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Digital Re-print November | December 2013
Market-aware farming: commodities
training at Writtle College
Grain & Feed Milli...
FEATURE

Market-aware farming:

commodities training at Writtle College
by Henry Matthews, Seniour Lecturer in Agriculture...
FEATURE
FEATURE
bally is handled in bulk, a significant proportion still needs to be packaged and therefore
requires packa...
Anatomy of Tapco Food Grade
Nylon Elevator Bucket
Unequaled Strength

FDA-Compliant Resins

Style CC-XD is molded with 35-...
FEATURE

Case study

A student’s experience
Leanne Eyre BSc (Hons), Agriculture
I came to Writtle College with a basic
lev...
LINKS
November - December 2013

This digital Re-print is part of the November | December 2013 edition of Grain & Feed
Mill...
Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College
Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College
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Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College

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Traditionally farmers are poor at marketing, being predominantly concerned with producing the crop to the best of their ability within the constraints of soil type, climate and utilisation of inputs. Beyond the farm gate was of little concern. This approach was encouraged by a subsidy system put in place at first in the UK after the Second World War though the Agriculture Act of 1947, and then by the European Union through the CAP after Britain joined the Common Market in 1973.

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Transcript of "Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College"

  1. 1. Digital Re-print November | December 2013 Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College Grain & Feed Milling Technology is published six times a year by Perendale Publishers Ltd of the United Kingdom. All data is published in good faith, based on information received, and while every care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of action taken on the basis of information published. ©Copyright 2013 Perendale Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owner. Printed by Perendale Publishers Ltd. ISSN: 1466-3872 www.gfmt.co.uk
  2. 2. FEATURE Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College by Henry Matthews, Seniour Lecturer in Agriculture, Writtle College, UK T raditionally farmers are poor at marketing, being predominantly concerned with producing the crop to the best of their ability within the constraints of soil type, climate and utilisation of inputs. Beyond the farm gate was of little concern. This approach was encouraged by a subsidy system put in place at first in the UK after the Second World War though the Agriculture Act of 1947, and then by the European Union through the CAP after Britain joined the Common Market in 1973. Systems of price support, grants and tax relief were all put in place to increase production and, with the emphasis on yield and producing more, the market was guaranteed. Husbandry improved as fertiliser use increased, varieties were improved and fungicides and pesticides were developed to enable crops to fulfil their potential. Farmers were very successful and yields doubled from their 1960 level. However, by the early 1990s concerns over the environmental impact of the system, the existence of grain mountains and the increasing cost of the policy led to a reappraisal, and the result of this was the ‘set-aside’ policy through the McSharry reforms of 1992. The biggest shift in policy then came with the introduction of the Single Farm Payment Scheme in 2003. Under this regime agricultural support was no longer linked to production but to the land. Farmers received a payment for the land they farmed, not what they produced, requiring a different mindset and approach to their businesses. No longer was it sufficient to produce crops and think about where to sell them afterwards. Farmers instead had to consider the market and adjust management and agronomy according to the requirements of the market. In practice, cropping has changed little but farmers now are now aware – and have to be – of commodity prices and events in 30 | november - december 2013 Case study Business view, W & H Marriage & Sons W & H Marriage, a flour and feed miller founded in 1824 and situated close to Writtle College in Chelmsford, has always believed in sourcing cereals from local farmers and building relationships with them. This has ensured that over the years both have benefited from the certainty of knowing that what is being grown has an ultimate market destination. The importance of meeting the right specifications for the right market is crucial for the success of both farmer and miller. For example, Marriages supply a wide range of specific flours to the leading artisan bakers and this requires excellent and above all reliable performance from wheat and flour. As with all businesses which have a long history, the company has had to adapt and evolve to meet changing markets. The recent acquisition of a pet food company has diversified the animal feed part of the business while Marriages has continued to offer bespoke rations for specific species from free-range turkeys to parakeets. Family member James Marriage, currently responsible for managing farm livestock feed accounts, is keen to maintain the close link between the company and local farmers that both supply raw materials and consume feed. James says that this will help maintain the standard of quality assurance and good service required to thrive within niche areas of the market. He welcomes the introduction of this module at Writtle College and the way it highlights this important link. Marriages currently employs several former students of the College and hosts student visits to reinforce the message of quality for markets and to demonstrate how the checks are carried out on grain arriving at the mill. The company has also supplied the College farm with animal feed for the pig and turkey enterprises. &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
  3. 3. FEATURE FEATURE bally is handled in bulk, a significant proportion still needs to be packaged and therefore requires packaging that is fit for purpose. Grain and grain product spoilage factors can be grouped into three main categories: • Physical losses caused by spillages, which occur due to the use of faulty or underspecified packaging materials • Physiological losses including moisture absorption, heating and respiration due to exposure to high humidity, temperature and oxygen, as well as physical taint and taint from odours • Biological losses due to micro-organisms, insects and rodents The basic functions of any packaging for cereal and cereal products include: • Containment – to protect the contents from spillage • Protection against external environmental conditions such as humidity • Protection from insect infestation and pests • Protection from external odour and taint • Ability to withstand mechanical hazards during transportation • Ease of handling and stacking to optimise the use of available space In addition, the packaging should be economical and may be required to help promote brand awareness through the addition of graphic designs and printing processes. Figure 1: Potential environmental impacts of underpackaging and over-packaging Over recent decades, developments in grain and feed packaging have gone a long way towards fulfilling these functions. We have seen advances in materials from sacks made from traditional jute and natural fibres, multiwall paper, high density woven polyethylene or polypropylene sacks, to packaging made from advanced polymers which have allowed down-gauging (reducing the amount of material used) and weight reduction of materials while maintaining equivalent package strength. Environmental factors as drivers for development The main drivers for these developments have generally been cost reductions and performance improvements of materials and sealing systems, which have advanced alongside the development of high-speed filling lines. Major cost reductions have also been achieved through the use of efficient packaging, which has helped to reduce product spoilage and wastage during distribution and storage. However, in recent years an additional and growing set of drivers have emerged which may influence the choice of packaging. These drivers are the environmental concerns surrounding packaging in all production sectors. Environmental issues have now become drivers in their own right, due to increased regulation, greater public awareness, and an increased recognition from 4 - 7 FEBRUARY The right storage solution starts with the right advice. westeel.com | Canada (Home Office) +1-204-233-7133 | United States +1-701-280-2467 | Spain +34 91 216 14 97 &feed millinG technoloGy & Grain 22565 Westeel Global Campaign 2013 GFMT March.indd 1 Grain feed millinG technoloGy MF22565-0313 Storage decisions can affect your operation for decades. That’s why so many companies around the world trust Westeel with their storage needs. Not only do we supply some of the most advanced storage products available, we support our products with the expert project leadership and sound engineering advice necessary to ensure that the decisions you make today continue to serve your company well for years to come. november - december 2013 | 31 2013-03-25 3:02 november - december 2013 | 11 PM
  4. 4. Anatomy of Tapco Food Grade Nylon Elevator Bucket Unequaled Strength FDA-Compliant Resins Style CC-XD is molded with 35-50% more resin throughout the entire bucket – not just at critical wear points – for superior strength and long life. Nonmetallic resin will never oxidize or corrode. Will not leach into or affect the integrity of * ingredients used for food products. Minimal Cross Contamination • • Precision molds create smooth non-porous surfaces and seamless construction. • • • Lighter weight aids in mounting buckets and reduces load on belt and running components. Straight sides, high end CC design and rounded front lip provide clean discharge with less damage to the commodity. • • Ease of Maintenance Nutrients Stay Intact • STYLE CC-XD (XTREME DUTY) Impact-Modified Nylon Elevator Bucket Wears Better, Lasts Longer Highest grade prime virgin resins for unequaled impact strength and superior abrasion resistance. Accurate Capacity Ratings Tough & Flexible Equal or greater carrying capacity of equivalent size steel buckets. Engineered design allows close bucket spacing for more product delivery per hour. Prime virgin resins “give” or “yield” to bypass obstructions in your elevator, allowing the bucket to return to its original shape. FDA-compliant Polyethylene and Urethane resin is standard. FDA-compliant Nylon resin available by special request. Over 900,000 buckets in 93 sizes, 6 materials, 12 styles -- plus 15 million elevator bolts in stock. ELEVATOR BUCKETS - ELEVATOR BOLTS St. Louis, Missouri U.S.A. Tel.: +1 314 739 9191 • +1 800 AT TAPCO (+1 800 288 2726) • Fax: +1 314 739 5880 www.tapcoinc.com *Statement based on our current level of knowledge and covers the above mentioned material produced by Tapco Inc. at the date of issue. Since conditions of use are outside of Tapco’s control, Tapco makes no warranties, express or implied, and assumes no liability in connection with any use of this information. Tapco Nylon resin meets U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Regulations Title 21 CFR177.1500, 21 CFR175.105, 21 CFR178.2010 and 21 CFR177.300. © 2013 Tapco Inc.® All rights reserved.
  5. 5. FEATURE Case study A student’s experience Leanne Eyre BSc (Hons), Agriculture I came to Writtle College with a basic level of agricultural knowledge. I now work in assurance, but I could not have got there without the guidance, dedication and knowledge from my lecturers at Writtle College. I studied a BSc Honours degree in Agriculture and it covered livestock, arable and agribusiness aspects. I learnt what quality agriculture really is and what goes into farming in today's world. I now use my knowledge every single day in my job. I learnt that a quality crop is not only about the physical product at the end of the process, but is also about everything that went into producing that product from the beginning. For my job I need to know about seed, environment management, chemical control, competency, harvesting, storage, vermin control, machinery, traceability, haulage and legislation. At Writtle College, I learnt about all of these. I was taught the whole system, beginning with preparation, harvest and storage, to the marketing and selling of grain. I learnt about a variety of crops including cereals, sugar beet, fodder beet, potatoes, OSR, linseed, beans, peas and many other crops from the UK and abroad. I learnt about what makes a good quality crop and how to measure this. This included learning about critical timings and other parts of the world. Where previously a farmer would be interested in what was happening in the next parish he now is aware of the problems surrounding the maize harvest in the US, wheat plantings in Australia and the prospects for the soya crop in Argentina. Writtle College in Essex was established 32 | november - december 2013 growth stages, cultivations and machinery choice, soil and nutrient management; both natural and artificial fertilisers, disease and pest management; insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. I learnt about looking after the environment including water, soil and air quality. It also included learning about integrated crop management (ICM) and entry-level/higher-level stewardship (ELS/HLS) schemes and good agricultural practices. I was taught that a quality crop can be measured in many ways. I remember from college learning that the quality is set by the end market, so it’s important to meet your specific market targets to get the level of quality that they want – an aspect one person regards as a measure of quality, others may not regard so highly. I spent many hours learning about the measures of quality for different crops, for example milling wheat and Hagberg falling numbers and Thousand Grain Weights. Other crops have other points that determine quality, for example, sugar or oil contents, digestibility levels for fodder, potential seed quality and so much more – it’s amazing it all sunk in! Writtle promoted a very ‘hands-on’ approach and I remember spending time in fields walking crops, digging soil pits and making my own weed guide. I also went on many trips to see real life situations and studied different systems, learning as I went about how important it is to find your own niche in the market and about the many ways to make your crops achieve a higher quality so as to receive a positive differential to other producers. in 1893 to meet the training needs of local farmers – something it has continued to do throughout its 120-year history. The change in policy brought about a change in the curriculum taught to undergraduates. A new module was introduced for those studying crop production called ‘Quality Assurance and Markets’, which runs alongside an ‘Introduction to Agronomy and Cropping Systems’, with the purpose of teaching students about the world market, the requirements and quality issues associated with each crop. During the year, the main crops covered include wheat, rape, barley, oats, beans, peas, potatoes and sugar beet as well as speciality crops such as borage, sunflower and soya. In the same week that students learn about the agronomy of a crop, they are taught and given insights into the local, European and world markets for that crop. As part of this, market requirements and standards are discussed as well as how these might be achieved by good agronomic practice such as appropriate variety choice and targeted use of pesticides and fertiliser. The delivery of the module combines the traditional lecture/seminar approach with visits and external speakers. The College has good links with the local miller, W.H Marriage and Sons, and two graduates are among the staff employed there. Students also visit Clarksons at Ipswich Docks, a major importer and exporter of agricultural commodities. The module is taught by three Writtle College staff, both with academic and practical agricultural backgrounds. Dr Chris Bishop is an authority on post-harvest technology and consults around the world on storage and processing on a variety of agricultural and horticultural products. The Writtle postharvest unit has a national and international reputation for its work with both NGOs and commercial companies in the areas of storage, and the maintenance of crop quality between the producer and the consumer. Work has also been carried out on behalf of UK supermarkets on shelf life and packaging of fruit and vegetables. Dr Clive Beale, also part of the post-harvest team, lectures on the quality of cereals using his scientific background and commercial experience, while Henry Matthews, the module leader, has practical farming experience in the UK and Eastern Europe. Students are partly assessed on a presentation on a crop market of their choice. They are expected to be able to articulate the main requirements of the market for the crop of their choice and to be able to suggest strategies which might enable this to be achieved. While the popular choices are wheat and rape, other crops such as poppies and palm oil have been chosen. The key to giving students the skills they need to be attractive employees in the agriculture industry is flexing the curriculum according to the sector’s needs. Writtle College has been proficient in reflecting the changes in the agriculture industry for decades – indeed our stand at Cereals 2013 celebrating our 120th anniversary was visited by alumni who are now among the leaders in the agricultural economy – and we intend to continue this over the coming years to keep pace with this ever-changing industry. &feed millinG technoloGy Grain
  6. 6. LINKS November - December 2013 This digital Re-print is part of the November | December 2013 edition of Grain & Feed Milling Technology magazine. Content from the magazine is available to view free-of-charge, both as a full online magazine on our website, and as an archive of individual features on the docstoc website. Please click here to view our other publications on www.docstoc.com. first published in 1891 • • Fit-for-purpose grain and feed packaging: an environmental perspective • • Organic feeds: the future for sustainable poultry farming? • See the full issue Visit the GFMT website • Contact the GFMT Team • Subscribe to GFMT In this issue: • Single or twinscrew extruder: what are the options? • Animal feeding in the future: reaching genetic potential through smarter nutrition? PORTS: VIGAN industry report • Market-aware farming: commodities training at Writtle College INCORPORATING PORTS, DISTRIBUTION AND FORMULATION A subscription magazine for the global flour & feed milling industries - first published in 1891 To purchase a paper copy of the magazine, or to subscribe to the paper edition please contact our Circulation and Subscriptions Manager on the link adove. INFORMATION FOR ADVERTISERS - CLICK HERE Article reprints All Grain & Feed Milling Tecchnology feature articles can be re-printed as a 4 or 8 page booklets (these have been used as point of sale materials, promotional materials for shows and exhibitions etc). If you are interested in getting this article re-printed please contact the GFMT team for more information on - Tel: +44 1242 267707 - Email: jamest@gfmt.co.uk or visit www.gfmt.co.uk/reprints www.gfmt.co.uk

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