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ARS agricultural engineer Paul Armstrong uses the “Post-Harvest Loss moisture meter” to check bags of stored maize in Ghana.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have developed a new way for farmers in developing areas of the world to determine the moisture content of their stored grain. Such determinations can help prevent losses due to insects, spoilage and mold growth that can render grain unfit for consumption.

Unlike in the West, farmers in underdeveloped countries use large bags rather than bins or silos to store grains like corn, according to Paul Armstrong, an agricultural engineer with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Manhattan, Kansas.

Together with Kansas State University colleagues, Armstrong developed a hand-held device that could provide a fast, low-cost way to check the moisture level in grain bags. The meter works by measuring the relative humidity and temperature of the air within the grain, two key parameters that are used to estimate moisture content, explains Armstrong, with the ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research. Continue reading

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its March World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. This month’s 2016/2017 U.S. corn outlook is for increased corn used to produce ethanol and reduced feed and seed use, leaving ending stocks unchanged from last month. Continue reading

grain dust explosion
The number of grain dust explosions in the United States fell to a 10-year low in 2016, but two of the incidents resulted in the first reported fatalities since 2013, according to a recent report by Purdue University. Continue reading

demand gmo
Rising demand for organic and non-GMO foods led to a sharp rise in organic grain imports last year. A new report by CoBank says U.S. production of non-GMO crops has risen, but domestic production for organic corn and soybeans remains well short of current U.S. demand. Continue reading

The U.S. grain price outlook and crop demand won’t see a lot of major changes in the coming year. That prediction comes from Dr. Pat Westhoff, Director of the Food and Ag Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri. Continue reading

combine harvesting wheat crop Putin
President Vladimir Putin of Russia this week hailed the nation’s farmers efforts in producing the biggest post-Soviet grain crop this week. However, in his message to farmers, he cautioned the country should not be in a hurry to move excess grain. Continue reading

US Grains Council board directors-2016-17Tenth-generation farmer Chip Councell of Maryland was elected as the new U.S. Grains Council Chairman at the Board of Delegates Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. Continue reading

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