Grains of Knowledge

Crisis Management – On The Farm (Part 1)

A crisis can happen at any moment. On July 3, a lawn care company had a customer appreciation picnic. Days later, more than 75 people became ill from E. coli.  As we can see from this incident, anyone can experience an agriculture related crisis. From farmers producing the food, to companies selling products or even consumers providing food during an event everyone has the potential to be effected. Whether the cause is weather or contamination, undercover videos or activist organizations, or other causes, steps can be taken to prepare for, manage and recover from a crisis. The first step in […]

Farming in the City

Whether it is a small container garden in a cramped apartment or a large bullet proof greenhouse located in the heart of the inner-city, urban agriculture is becoming a trend across America. In the 1990’s when Cuba was alienated from its major food source—the Soviet Union—citizens realized the need for interdependence; thus, urban farms and gardens sprouted up everywhere. Thankfully, the government aided this effort (for a period of time) and the citizens produced their own food. Available Opportunity As older buildings are being torn down in cities and the demand for locally produced food increases, urban agriculture, growing produce […]

Where Has All The Water Gone?

Lack of precipitation accompanied with record high temperatures has created the current drought affecting much of the United States. With the uncertainty of future conditions, many wonder how long the current drought will last and what the impacts will be.     Current Drought Statistics Drought is measured on a progressive scale: abnormally dry conditions, moderate drought conditions, severe drought conditions, extreme drought conditions, and exceptional drought conditions. As of July 10th, 80% of the area in the contiguous United States was experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions. The top 10 states in terms of agricultural production (California, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, […]

2012 Agribusiness Forecasts

Tis the season for resolutions and forecasts and we want to dedicate this post to the top forecasts in the farm and agricultural space for 2012.  Here are our ideas of what to watch and expect to hear more about this year relating to farming and agribusiness: Food safety – this includes the FSMA (food safety and modernization act) as well as much more around food safety overall – including standards, recall, reporting and much more Farm Act – implementation of federal legislation; influences to America’s food and farm policies; changes for the 2012 U.S. Farm Bill Elections – In […]

Heat Stress: The Impact on Workers (Part 1 of 2)

It’s been a record-setting year for hot weather in all regions of the country, which most likely has impacted your work, employees, plants or livestock. While heat may bring stress to many areas of your business, the threat of heat-related illness to people and animals is a serious concern during these warmer months and record-high temperatures. It’s critical to understand the risks involved, and take preventative steps to avoid the devastating effects of heat stress, exhaustion and other complications. In this two-part post, Grains of Knowledge looks at the impact of heat stress on workers and animals, and offer resources for […]

Falling Short on Safety: Residential Construction Guidelines

After witnessing extensive house damage during severe storms in the earlier months of this year, I am fascinated at how residential roofing contractors perform the work they do.  Newer houses, at least where I live, have very steep slopes – the kind that if you are not tied off or use some means to prevent falling, you likely will find yourself on the ground and not feeling so well.  via losscontrol.westfieldinsurance.com

Fertilizer Misapplication Mistakes Cost Dollars, Reputation

One of the top losses to agriculture businesses is the misapplication of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.  In a time of ever-higher food costs and growing demand, we cannot afford to lose our harvest to mistakes.  Every kernel counts.  Misapplication leads to reduced production, potentially lost jobs, and a ricochet effect on the economy.  via losscontrol.westfieldinsurance.com

Congress to Cut Spending on U.S. Farm Subsidies

On June 16, 2011, the House of Representatives approved a $125.5 billion agricultural spending bill that is designed to meet the requirements of the approved 2012 budget plan. The bill includes allocation of funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Top 9 Most Common Distracted Driving Behaviors

During 2010, SmartDrive Systems, a company specializing in fleet safety, examined distracted driving behaviors of commercial fleets by evaluating over 13.8 million recorded in-cab video events.  The business utilized in-vehicle recorders that followed over 34,466 commercial drivers and recorded risky vehicle manuevers such as sudden stops, swerves, collisions and other risky behaviors.  Using the video data, the business then determined that there were 9 common distractions that lead to drivers becoming engaged in a risky manuever.  via losscontrol.westfieldinsurance.com