New Wheat Standard rule published in Federal Register May 17, 2013
On May 13, the Federal Grain Inspection Service published a final rule for US Wheat Standards. The final rule addresses: 1) The definition of contrasting classes in white wheat and 2) A revision for the shrunken and broken kernels in U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No 2 wheat grades.
Hard Red Winter and Hard Red Spring were previously categorized as contrasting classes. Under the new rule Hard Red Winter and Hard Red spring are classified only as wheat of other classes. In GIPSA’s proposed rule the shrunken and broken grade limits were only restricted for U.S. No. 1 and U.S. No. 2 grades.
GIPSA received comments from several organizations raising concerns such as Oklahoma’s competitive disadvantage in meeting the new standards to wheat millers’ concerned that the changes did not restrict grades enough. GIPSA will not make the shrunken and broken grade changes but may propose in future rulemaking. The final rule will be effective on May 1, 2014 to coincide with the 2014 wheat harvest.
Earlier this month, the OSHA National Headquarters released a memorandum to its regional directors containing OSHA’s latest policy directive regarding the operation of sweep augers inside grain storage bins during employee entry. The memorandum clarifies OSHA’s policy on grain bin sweep augers as regulated by 29 CFR 1910.272(g)(1)(ii).
The memorandum is now official national OSHA policy for all regions. Please carefully read the memorandum, including the 10 enforcement items at the end of the memorandum. The new policy allows employees to enter a grain bin with an operating sweep auger as long as specific criteria are met, and the employer can establish that it protects its workers from the dangers of a sweep auger through the use of specific engineering controls and work practices controls so that a danger is not present to employees.
KGFA strongly advises each member to review their bin entry standard operating procedures and amend as necessary to incorporate the 10 OSHA principles in the new OSHA policy or ensure strict compliance those principles.
KGFA elects new officers, board members April 17, 2013
KGFA elected Ted Schultz, chief operating officer for Team Marketing Alliance in Moundridge, as its new chairman last week during the 117th annual meeting in Wichita. Schultz was appointed by the 16-member board of directors to serve his two-year term as Chairman through April 2015.
Schultz is the 84th industry leader to serve at the helm of KGFA. He also serves on KGFA's Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Schultz previously served two-year terms as first and second vice chairman, respectively.
“I am honored to be able to engage with my industry in this capacity,” Schultz said. “KGFA has a long tradition and history of serving its members with excellence, and I’m looking forward to helping lead that effort.”
KGFA members also elected Pete Goetzmann, vice president of ADM Grain Group in Overland Park, as their new vice chairman. Scott McWilliams, senior location manager of Lansing Trade Group in Overland Park, was elected KGFA’s new second vice chairman.
Gary Beacnher, chief executive officer of Beachner Grain in Parsons, and Rich Arpin, general manager of Palmer Grain in Palmer, were elected to serve a two-year term to the KGFA Board of Directors. James Jirak, general manager of Pro-Ag Marketing in Kensington, was appointed to fill a vacancy of an unexpired term.
Status Update on Federal Hours of Service (HOS) Exemption Regulations
March 13, 2013
Last October, two new statutory exemptions to the federal hours-of-service (HOS) rules became effective under Sections 323101 and 32934 of the moving ahead for progress in the 21st century act (MAP-21). Section 32101 provided an exemption from HOS regulations for certain carriers transporting agricultural commodities and farm supplies. Section 32934 provided a statutory exemption from most federal regulations for the operation of covered farm vehicles by farm and ranch operators. Note: a previous 2-year exemption from federal HOS regulations for carriers transporting anhydrous ammonia will not be renewed, as it is now substantively included under Section 32101.
Association staff notified the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) at the time and petitioned the KCC to amend its regulations to reflect the new HOS exemptions under MAP-21. On Thursday, March 14, 2013, the FMCSA, under the federal department of transportation, published a final rule in the Federal Register amending the federal regulations to reflect the new, broader, HOS exemptions under MAP-21. Adoption of this final rule allows states to amend their own regulations to reflect the federal HOS exemptions under MAP-21.
Association staff was recently notified that the Kansas Attorney General's office has approved all but two of the KCC regulations concerning the MAP-21 HOS exemptions, and that this stage in the process is nearing completion. Once all of the regulations are approved, the regulations will be published in the Kansas Register for a 60-day public comment period and a public hearing.
Please note that all currently existing KCC regulations concerning HOS exemptions remain in effect until the new KCC regulations are passed.
How to Comply with OSHA's Sweep Auger Regulations
Feed & Grain Magazine
March 13, 2013
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) roller coaster ride of enforcement policy in connection to sweep augers and bin entry has taken another major turn.
After a recent string of confusing interpretation letters issued by OSHA effectively banned the practice of employees working with sweep augers inside of grain bins without nullifying the equipment’s functionality by requiring the auger to be guarded on all sides, a ground-breaking settlement of an OSHA case against an Illinois grain company appears to have reversed that policy. The settlement, which became a final order of the OSHA Review Commission in mid-January, renews the industry’s right to work inside grain bins with energized sweep augers, and provides clarity to the conditions that OSHA deems acceptable for that work.
The recent legal landscape about the use of sweep augers and bin entry has left the ag industry perplexed. Much of the confusion dates back to the original implementation of the Grain Handling Standard (29 C.F.R. 1910.272). The final Grain Standard, which was published in 1987, did not include any provision to address the use of sweep augers or the conditions in which an employee may work inside a grain bin with an energized sweep auger. Click here to read the full article.
Breaking News: Sweeping changes to OSHA’s sweep auger enforcement
OSHA Law Update, Epstein Becker Green
February 15, 2013
The roller coaster ride that has been OSHA’s enforcement policy in connection with work inside grain bins with energized sweep augers has taken another major turn. After decades of employees working inside grain bins with sweep augers, a string of recent, somewhat confusing, Interpretation Letters issued by OSHA effectively banned the practice.
Now, a groundbreaking settlement of an OSHA case against an Illinois grain company became a Final Order of the OSHA Review Commission in January, and that settlement has renewed the industry’s right to work inside grain bins with energized sweep augers, and provided real clarity as to the conditions that OSHA considers to be acceptable for that work. Read more.
KGFA thanks Chrysler for Super Bowl commercial
February 15, 2013
KGFA, along with other several national and state ag groups, signed on to a letter from the Animal Ag Alliance thanking Chrysler for their “And God Made a Farmer” commercial during the Super Bowl.
KGFA urges our members to go to www.ramtrucks.com/en/keepplowing to watch the commercial and help the National FFA Foundation achieve its goal of a $1 million contribution from Chrysler to its “Feeding the World – Starting at Home” program.
Call for applications for the State Rail Service Improvement Fund
December 17, 2012
Effective July 1, 2013, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will have $5,000,000 available through the State Rail Service Improvement Fund (SRSIF) for railroad rehabilitation, capacity improvement and construction projects.
Qualified entities that can submit an application include:
Class II or III (short line) railroads, as defined in 49 C.F.R., part 1201 holding a certificate of public convenience from the Surface Transportation Board
Port authorities established in accordance with Kansas law
Local units of government (cities and counties)
Please find the attached letter with detailed information on eligibility and application requirements.
New FDA Food Safety Modernization Act registration of food facilities December 17, 2012
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), enacted on January 4, 2011, aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. The FSMA amended section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) to require that facilities engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, or holding food for consumption in the United States submit additional registration information to FDA.
On October 19, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued further information and guidance regarding registration requirements for domestic and foreign manufacturers, processors, packers, or holders of food for human or animal consumption based on changes made by the FSMA. FDA requires food facilities to reregister with the agency every two years, with the first registration renewal to occur between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of this year.
Types of food companies required to reregister include grain-handling, feed manufacturing, grain processing, biofuels manufacturers, export facilities and a wide array of other domestic and foreign facilities that store, manufacture or process commodities used as food or feed in the United States.
Q: Are local collecting facilities for grains exempt from the registration requirement?
A: All establishments at which food is manufactured/processed, packed, or held are required to be registered, unless otherwise exempt. FDA understands the term "collecting facilities" to refer to facilities that store or hold food, such as silos or grain elevators. Such a facility must be registered with FDA because food (grain) is held by the facility (21 CFR 1.225; 1.227(b)(5)).
GIPSA publishes Program Notice for new moisture meters
August 30, 2012
The USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) published on August 24 their Program Notice for implementation of new moisture meter technology effective September 1, 2012 for corn, sorghum, soybeans and sunflowers. All other grains will be effective May 1, 2013.
The two new approved UGMA – compatible moisture meter models are: Perten AM5200-ADickey-john and Corporation’s GAC2500-UGMA.
Please direct any questions regarding this program notice to Rob Dorman, Policies Procedures, and Market Analysis Branch at (816) 659-8411 or Robert.J.Dorman@usda.gov.
Transportation survey results available May 15, 2012
Thank you to all of the KGFA members that participated in the Regional Elevator Transportation Survey we mailed to you in February. This survey was designed to gather information needed to address the ongoing transportation management and investment decisions for elevators in our region. Your responses as an industry expert were important in understanding priorities and trends. Click here for a summary of results from the survey.
Grain Engulfment Rescue Training From the Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute, KU
May 15, 2012
The Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute, KU (KF&RTI) is pleased to announce that we are now taking requests for the Grain Engulfment Rescue training course. This 1-day (8-hour) course is made possible by a donation from the members of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association, the Kansas Cooperative Council and the Kansas Farmers Service Association. The project began some time ago and culminated with a donation last summer to construct a trailer and develop a curriculum for Grain Engulfment Rescue. The trailer is scheduled for delivery within the next few weeks; the curriculum has been written and the necessary equipment has been purchased. The remaining tasks are nearing completion and we are ready to begin taking training requests.
A few simple rules will govern the delivery of this training.
Participants must be a Kansas firefighter or employed within the Kansas grain handling industry, or a member of one of the three sponsoring organizations (KGFA, KCC, and KFSA).
Grain handling organizations and Kansas fire departments need to train together. Fire departments and local grain companies should make the commitment to train together and discuss jointly agreeable training dates/days/times prior to making a training request.
Local grain facilities must provide grain for training. The trailer will pick the grain up at the facility and return it unharmed after the training. The trailer holds approximately 100-150 bushels of grain.
Training will be delivered at no cost under this unique program so long as the fire departments and local grain employees train together. For insurance purposes; participation of grain organization employees and firefighters MUST be authorized a job related assignment by their employer or fire department.
Due to the expected demand for this training, we are announcing three initial delivery periods. We will begin taking requests immediately for all three periods. Dates for the courses will be confirmed by the dates listed beside each period below.
Confirmation from KF&RTI
July 15-September 30, 2012
June 1, 2012
June 30, 2012
October 1-November 30, 2012
August 30, 2012
September 15, 2012
December 1-January 30, 2012
November 1, 2012
November 15, 2012
Requests for delivery after these posted periods will be taken at any time. Confirmation of the period beginning in February, 2013 will be confirmed by early to mid-January, 2013.
Please contact the KF&RTI to place your request or for more information and questions. Feel free to visit our web site for an overview of this program.
To request a class: Phone: 866-804-8841 (toll free) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please have the following information available when requesting a class (or include in an email):
Date(s) Requested: Please give us your preferred date plus a range of approximately 2 weeks that will work for you. Due to the expected demand for this class, we may need to adjust the schedule to sequence travel and trailer movement. We will contact you to confirm final delivery dates prior to finalize the schedule.
Preferred Schedule: Tell us your preference of day of the week, times of day (daytime or evening). We offer training seven days a week and in a daytime or evening format. If you are requesting an evening class, please note it will take two consecutive days to complete the training.
Number of students: How many students (firefighters & grain organization employees). If you have more than 35 potential students, we may need to break the class into two separate classes.
Confirm Grain Use: Please confirm with the local grain organization that they will provide 100-150 bushels of grain for the class.
Farmway dismissed of charges
May 1, 2012
Last month, the Kansas Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the charges brought against Farmway Coop by the city of Lincoln Center. Lincoln Center now has until May 14 to appeal the decision to the Kansas Supreme Court.
Last year, Lincoln Center filed charges against KGFA member, Farmway Coop, claiming they violated city noise and dust ordinances. The city court found the elevator guilty of these charges, but the decision was later overturned by a district court that found the ordinances unconstitutional.
When Lincoln Center appealed the decision to the Kansas Court of Appeals, KGFA felt it necessary to hire attorneys to submit an amicus brief, or friend of the court, on behalf of Farmway to offer additional comments that may help prevent a decision that would put the entire industry at risk in the future. Click here to read the thank you letter submitted to KGFA by Farmway.
Sorghum odor reference sample update
May 1, 2012
Sorghum odor reference samples (for musty storage odor) should be available for distribution early this month. A total of 52 samples are expected to be distributed to official agencies and for use by the Federal Grain Inspection Service. These samples are a chemical compound added to at least one year old sorghum. The samples have a three month shelf life and must be used at room temperature. The KGFA board and Kansas Grain Inspection Service have both been involved in providing feedback during the development of these reference samples.
Weather conditions favorable for Wheat Army Headworm
May 1, 2012
The Kansas grain industry should be aware of insect damaged kernels (IDK) due to Wheat Army Headworm in this year’s wheat crop. Current weather conditions are favorable for Wheat Army Headworm. Field IDK is a grading factor with a tolerance of 31 insect damaged kernels in a 100 gram sample. Here is a KSU publication for more information on Wheat Army Headworm. http://www.entomology.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabindex=217&tabid=503.
Survey on GIPSA's Federal Grain Inspection Service January 17, 2012
GIPSA announced today its intention to request that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approve a 3-year extension of and revision to a currently approved information collection of a voluntary customer survey concerning the delivery of official inspection, grading, and weighing services authorized under the United States Grain Standards Act and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946.
This voluntary survey gives customers that are primarily in the grain, oilseed, rice, lentil, dry pea, edible bean, and related agricultural commodity markets an opportunity to provide feedback on the quality of services they receive and provides GIPSA with information on new services that customers wish to receive. Customer feedback assists GIPSA's Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) with enhancing the value of services and service delivery provided by the official inspection, grading, and weighing system. Click here for instructions on how to submit comments due by March 19, 2012.
Applications now being accepted for SBA STEP grants
January 17, 2012
Companies that wish to apply for more than $500,000 in funding through the State Trade and Export Promotion Grants Program (STEP) may now do so, the Kansas Departments of Agriculture and Commerce announced last month. The funding, which is provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), was first announced in September. The grant is focused on encouraging businesses to explore export markets.
Much of the money will be made available through the state’s International Market Development Grant (IMDGP) program that will provide funding assistance for Kansas businesses as they explore overseas markets. Eligible expenses funded under the IMDGP may include trade shows, trade missions, translation of website or marketing materials, conferences and seminars and other export-related activities. Read more.