Council team, in-country to explore opportunities to renew ties and reengage with loyal partners in the feed, livestock, poultry, and dairy sectors, was on the ground when longtime Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez succumbed to cancer. There were safer places to be during the first week in March, but the timing provided a unique opportunity to assess the future of the Council's engagement in Venezuela at a critical turning point in the country's history.

Security was a concern even before President Chavez' death. From the moment they stepped off the plane, Latin America Regional Director Kurt Shultz and Alvaro Cordero, manager of global trade, were cautioned not to wear or show items such as watches, to avoid taxis and public transport, and to use only prearranged transportation from reliable firms. The homicide rate is among the world's highest, and kidnappings are commonplace; at one meeting, a sixty-seven year old businessman described a 25-day ordeal before he succeeded in ransoming his son.
Nor is security the only concern: one meeting, at a modern business office, was interrupted six times by power outages. Unpredictable spot shortages of basic consumer goods are frequent. Import licenses for grain can take four to six months. Government controls business access to capital, while a 400 percent spread between the official and the black market exchange rates makes every transaction a currency play. In short, Venezuela is a challenging place to do business.

Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. (CBS Inc.), has announced the addition of a new front-line sales and technical specialist to its team. Dr. Sergio Sosa brings extensive experience working across livestock sectors and will bolster the CBS Inc. roster for all markets including a special focus on Latin America.

"Sergio is well known in the industry and brings a wealth of experience along with a broad network," says Owen Jones, president of CBS Inc. "He will help solidify our North American team while also helping to grow our presence in Latin America, which represents a burgeoning market for new approaches to livestock feeding that are a strong fit with CBS Inc. products." 
Dr. Sosa is a veterinarian with over 20-years of experience working in technical support and sales in the livestock feed industry. He is bilingual in Spanish and English and has worked widely with producers, companies and other industry players internationally, particularly in his home country, Mexico, more generally in Latin America, and also in the U.S. and Canada.

March 22, 2013

Meriden's VIV Asia celebrations

David Heath MP, minister of state for environment, food and rural affairs in DEFRA oversaw the signing of a new contract between Meriden and LIC Agrotech during celebrations at VIV Asia.

This year marked Meriden's 20th anniversary of attendance at VIV Asia. They were around at the first VIV Asia in Bangkok in 1993. The celebrations began with an exclusive lunch for over 100 of their most valued clients.  

“VIV ASIA offers a great platform every other year for Meriden to meet up with its new and longstanding partners, which is why we always return,” said Steve Harris, managing director at Meriden Animal Health. 

Meriden celebrates it's 20th year at VIV Asia and  signs a new contract with LIC Agrotech

22/03/2013: Two major contracts won for port handling equipment; South Korea: A price driven market ready to rebound

Schenck Process have just secured two major contracts for Redler mechanical conveying equipment for use in ports in Liverpool and Jordan.

The contract in Liverpool is for
Peel Ports, an extension to the Animal Feed Storage facility valued at several million pounds. 

Schenck Process are acting as the M&E contractor for the bulk materials handling equipment and this will be interfacing with the existing system and supplying new high capacity 800t/ph chain conveyors, a long high level belt conveyor plus a MaxiStore and reversing shuttle conveyor complete with the site wiring, controls, installation and commissioning.

The project in Jordan is for the new grain terminal at the
Port of Aqaba in Jordan. The contract valued at £4 million is a significant award with this being the third Grain Silo project secured in the past 12 months within the Middle East region. The order is for five packages including the chain conveyors, belt conveyors, belt and bucket elevators, magnetic separators and bulk weigh scales with other business opportunities available within the project for Schenck Process.

Money, money, money, must be funny - talks this week with major South Korean importers suggest Korea has a strong preference for U.S. corn as long as it is competitively priced. 

U.S. Grains Council officers are in Asia this week meeting with longtime customers, addressing concerns about the U.S. short crop in 2012, and discussing the outlook for next year. Korea was their first stop. Korea imports 60 percent of its feed grain needs and has traditionally sourced the lion's share from the United States. Korean imports from other sources have soared in 2013. As of March 14, corn imports from the United States had sagged to 352,000 metric tons, vs. more than 2.4 million tons at this time a year ago. The reason is all down to price. 

"Last year because of price, we had to import corn from [other sources]. I hope that this year the United States will produce enough corn to feed this country," said Jong Tae Han, chairman of the Korea Corn Processing Industry Association
"We are willing to pay a premium for U.S. corn because of the high U.S. corn quality. We also appreciate the United States as a trading partner. We consider the United States a reliable supplier and friendly nation. Unfortunately, the price gap in 2012 was much too large," he added. 

Korean buyers are united in their appreciation of U.S. corn quality and the reliability of the United States as a supplier. They made it clear that they were as anxious as U.S. farmers for U.S. yields to return to normal in the coming year.

talks this week with major South Korean importers send one message loud and clear: Korea has a strong preference for U.S. corn provided that it is competitively priced.

March 21, 2013

Video: Dan Harder, Beta Ravens sales manager, talks about the pellet mills controllers

21/03/2013: NAMA Elects Dan Dye of Horizon Milling as Vice Chairman; Saudi officials praise Australian wheat

The North American Millers' Association (NAMA) today announced the board of directors has elected Dan Dye of Horizon Milling, LLC/Cargill as vice chairman. Dye will serve as vice chairman through October 2014, when it is expected he will be elected chairman.

Dye is the currently president of Horizon Milling, LLC, a Cargill joint venture with CHS. He is responsible for the flour milling. mix and bakery operations of Horizon Milling in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to his current role, Dye served for ten years as president of Cargill AgHorizons, U.S., and was responsible for the overall management of Cargill's grain handling and retail crop input business in the U.S.  

"Horizon Milling is committed to supporting and maintaining an active role in NAMA. In my new role as NAMA's vice chairman, I look forward to assisting with leadership and working with all NAMA members and staff to continue to provide the information and services that make membership in NAMA so valuable," said Dye.

Dan Ward of La Crosse Milling Company and Craig Hagood of House-Autry Mills, Inc. were also elected to two open seats on the executive committee. Ward and Hagood will serve out the remaining terms of the executive committee seats that became open when two executive committee members assumed positions outside of the milling industry.


Grain industry researchers say Australian wheat is highly suited to producing flat breads popular with millions of Saudi Arabian consumers.

The Australian Export Grain Innovation Centre research has compared the baking qualities of Australian premium white and Australian hard wheats with samples of Saudi wheat. It found the Australian wheat compared favourably to Saudi samples for flat bread production.

There's major growth potential for Australia in Saudi Arabia, with the country aiming for 100 per cent wheat importation by 2016.

Australian wheat suited to producing flatbreads: (photo credit - Google images)

March 20, 2013

Event: XXVI FEFAC Congress

XXVI FEFAC Congress  5-8 JUNE 2013, Krakow, 'Staying profitable in volatile times'

FEFAC President Mr Patrick Vanden Avenne and IZBA President Mr Adam Tanski, invite all partners of the European and international feed and livestock chain to join FEFAC’s Congress in Cracow to find out 'how to stay profitable in volatile times'.

Key note speakers from the European Commission, including Deputy Director General Mr Jerzy Bogdan Plewa, the Polish Ministry of Agriculture, global financial institutions, market and food chain partners, and academia will present their views on how to maintain a vibrant livestock economy in a volatile market and political environment. They will discuss with the Congress audience on how our industry can meet both European and global consumer demand while ensuring the economic viability of livestock producers and value chain partners.

At a time when the CAP reform proposals are moving to the final stage of the political negotiation process under the Irish EU Council Presidency, FEFAC’s Congress will provide a unique opportunity to take stock of the key measures which could help improve competitiveness of the EU livestock sector, including new initiatives for innovation and sustainable development in livestock agriculture.
Adam Tanski highlighted that “FEFAC’s Congress delegates will discover with their own eyes how the Polish feed and livestock sector managed to take advantage of new business opportunities in the past decade since EU enlargement and how they plan to make the new CAP work for the benefit of Polish agriculture”.

FEFAC President Patrick Vanden Avenne stated that “the only certainty we have today is that volatility is here to stay – our industry needs to support and encourage swift policy and market actions to develop the new financial risk management tools that allow our sector to stay profitable in the years ahead reaping the benefit from growing global consumer demand for products of animal origin.”

Interested congress delegates can take advantage of the 'Early-bird' offer which will expire on March 31, 2013. 

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