Grain Handlers Guide to Aflatoxin

Phil Kenkel and  Kim Anderson

Aflatoxins, metabolites of the fungus aspergilus flavus, A.parasiticus and A.nomis are potent liver toxins and carcinogens in animals.  Aspergilus flavus is common in corn and cotton seed mill.  A.parasiticus is more common in peanuts.  Growing season conditions associated with drought and high temperature during grain fill are associated with aflatoxin contamination.  In order to detect aflatoxin, proper sampling and testing is essential.  Postharvest aflatoxin contamination can develop when grain in improperly managed or stored.


Inventory Control for Farm Supply Cooperatives

Phil Kenkel

Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University

Inventory investment represents over 50% of current assets and 25% of total assets for the typical farm supply cooperative. Many managers fail to appreciate fully the true costs of carrying inventory, which include not only direct costs of storage, insurance and taxes, but also the cost of money tied up in inventory. These cost total 10-30% of the inventory value for the typical farm supply cooperative.  Typical contributions to holding costs

Causes of Fertilizer Price Volatility

Phil Kenkel

Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair, Oklahoma State University

Prices of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash fertilizers began increasing in 2002 and then increased sharply and reached historic highs in mid-2008. During the 12 month period between April 2007 and April 2008, nitrogen prices increased 32%, and the price of phosphate and potash nearly doubled. The USDA Index of Prices Paid by Farmers for Fertilizer, which reflects all types of fertilizer and has a base period of 1990-92, increased by 216

Cooperative Grain Marketing Alliances


Post-harvest wheat fields outside Walla Walla, WA
Photo by: Daniel Parks

            Grain marketing cooperatives are an important part of the U.S. grain marketing system, accounting for over $22B in sales in 2001 (USDA, 2001).  The traditional role of these firms was to enable their farmer members to capture economies of scale and size in grain assembly, storage and cleaning.  In pursuit of further economies, a system of federated regional grain cooperatives also developed.  Under the federated system local cooperatives had the opportunity, but not the obligation, …