Grains of Knowledge

Robo Milking!

Have you heard the one about the cow and the Lely Astronaut A4 Milking Machine? It may sound like a joke, but it is reality. A Dutch company created the robotic milking machine and it does not require any human intervention!

Water Quality – What You Need To Know

Imagine for a second that we had no regulations on the quality of water. You couldn’t enjoy a cold glass of water without wondering if the refreshing sip would make you sick.  Despite various regulations and advancements to decrease water pollution, it is still a serious issue today. While many people believe there is one point of origin, water contamination is a byproduct of time and activities. Power companies, waste water utilities, runoff, and agricultural activities are just some of the causes. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency identified that agricultural activity is the root cause of 48 percent of […]

Crisis Management – On The Farm (Part 2)

When the unthinkable happens and a crisis occurs, the first reaction is panic. In the first part of our crisis post, we discussed how to prepare for a crisis. Today, we will discuss what to do during and after the event. In the event that one occurs, take a deep breath before responding. There are three main steps to help you get through a crisis. Talk first to inside audiences, such as family and employees, to review the procedures for a crisis. Make sure these people know what their responsibilities are during the crisis. Talk to the media soon after […]

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