Viewing posts categorised under: Agribusiness

Tough Winter Leads to Challenging Spring

Posted April 26, 2019 by Erin

Several ranchers have just faced one of the roughest and most challenging winters in recent years.  As a result of the dicey winter, producers are now facing an unfavorable spring.

The cold and wet conditions that were present during the winter have led to thinner-than-normal cows. When discussing those conditions, Justin Waggoner, a beef systems specialist with K-State Research and Extension, said, “…both of those [cold and wet] increase the energy requirements of the cows.” It takes more energy stores for a cow to do any of their normal, daily activities in the mud than it would if they were on dry ground. When talking specifically about the impact of the cold weather, Waggoner notes, “When those temperatures drop below 18 degrees, we can see a pretty dramatic increase in energy requirements.” [1]

When producers are trying to maintain body condition in their herd, it is helpful to focus on the protein and energy need. Waggoner explained that protein sources were usually well covered by supplementation, but quality energy sources can often be lacking. To rectify that concern, high-fiber sources of energy can often be a producer’s strongest bet. Producers are currently dealing with a hay supply that is both tight and expensive. As a result, concentrated nutrition sources – like range cubes or dried distillers grain – could play a major role in benefiting the health of producers’ herds.[1]

If a producer is unable to maintain or improve the body conditioning of their cattle, they may want to consider culling a little more aggressively than usual during this season of their operation. If you are looking for additional ways to ensure the success of your operation, let Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency help. Our team takes pride in understanding the Agribusiness industry and the unique insurance needs these operations require. We partner with our clients to provide a comprehensive safety and risk management program specific to your needs. We look forward to answering any questions you may have regarding coverage for your commercial business, email or call us today.

 

Resources:  [1] Kansas State University Research And Extension. (2019, April 3). Tough Winter Leads to Challenging Spring for Kansas Cattlemen. Retrieved from Drovers: Driving the Beef Market: tough-winter-leads-challenging-spring-kansas-cattlemen

 

 

Grain Bin Safety Week 2019 – Fires and Explosions

Posted February 22, 2019 by Erin

The grain handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards.  Sparks and molten material in excess of 1000’ F can easily ignite nearby flammable materials, liquids or atmospheres resulting in a fire and/or explosion with potentially catastrophic consequences.  To educate employers, employees and the public about safety in the grain handling industry, Grain Bin Safety Week is held February 17-23, 2019.

Follow these guidelines when hot work is performed:

  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and/or clothing to minimize the potential for burns, trapped sparks and electric shock
  • Utilize fire watches during hot work operations
  • Don’t clean while performing hot work
  • Don’t allow machinery or equipment to be operated or grain to be dumped nearby hot work operations
  • Install a designated fire watch for 30 minutes at the completion of hot work. It’s a good practice to inspect hot work area periodically thereafter and once more before closing

To download a PDF of this information to share with your team, click HERE.

For more information visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com

 

Source: https://www.nationwide.com/agribusiness-risk-management-options.jsp

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Grain Bin Safety Week 2019 – Lock Out Tag Out

Posted February 21, 2019 by Erin

The grain handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards.  Grain bin safety starts with maintaining grain quality in storage, which means learning and  practicing better stored-grain quality management,  while closely monitoring grain condition.  If you can prevent grain spoilage, you may be able to eliminate the leading cause of bin entry.  To educate employers, employees and the public about safety in the grain handling industry, Grain Bin Safety Week is held February 17-23, 2019.

Before entering a bin, all mechanical, electrical,  hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, which presents a danger to workers inside grain storage structures, must be de-energized and disconnected; locked out and tagged; blocked off or otherwise prevented from operating by other equally-effective means or methods.  Discharge augers must be disconnected from power, locked out and tagged; and loading augers powered by  a Power Take-Off (PTO) must be shut off and disconnected to eliminate the possibility of someone turning on the auger while someone else is in the bin.

Whenever workers perform service or maintenance on machinery or equipment, they must isolate that equipment from all energy sources.  Workers must use an energy-isolating locking device to lockout equipment, or place a tagging device on it, according to established and documented procedures.

To download a PDF of this information to share with your team, click HERE.

For more information visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com

 

Source: https://www.nationwide.com/agribusiness-risk-management-options.jsp

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

2019 Grain Bin Safety Week – Confined Space Entry

Posted February 20, 2019 by Erin

The grain handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards.  The OSHA Grain Handling Facilities standard/rule (29 CFR 1910.272) requires that prior to entering a grain bin, the employer either (1) issue an entry permit or (2) be present during the entire entry.  To educate employers, employees and the public about safety in the grain handling industry, Grain Bin Safety Week is held February 17-23, 2019.

The OSHA Grain Handling Facilities standard does apply to the following industry types:

  • Grain elevators
  • Feed and Flour Mills
  • Pelletizing Plants
  • Rice and Corn Mills
  • Soybean Flaking
  • Soy Cake Grinding

The OSHA Grain Handling Facilities standard does apply to the following types of grain storage structures:

  • Bins
  • Silos
  • Grain Tanks
  • Other Grain Storage Structures

Confined Space Entry Procedures also apply to:

  • Pits
  • Tanks
  • Vessels
  • Hoppers
  • Vaults

To download a PDF of this information to share with your team, click HERE.

For more information visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com

 

Source: https://www.nationwide.com/agribusiness-risk-management-options.jsp

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

2019 Grain Bin Safety Week – Entrapment and Engulfment

Posted February 19, 2019 by Erin

 

 

The grain handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards.  These hazards include: fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, suffocation from engulfment and entrapment in grain bins, falls from heights and crushing injuries and amputations from grain handling equipment.  According to researchers at Purdue University, more than 900 cases of grain engulfment have been reported with a fatality rate of 62% in the past 50 years. In 2010, at least 26 U.S. workers were killed in grain engulfment accidents − the highest number on record.  To educate employers, employees and the public about safety in the grain handling industry, Grain Bin Safety Week is held February 17-23, 2019.

Storage and handling of grain creates unique hazards.  Potential hazards include engulfment and entrapment, injury from falls, and respiratory and breathing problems from inhalation of dust, molds and allergens.  Be aware of these entrapment and engulfment hazards when working around grain bins:

  • Flowing grain – Grain is flowing when a bin is being unloaded from the bin. Flowing grain can act like quicksand, pulling a person into the grain and entrapping them in a matter of seconds. Suffocation and death is often the result.
  • Bridged grain – Bridged grain occurs when the top layer crusts over a void making the bin appear full. It may look safe, but walking on the bridge may cause it to collapse, engulfing you. Break up the crusted grain from outside the bin with a long pole.
  • Columned grain – Columned grain occurs when grain is stuck to the side walls of a bin, creating very steep slopes. Avalanching can occur, engulfing anyone near the base of the column. Break up the crusted grain from outside the bin with a long pole.
  • Due to the dangers associated with grain bins, youth working on farms and agribusinesses should NEVER enter a grain bin.
  • Engulfment in grain bins can result in multiple fatalities when others attempt to rescue and become victims as well.  Rescues should only be attempted by properly trained and equipped professionals.

To download a PDF of this information to share with your team, click HERE.

For more information visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com

 

Source: https://www.nationwide.com/agribusiness-risk-management-options.jsp

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

2019 Grain Bin Safety Week – Safely Entering a Grain Bin

Posted February 19, 2019 by Erin

 

The grain handling industry is a high hazard industry where workers can be exposed to numerous serious and life threatening hazards.  Grain bin entry is extremely dangerous and exposes farmers and commercial grain handlers to serious hazards.  Suffocation can occur when  workers are engulfed by grain or when bins develop oxygen-deficient atmospheres.  To add to the tragedy, when other workers or family members attempt to  rescue a person in distress, they too can fall victim.  Although bin entry should always be a last resort to accomplish a task, there are times when workers must  enter a grain bin.  To help  ensure worker safety, all farmers and commercial grain handlers should strictly follow OSHA’s grain-handling standard and requirements for entering a bin, including developing and implementing a written  bin entry program.  To educate employers, employees and the public about safety in the grain handling industry, Grain Bin Safety Week is held February 17-23, 2019.

Before any bin-entry activities can occur, OSHA  requires workers to be trained for the specific hazardous work operations they are to perform.  Workers need to understand the hazards, equipment shut-down and  lock-out procedures, air testing and how to properly  tie off when entering above grain that can engulf.  When a worker enters a grain bin from a level at or above the level of the stored grain, or whenever a worker stands on or in stored grain, the worker must use a harness and safety line that’s securely tied to a fixed, overhead-anchor point.  A lifeline attached to any location other than an overhead-anchor point is useless in preventing engulfment and may only serve as a means to locating a body.

Workers should be reminded to never walk down  grain — a practice strictly prohibited under OSHA’s  grain handling standard.  Walking down grain is when a worker walks on top of grain, while equipment is running, in an effort to make it flow.

To download a PDF of this information to share with your team, click HERE.

For more information visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com

 

 

Source: https://www.nationwide.com/agribusiness-risk-management-options.jsp and 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Fluid Injection Technology Integrates with Agribusiness

Posted December 20, 2018 by Administrator

Farmers are struggling to keep up with crop demands. While an ever-growing population compounds this issue, water is at the forefront of their list of concerns.Noticeable changes in climate have brought fewer rains, more drought, and a growing crop problem. As operational costs increase, farmers are running out of options to stay in business.

Technology has helped ease this burden somewhat in the past.Advancements in science and new inventions have allowed for farming that is more efficient. Some examples include drought-resistant plants, improved seed products that fight weeds, as well as seed developed to combat pest problems.However, even the hardiest of plants need some water.

To address this problem, a new start-up called Agri-Inject developed a liquid-injection technology. The start-up realizes farmers need environmentally friendly solutions to their water problem. At the heart of their invention is a liquid-injection irrigation system. The company claims it can reduce water and chemical requirements by utilizing sensors to collect data. This data would allow for variable-rate irrigation.

This technology could not come at a better time for farmers who already make use of irrigation systems. These farmers are contending with increasing regulations that limit the amount of water they can pull from wells every year. The technology can monitor soil type, crops, moisture input,sprinkler rate, and more. It can then take all of this data and determine how often and how many water injections the crops and soil need to guarantee full coverage.

As farmers contend with growing water problems,technological solutions have become more important than ever. This water injection technology may well be the solution to one of the biggest challenges facing the agribusiness industry. To learn more ways to protect and advance your agribusiness, contact Cline Wood.

8 Financial Factors Farmers Need to Consider for 2019

Posted November 29, 2018 by Administrator

Farming has always been a risky occupation with slim margins, and 2019 will be no exception. Both livestock and crop farmers are feeling the financial squeeze, dairy farming and row-crop sectors in particular. Thankfully, not every trend is bleak. The following are several developments farmers need to be aware of to maximize their profits.

Positive Factors Affecting Farming Finances

There are several positive trends affecting the farming industry. These include:

  • Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in over five decades, coming in at 3.7%. Many agribusiness employees are also seeing an increase in salary.
  • Experts expect consumer spending to remain stable as farmers continue to produce strong yields.
  • Farmers have new opportunities at growth due to an increased interest in fresh foods, craft beer, and other ventures that call for specialty crops.
  • Farmland value is stable with some small increases. This is significant for farmers who borrowed against their equity.

Negative Factors Affecting Farming Finances

While there are several notable trends to look forward to, farmers need to be aware of the negative aspects poised to influence the industry as well.

  • Yields may be strong, but prices are not. In addition, just because a farmer can produce more doesn’t mean he or she has enough space to store it before selling it. It may behoove farmers to produce slightly less to keep production costs down.
  • Experts expect the cost for crop production to increase in 2019.
  • A decrease in crop profitability isn’t correlating to a decrease in rent. A visceral desire to control land can make rent negotiations tough, especially when there are other farmers willing to pay steep rent costs.
  • While stable farmland prices is a good thing for established farmers, it’s a challenge for those trying to get their foot in the door. Farmland value remains high, placing it out of reach for up and coming farmers.

Running a successful farming operation requires balancing risk against profit. For example, overreaching or poor planning can turn a successful yield into a financial disaster. Farmers who take the time to learn and plan for the above trends can navigate around the negative while capitalizing on the positive. To learn more about reducing your farming risk, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

How to Protect Farms from Frigid Winter Weather

Posted November 15, 2018 by Administrator

Last winter saw record low temperatures across the Midwest. In Embarrass, Minnesota, the temperature sank to -45°F while the rest of the Midwest experienced temperatures more than 25°F lower than the usual average. While there are obvious dangers to cold temperatures, particularly exposure, there are several implications for agribusinesses.

How Cold Weather Affect Fields and Livestock

Winter wheat is at increased risk when temperatures plummet below normal. Limited snowfall can compound the problem since the snow insulates crops against the frigid temperatures. The news is not all bad, however. A deep freeze can penetrate the soil well below the usual depths. This helps the soil retain more of the nitrogen farmers apply in the fall. When the soil begins to thaw, it may be softer as well. Lastly, extreme cold can eradicate more insects, reducing their effect on crops the following spring.

Livestock can also take a hit so farmers need to take care to ensure water remains thawed and feed is available. During cold months, animals eat more than usual to account for the calories burned trying to keep themselves warm. Farmers will need to consider this when purchasing feed. Livestock will also need shelter against freezing winds and winter storms. Cattle and sheep are content to live outdoors all year round, but they still require refuge from extreme winter weather. Farmers need to ensure any animal shelter can withstand the weight of snow and ice.

Taking Care of Farmers

Many farmers focus their attention on their fields or their livestock and forget to ensure their own comfort during the winter months as well. Farmers need several pieces of attire to ensure they can function comfortably while tending to their farm in freezing temperatures. Some winter gear farmers should consider keeping on hand includes:

  • Hand and feet warmers
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Warm boots
  • Boot dryer
  • Wool socks
  • Insulated overalls
  • Winter coat

While many of these things may seem obvious, many farmers overlook the simple things while tending to their agribusiness. Keeping warm and dry is vital to properly tending to fields and livestock. Being cold or uncomfortable can cause farmers to rush and miss signs of problems in their operation. Farming has its risk, but this doesn’t mean farmers should take unnecessary ones. To learn more about managing farming risk, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

5 Crops That Perform Well in the Fall

Posted October 23, 2018 by Administrator

As temperatures start to drop lower, many farmers stop their planting efforts. This is unsurprising since many crops don’t fare well in cold weather. Freezing temperatures, frost, and snow cripple most crops, but not all of them. Root vegetables perform well despite the change in season; farmers can also take this time to jump-start their spring planting efforts. While fall planting isn’t for every farmer, the following crops offer farmers a prolonged planting season:

  1. It’s easy for farmers to obtain onion bulblets in the fall. Before temperatures drop to below freezing, farmers can reap fresh scallions. Once winter hits full force, the onions will remain dormant until temperatures increase. The crops will pop up in the spring, giving farmers a head start on the season.
  2. As a member of the same plant family as the onion, leeks perform well in the fall and winter. They perform best when planted in the early fall.
  3. Strawberries. Most farmers that cultivate strawberries purchase them for spring planting. However, farmers can increase their productivity by getting started in the fall. Most farmers pinch off the blossoms during the initial season to allow the plant to better develop its roots. By doing this in the fall, farmers can harvest the fruit at the start of the main season.
  4. Radishes. These plants grow much faster than most. Within four weeks of planting, farmers can begin harvesting. Because they thrive in cooler temperatures, farmers can plant and harvest them multiple times during the fall and winter. It also helps that cold weather enhances their flavor.
  5. Greens. Lettuce, kale, and spinach are great fall crops as cooler temperatures make the leaves taste sweeter. Like onions, farmers don’t need to fear planting them too late to harvest. They’ll sprout back up once temperatures begin to rise after winter.

Even though the above crops are excellent for fall planting, farmers do need to take steps to protect them from extreme winter temperatures. This means sprinkling a loose layer of straw over them to protect them from frost heaving. To learn more about how to protect fall crops, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Copyright © 2019 Cline Wood.