GRAIN AND FEED NEWS
SWEEP AUGER UPDATE AND PROPOSED ROBOTIC SOLUTION
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its sweep auger policy memo. This memo has been expected after a settlement agreement was reached earlier this year regarding sweep auger citations. The OSHA policy memo can be accessed here.
There are ten criteria outlined in the memo regarding employee entry into bins with mobilized sweep augers. OSHA states in its memo that “…implementing all of the following [ten] engineering and work practice controls will, in most cases, appropriately eliminate or minimize the danger to employees.”
In a related important matter, the association is working with professors at the Mechanical & Materials Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to determine the feasibility of developing a robot that would assist in the sweep auger function while being operated remotely from outside the bin. A paper is accessible here that details the background of the project, the current state of robotics for grain movement, the proposed design for a solution, and a timeline of the deliverables.
Currently, approximately $20,000 is needed to get this project underway. If your company is interested in receiving additional information about the status of the project, or about the funding needed, please contact the association office for details.
FSMA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Nebraska Grain and Feed Association (NeGFA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) work closely on trade issues of importance to NeGFA’s membership. Click here for an article on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that has been reprinted with permission from AFIA. NeGFA has reported previously on the FSMA and its impact on the grain handling and feed industries. We have already received reports from grain handling members who have received questions concerning the FSMA during regular inspections of their facilities.
ELEVATOR TRANSPORTATION SURVEY RESULTS
This past February, we invited members served by rail to complete the Annual Transportation Survey. The survey was a joint effort of regional grain industry leaders and the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at North Dakota State University. The goal of the survey was to collect information about grain transportation from field to market, especially as it relates to elevator transportation decisions.
The survey continues an ongoing effort to provide information that will allow for proactive marketing and investment decisions. Survey results will be valuable for inclusion in legislative testimony, policy development, characterizing the industry, investment and marketing decisions, educating the public, customers, government officials, and agricultural organizations, and infrastructure planning.
The results of the survey are posted here. Insufficient responses to the survey were received to provide analysis for Nebraska individually. Regional results are provided at the link. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Kimberly Vachal at (701) 231-6425 or at Kimberly.Vachal@ndsu.edu.
FDA GRANTS TEMPORARY RELIEF FROM BLENDING PROHIBITION
In an August 24, 2012, information distribution to our members, we notified you of two concerns for the upcoming harvest—low test weight grain and the possibility of mycotoxins (specifically aflatoxin) present in the crop. In that resource, we gave you several items of quick-read information about these conditions.
Since that time, we have continued to seek information about aflatoxin and to work with authorities to allow means for dealing with this potentially dangerous situation in a workable manner. One option in your overall management plan for dealing with this situation has just opened up.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has been notified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that FDA will allow the mixing or blending of corn, with aflatoxin contamination, under specific conditions and the subsequent utilization of the blended grain in specific animal feeding situations.
This action by FDA allows corn to be blended and safely fed to livestock according to FDA’s longstanding guidelines in FDA Guidance Document, Compliance Policy Guide, Section 683.100, “Action Levels for Aflatoxin in Animal Feeds.” This document can be located at NDA’s web site at www.agr.ne.gov under “Aflatoxin Information for Grain Handlers” in the rotating information box.
After navigating to that information box, you will find the specific provisions required for blending grain listed on the tab titled, “Letter to Corn Industry.” Also included at this site is the agreement the seller of blended grain must enter into with NDA prior to blending grain containing aflatoxin.
We will continue to notify you of additional information as it becomes available.
Drought Resources – UNL
Crop Watch – UNL
Extension Publications – UNL
GIPSA Aflatoxin Handbook
Aflatoxins in Corn (University of Kentucky)
Feeding Corn to Beef Cattle (North Dakota State University)
Risk Management Agency
Food and Drug Administration
Harvest Alert – August 24, 2012
There are two matters you should be aware of for the upcoming harvest—low test weight grain and the possibility of the existence of mycotoxins, specifically aflatoxin, in the crop. We want to emphasize right up front, high levels of aflatoxin is not a known problem right now, however, the high temperatures and drought conditions we experienced this crop season are conditions in which mycotoxins can exist pre-harvest. They can also develop post-harvest when grain is not dried and stored properly.
In this e-Newsletter, we have enclosed links to resources that are available for you to educate yourself on these issues. We encourage you to make yourself aware of the situation and develop your strategy early to protect your business before it is too late to do so.
Here are some quick-read points that we learned during a meeting with University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension personnel this week.
Aflatoxin test kits are available for use and must be approved by FGIS. There are several that have been approved. You will find the list in the GIPSA document at the link below. Do not rely on the “black light test.” This is not an approved test and is not accurate. The black light test can fluoresce when no aflatoxin is present and, it might not fluoresce when aflatoxin is present. Do not rely on it.
The University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) has at least two websites that contain valuable information on these subjects. UNL is continuing to post information to these sites as they develop further resources. They are updating older NebGuides with current information and posting those to the sites, as well. If you check today and don’t find something, check again later. It might be there.
We have also found sites from other sources and have included some which contain valuable information. Let us know if you locate something that should be shared with your fellow members in the trade.
NGFA NEWSLETTER ARTICLE ON DROUGHT, TRADE RULES, CONTRACTING AND DELIVERY ISSUES
This article is reprinted with permission from the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) from the Aug. 9, 2012 edition of the NGFA Newsletter. It is provided by the NGFA for the benefit of members of Nebraska Grain and Feed Association, and is not for further distribution without permission in advance from the NGFA. If your company is not already an NGFA member, we encourage you to consider joining our national affiliate by contacting the NGFA at 202-289-0873.
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