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GEAPS & K-State add online courses, Russia food ban won’t affect grain, mycotoxin tracking, ADM up sharply in Q2

By Maggie Hennessy

- Last updated on GMT

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HGCA: 'Because rainfall can be highly localized, it’s important to keep track of rainfall on a field-by-field basis to manage mycotoxin risk.' Photo Credit: HGCA
HGCA: 'Because rainfall can be highly localized, it’s important to keep track of rainfall on a field-by-field basis to manage mycotoxin risk.' Photo Credit: HGCA
More online courses coming from GEAPS & K-State, Russia ag minister says food ban won’t impact grain, mycotoxin risks need to be watched, and ADM earnings up 139%.

GEAPS, K-State expand online course offering

GEAPS and Kansas State University are expanding their partnership in distance education to offer online courses and a Credential in Grain Processing Management. The current GEAPS/K-State program offers more than 20 online courses and credentials devoted mainly to grain-handling operations.

Initially, the expanded program will combine current GEAPS/K-State operations online courses and K-State wheat-milling courses, leading to a Credential in Grain Processing Management. New processing courses, specialist credentials and a master’s credential will be added later.

“We’re confident that grain-processing and milling companies will find the courses and the credentials very useful,”​ said Dirk Maier, director of the GEAPS/K-State Distance Education Program and head of K-State’s International Grains Program Institute. “They’ll help train new employees and improve the job skills of existing employees—even up to the veteran levels. They’ll also help build a career path for young people and help build qualifications at the entry level.”​ 

More than 2,800 registrants from 30 nations have taken GEAPS/K-State online courses since the program began eight years ago.   

Russia’s food and ag ban will not affect grain imports: ag minister

Russia's ban on food and agricultural imports from the European Union and the United States will not affect the country's massive grain exports​, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said last week.

There are no grounds to significantly change the ministry's forecasts for Russia's grain exports​, which are expected to reach 25 million tons in the 2014-2015 marketing year, Fyodorov said, adding that Russia doesn’t fear any ban on its grain exports from Western countries, either.

Currently, the largest importers of Russian wheat are the Middle East, Africa and Asia, according to the minister. "These are friendly states,"​ he said, adding that the recently implemented ban will hit the countries that imposed sanctions on Russia.

Track mycotoxin risk right up to harvest

With the winter wheat harvest well underway, HGCA is reminding growers to keep track of rainfall for their mycotoxin risk assessment, as rainfall impacts the final risk score and can be highly localized .

“Significant rainfall in the final days before harvest can have a big impact on the final risk score,” ​said HGCA’s Dr Dhan Bhandari. “In summer, we can get localized storms with large quantities of rain in a short period of time. Because rainfall can be highly localized, it’s important to keep track of rainfall on a field-by-field basis to manage mycotoxin risk.”

Indeed, at the Banbury Recommended List trial site late last month, 15mm of rain fell in a downpour on July 31 despite the rest of the week being almost completely dry.

When grain from different parts of a farm has different risk scores, it is important to keep it segregated if at all possible. In mixed lots, the highest risk score from any of the component parts should be used for the whole lot. 

ADM reports strong Q2

Archer Daniels Midland Co. on Aug. 5 reported second-quarter net earnings of $533 million, an increase of 139% over earnings of $223 million for the same period last year.

“In the second quarter, the ADM team continued to execute very well and delivered strong results. We capitalized on robust ethanol demand, a recovery of USgrain export volumes and continuing strong demand for oilseeds products,”​ said ADM chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. “The team also continues to drive improved returns, with this quarter’s ROIC showing a 200-basis-point improvement over last year. Today, the crops in North America and Europe are developing nicely, so we are preparing for what could be very large harvests.”

The Agricultural Services unit’s operating profit was $203 million, up $122 million from the year-ago period. Merchandising and handling earnings increased $101 million to $115 million, amid strong US export volumes, partial recovery of a loss reserve and continued improvement in international merchandising results.

Milling and other results were essentially flat, as lower milling results were offset by strong edible bean performance.

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