Keeping Kansas Real
Keeping Kansas Real
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May  05/16/19 3:21:26 PM

Is anyone else amazed that we are almost halfway through May now? Where is 2019 going! Here in Kansas, things were started to dry out in the middle of April. You could finally see tractors rolling in the fields again. In fact, a lot of corn in my area got planted in the one to two weeks of good weather we had. However, recently, Kansas has gotten hit with rain, and more rain again. This has put a pause on everything. Hopefully, the rain will hold off for a little while to allow the fields to dry out and producers to get the rest of their crop in. According to the National Corn Growers Association, Kansas has only 41% of their corn crop planted, which is actually high compared to other states.

At Cargill, the bin roof project is still ongoing. In the past month, we have refilled the bin with beans to allow the contractors a safe place to work on. This was a lot of work as the bin is filled from the side through a tripper. This required us to go in and shovel the grain to make a level platform. Weather has also been a little bit of an issue. Coming up with a way to protect the grain in the bin from rain while there is no roof has definitely proved to be challenging. Today, the contractors have set in the beams for the roof and will begin pouring the concrete next week. Once they start pouring concrete, they cannot stop, so we are praying for no rain!


 

 
On a side note, about two weeks ago, I headed down to Memphis, Tennessee for a Cargill operations boot camp. Cargill has a training center located here that is best described as a deconstructed elevator. For example, there is a mini bucket leg, an open belt conveyer, a drag, a dust system, and a dryer, along with lots of other equipment related both to grain operations and crush/refinery operations. During this week, we got to break down into small groups and look at this equipment, learning the best practices. We also talked about common failures with this equipment, how they can happen, and the importance of trying to prevent them. Along with talking about grain equipment and maintenance, we also talked about safety devices. Hazard monitoring devices are required in all Cargill plants. Some of them that we have at our plant are bearing sensors, rub blocks, and plug switches. Bearing sensors monitor how hot the bearing gets, rub blocks alert you if the belt gets too far off track, and plug switches tell you if a leg or belt is plugging. All these devices will shut down your equipment when a certain pre-set level is hit. These devices are installed to prevent a fire or explosion from happening.

A fun fact is that this training center is also home to Cargill Cotton. Back in the day before computers, buyers of Cargill Cotton used to come to this center and inspect the quality of each and every bale of cotton they bought!


 

Getting to go to boot camp was an invaluable experience. We got to meet and talk with other production supervisors at Cargill locations across North America, comparing and contrasting the differences at our respective facilities. After a long week spent in the classroom and lab, we even got to visit the National Civil Rights museum which was once previously the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and of course, the famous Beale St.

Lastly, I have two random, but fun facts to share that I have learned in the past month. The first one is apparently, eating chili and cinnamon rolls together is a thing in Kansas.... Gross! Secondly, I have had several people tell me that this 70-degree weather we are having must be a heat wave for me because MI probably doesnt ever get this warm.

Hope everyone has a great week!

 

 
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