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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ag Question: Where can consumers find corn products?





 I am approaching this question on the different side of the equation.  I am not a producer, I am a consumers.  I work at a grain elevator.  So when products are shipped from the elevator to a large processor, what are those products used for? In this post, I will use corn as an example, and we will talk about  Tate & Lyle as the processor.
 


There are many Tate Lyle locations in the United States, and their headquarters is located in London.  There are two processing plants located in Lafayette, Indiana. One on the north side, another on the south side.  The north plant takes waxy corn and the south plant takes commercial corn.  Corn can be shipped in by truck or rail.

When most consumers think about corn, they think about the corn being fed for livestock consumption.  There are many products consumers use that are delivered to these processing plants. You can check out the brands websites.
 

Tate & Lyle said consumers make up for 75% of their consumption of products.  Their products range from food, starches, gums, ethanol, pharmaceutical care, cosmetics and feeds.

The list is long of the products made from corn. 
Ethanol
Drywall
Adhesives
Cosmetics
Waxed Paper & Waxed Cardboard
Bio-engineered Bone & Gum Tissue
Splenda & Equal
Windex
Varnish
Toothpaste
Matches
Paving Bricks
Coated Asprin
Tires
Jelly Beans & Licorace
Molded Plastics
Spark Plugs
Diapers

Splenda, a sweeter you are probably familiar with, has a sugar like taste and a sweetening power 600 times more than regular sugar.  Sucralose was discovered by Tate & Lyle in 1976 in London.  Splenda was launched in 1992. Sucralose is sold to food, beverage and pharmaceutical companies.








If you are interested on the history of Tate & Lyle, visit their website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Garden progress

Scotcheroos



Kids and the husband love desserts.  

My daughter had to bring a dessert for a teachers lunch, put on by the Student Council.  I checked the box on the signup sheet to bring a dessert.  I figured she could handle carrying something simple on the bus in the morning.   She came home and told me I was to make Scotcheroos.  

I knew I needed to pick up enough supplies to make two batches. One to take to school and one to keep for the family at home.  


 

Pour six cups of rice cereal in a large bowl and set aside.


Melt 1 cup sugar with one cup of white syrup on the stove. When it begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in one cup of peanut butter




I used half a bag of chocolate chips and half of a bag of butterscotch chips and carefully melted them over the stove, on medium heat. Pour immediately over the rice mixture.

 

This is the part where blogging isn't so pretty.  I realized I need a picture of the scotcheroos, and this is the last piece left.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Easy Rhubarb Cobbler


Rhubarb wasn't something I grew up with. I wasn't introduced to it until I was dating Dave and he told me he liked rhubarb.  I think I was trying really hard to impress him, and tried to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I remember there was a co-worker who said he had way too much rhubarb in his garden and his wife had enough as well. 

So I took the rhubarb back to my apartment and tried to make a rhubarb pie.  I really didn't know what I was doing! That weekend we were visiting his parents in Indiana, and he had this grand idea to take the pie with us.  

First stop was his grandparents house, with the pie in hand.  He wanted his grandpa to try this pie I had made for the first time.  I was embarrassed.  It was runny and I was suspicious of what a rhubarb pie was really suppose to taste like.  I think Grandpa John added more sugar to his slice and ate all of it.  I am sure it wasn't close to what Grandma Lois made, but he ate it with a smile. He was always one to say very positive things, especially when it came to desserts. 

Spring is here again, and I have rhubarb from Dave's parents garden.  Delicious. Fresh. 

 I decided I would try something different this time, and make a cobbler.  You can find the recipe for Easy Rhubarb Cobbler here.  The rhubarb cooked perfectly, it was sweet.  The cobbler topping was good. I think it would work great to add any fruit you would like.  It was best to eat it warm, and add some vanilla ice cream!

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Set oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Mix the rhubarb and 1 cup sugar, and place in the baking dish.
  4. To make the cobbler batter: combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt.
  5. Cut in the cold butter to make a crumbly mixture.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk/combine the egg and half and half cream.
  7. Add to the dry ingredients; stir with a fork to create a stiff batter.
  8. Drop by spoonfuls on top the rhubarb/sugar mixture in the baking dish (does not have to cover completely).
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  10. Serve warm topped with ice cream


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day 2015


I didn't get a Mother's Day picture with the kids this year.   I went through some archived pictures to find something to use. I wanted Dave to take a picture of the kids and me on the front porch of our house because I know it will be the last Mother's Day at this house.  Maybe we can take that picture when all my flowers are actually in the flower pots on the front porch??

But, I came back to this picture. We aren't wearing our Sunday clothes but the kids look cute, Ryan isn't wearing his tie, and Mason is  not wearing his "church pants".  It's out of focus and I really debated using this, but it doesn't have to be in focus.  Our life is not at a stand-still at all.  Very busy and on the go.  In this picture we are standing were our new front porch will be and to me that brings me hope that things are finally moving forward for us. 

I am very thankful for my kids, and the joy and stress they bring to my life.  Much Love!!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Ag Question: Why are USDA Crop Progress Reports Important?

 

What are USDA Crop Reports?
The Crop Progress reports are weekly reports, ran April through November. They contain the progress of planting, growing and harvesting and crop conditions of various crops during that growing time frame.

Why are USDA Crop Reports important?
Provide information for projecting crop yields. Gives explanation on crop development and conditions.

Where does the USDA get their information?
There is an estimated 4,000 reports every week, on every Sunday.  The report comes out Monday afternoon.  It would seem simple for farmers to volunteer their information to the government.  Some willing, some not so willing, therefore the information would not be consistent. 


What do these weekly reports impact?
The reports impact the CME markets and results in price fluctuations. Before the report is released, many private analysts share their own projections.  This leads to many perceptions before the report is out, and sometimes the market will respond before the report is released. July is a very important month.  This month is very important growing time for corn and soybeans.  The old wives tale, "knee high by the fourth of July" does not apply.  Corn plant is more advanced at this stage, and looking and silking and pollination stages.  Soybeans filling pods, so weather, temperature and precipitation is very important. If weather is a big issue, the market will react, either from fear of the unknown or the confidence that a good or bumper crop was going to be harvested.

Is their information consistent? 
Crop Progress reports follows the stages of progress and growth of crops.  The crop conditions could include the effect of crop quality and the different stage of developments as well.