November 11, 2009

By: Edgar Hicks, Director


This month, CFO Systems Director, Edgar Hicks has been speaking to the the leadership of two different USDA sponsored committees: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and Federal Grain Inspection Advisory (FGIS).  Edgar serves on both committees.  The leaderships of the two committees brought up concerns about the economic impact of the delayed, wet harvest we are experiencing.  Both highlighted ways to minimize the negative impact of the current weather conditions and harvest delays.


University of Minnesota Extension Agricultural Engineer, Bill Wilcke, shared his concern over the large crop and the slow or low-temperature drying methods that are being used.  “Under our current crop conditions for 2009, higher temperature drying methods that reduced the moisture content of the grain within a few hours or a few days are preferred. Higher temperature dryers aren’t likely to run hot enough to kill the molds, but they do slow mold growth by reducing the grain’s moisture content.  The agitation of the grain during high temperature drying is also likely to rub off some kinds of molds”.


Dr. Wilke suggested CFO Systems spotlight the Extension Site.  Wilcke is the Regional Coordinator of the USDA’s SARE program (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education).


USDA Federal Grain Inspection Service Tech Center (Kansas City) Director, John Sharpe mentioned the significance for grain handlers to be familiar with mycotoxins this year.  “So many factors come into play regarding mycotoxin presence or levels that it is impossible to predict what may occur at a single location.  The USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has private companies and States designated to provide mycotoxin testing services.  A list of these laboratories, including their fees and contact information can be found on GIPSA’s website .


GIPSA also approves commercially available mycotoxin test kits for use in official inspection.  A description of this program with a link to the most current list of approved kits can also be found on GIPSA’s website.  John Sharpe and CFO Systems serve on the Federal Grain Inspection Service Advisory Committee.


Many producers try to get by without using Extension’s sampling service or the USDA’s Technical Grain Service Center.  This year’s harvest environment may create conditions in which you will want to avail yourself of this service. Contact Edgar Hicks for assistance with issues that may arise in your operations.


On November 2nd, the USDA Crop Progress Report showed corn harvest had not even reached 20% in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. The five year average for those states was 65%.  This week’s report, November 9th,  shows that those three states are only 30% harvested, with a five year average of 80%. Because of this delay, there have been significant quick shipment corn bids that have been posted.