Hurt Seed Co. Feature

Ray Hurt sees the re-engineered Profile Industries rotary spiral separators as one of the most beneficial pieces of equipment ever installed at the Hurt Seed Company (731-836- 7574) plant in Halls, TN. Hurt, who is a fifth-generation owner of the business that was founded in 1932, says the separators have been able to limit seed yield loss since being installed in August. Hurt Seed processes wheat and soybean seeds.

“It’s a vital piece of what we do,” Hurt says. “I wish we had the separators two or three years ago. We would have saved bins full of seed.” Before installing the separators, Hurt says he worried about losing too much soybean seed and would not put seed through the old separators. Hurt has been pleased with the results after running over 200,000 of soybean seed through the cleaning system in its first couple months of use. Added Benefits Profile Industries President Steve DeJong says the Rogers, MN-based company sold its first rotary spiral separator five years ago, providing an alternative to static, or non-rotary, separators. After selling the rotary separators to customers around the world, DeJong says seed company owners suggested improvements in how the machines were designed.

So, he says Profile began re-engineering the separators. DeJong says several features were added when the revamped rotary separators were introduced last year. They included 100% galvanized steel construction, flat pack design for freight savings, and steeper floors to avoid plugging. Originally, Profile rotary separators were designed with one core. Now, DeJong says the separators such as what were installed at Hurt Seed have four cores, which increases capacity.

This case study was featured by SeedToday in the 2017 last quarter issue. The full article contains a profile of Bullard Seed Co. and how they decided to implement the rotary spiral separators into their seed cleaning operation.

Keep an Eye on These Guys

AgLaunch 365 Selects Startups for Accelerator 

Memphis-based agtech accelerator AgLaunch 365 has selected three startups to join its six-week program. The companies will receive investment from a key AgLaunch partner, Innova and its USDA-certified Rural Business Investment Company fund, a $31 million fund backed by eight Farm Credit banks. The selected starutps are:

  • DryMax, based in Minnesota, is commercializing a low-energy, low-heat radio wave process for drying grain.
  • EarthSense, based in Illinois, has developed TerraSentia, an ultra-compact, autonomous, easy-to-use robot with multiple sensors and embedded data collection and analytics software for plant phenotyping.
  • Rabbit Tractors, based in Indiana, is developing an autonomous, mobile, multi-purposed, swarm-capable and high-ground clearance farm production tractor for all pre-harvest activities.

Read More

Republicans Unveil Tax Framework Document

Republican leaders unveiled a framework document that represents advancements and agreements they have reached on some of the broad tax issues this week.  The document states that the Administration and Republican Leaders are developing a unified framework with the goal of achieving fiscally-responsible tax reform that is “built for growth, supports middle-class families, defends workers, protects jobs, and puts America first.” The framework includes:

  • Tax relief for middle-class families. The simplicity of “postcard” tax filing for the vast majority of Americans
  • Tax relief for businesses, especially small businesses
  • Ending incentives to ship jobs, capital, and tax revenue overseas
  • Broadening the tax base and providing greater fairness for all Americans by closing loopholes

Of specific interest to the American Soybean Association (ASA), the framework addresses the issue of interest deductions by indicating that “the deduction for net interest expense incurred by C corporations will be partially limited and the committees will consider the appropriate treatment of interest paid by non-corporate taxpayers.”

The framework allows businesses to “immediately write off (or “expense”) the cost of new investments in depreciable assets other than structures made after Sept.  27, 2017, for at least five years. This policy represents an unprecedented level of expensing with respect to the duration and scope of eligible assets. The committees may continue to work to enhance unprecedented expensing for business investments, especially to provide relief for small businesses.”

The leaders indicate that this framework serves as a template for the tax-writing committees that will develop legislation through an inclusive committee process and they welcome and encourage bipartisan support and participation in the process.

For additional details, see the tax framework document here.

 

via soygrowers.com

The Best Seed Sorting Machines Just Got Better

50% Off – Profile Industries has cut the cost of the Rotary Spiral Separators in half!

Our engineers have spent the past year working to design an even more cost effective and efficient seed separation solution.

What they created is an industry changer… and we’re not just saying that! 

You get all of the performance of the Rotary Spiral Separator at nearly half the price! Oh Yes We Did!

99% Separation Efficiency | 50% Greater Quality | 20% Increase Cut


 

 

 

Rotary Spiral Separtor

The Rotary gives you the capabilities of multiple pieces of equipment from a single machine. With the Rotary, just one size core gives you the ability to handle all seed cleaning and separation while reducing waste from 5-20% down to .5% and increasing operational efficiency and flexibility.

• No mess adjustments during processing
• Eliminates post sorting of rejects
• Increased Quality
• Can spirolate products that will not flow in a static spiral

 

 


Is the Rotary Spiral the right fit for you?
Lets find out! Send us your seed for a


With so many seed cleaning products to choose from and even more seed varieties to sort and clean, determining the best options for you and your organization can be overwhelming. Here’s a look at our Static Spiral Separator so you can see how it preforms when compared to the Rotary.

 

 

Enclsosed Static Spiral Separtor

With eight flights instead of five, our enclosed separators offer 60% more capacity and reduce noise by 30%. They are also available in 1, 2, or 4 core configurations. Each core is  interchangeable, replaceable, in-stock and available with in 48 hours from Profile’s warehouse.

• Low Profile
• Orifice Flow Control
• Fine Tune Gate assembly
• Large Window Opening
• Bolted Design for Flat Pac

 

 

How does a rotary compare to a static spiral separator?  Glad you asked.

Rotary v. Static Spiral Separators


In our research, the best option for seed cleaning and shape sorting has been the Rotary Spiral Separator. This machine pays for itself fast and adds a number of great features. Whether you are cleaning soybeans, brassica, canola, wheat, mustard, peppercorn or sorghum, these products will work wonders for you. For the maximum ROI, check out the rotary. You will not be disappointed.

Profile Industries experience in spiral separators, seed cleaning and shape sorting solutions will help maximize the quality and efficiency of any agricultural or industrial commodity.

Iowa State Workshop Series

Profile is pleased to announce our participation at the the Iowa State seed conditioning and quality testing workshop series. We will be talking about the static rotary spiral separators and comparing them to the new rotary spiral separator designs. These workshops will take place on July 11 and July 25 with our president and chief engineer Steve DeJong.
The schedule for the remaining 2017 workshops is listed below and a link to the registration website is also included.  These are small group sessions that feature a mix of classroom and “hands on” equipment operation in our pilot plant at the ISU Seed Science Center.
Soybean and Small Grain Seed Conditioning…….July 10-13
Seed Treatment Workshop……………………………….July 19-20
Soybean and Small Grain Seed Conditioning…….July 24-27
Gravity Separation…………………………………………….August 1
Gravity Separation…………………………………………….August 3
Seed Corn Conditioning…………………………………….August 7-10
Seed Corn/Soybean Quality Testing…………………August 15-17
Routine workshop registration is handled by the Iowa State staff in Conference Planning and Management.  Additional details, including a PDF version of the workshop brochure and on-line registration can be found on the ISU Extension web site at http://register.extension.iastate.edu/seedscience.

New Design of Rotary Technology Catches the Eye of BayerCrop Science

BayerCrop Science has been a long time client of Profile Industries and a shining example of how our success is built on the success of our customers. We recently visited their Canola Processing plant in Lethbridge to evaluate their recent purchase and installation of Profile’s static spiral separators in 2014.

We were able to tour this facility and take some time to inspect our spiral separators.  After 3 years of use, each spiral was in terrific condition and working well which made the acting maintenance supervisor very pleased. During the walk, I talked to 6 employees who actually operate the equipment on a regular basis and not one of them had a negative comment. Let’s call that a win!

Despite the spiral separators being in great condition after 3 years of use, there was still one thing that needed to be improved.

The employees at BayerCrop Science had hoped for a way they could adjust the slide gate on each spiral core. This process takes a lot of time, especially for an operation with 60 spiral cores. What they didn’t know was that Profile’s rotary spiral separators could meet that challenge…and do so much more.  Not only would they not have slide gates to adjust; which is very time consuming… but the rotary spiral takes only 1 second to modify separation quality and cut by adjusting the VFD drive. This simple device controls the rotation speed of all spiral cores in the process making a huge impact on the time, cut, and quality with one minor adjustment.

At that time, BayerCrop Science had not budgeted to purchase and install the Rotary spirals into their sorting and cleaning process. The investment was significant even though the value was clear. So our engineers went back to the drawing board working to design an even more cost effective and efficient solution.

Over the past year, Profile Industries has cut the cost of the Rotary Spiral Separators in half!

This is an industry changer. Just ask BayerCrop Science, who are now looking to modify one of their processing lines and replacing 2 of their static spirals with rotary technology.

 

 

Dupont Pioneer Reevaluates Plant in Lethbridge

Profile Industries recently took a trip north to visit our friends in Canada. Lethbridge, Alberta is home to a number of agricultural innovators so we thought it would be great to take a few days to stop in and share the seed cleaning and rotary technology that Profile has become known for.
We kicked off on June 6 at the Dupont Pioneer Canola Processing plant. While we were touring the facility, our president and chief engineer, Steve DeJong, was able to evaluate the current processes in place as well as the spiral equipment used by Dupont Pioneer.
It was determined that introducing the Rotary Spirals to the process would significantly reduce labor and save valuable time for the employees.
How? Simple. The rotary spirals would simplify the re-setting of the the spirals between seed lots and allow for adjustments to be made during the sorting process. These resources could then be reallocated to adjusting other machines in the processing system, making over the entire Dupont Pioneer plant to be more efficient and cost effective.
We are looking forward to working with Dupont Pioneer and the Lethbridge plant to implement the rotary spiral technology in the near future.

Soy Growers Oppose White House Budget

The American Soybean Association (ASA) signaled strong opposition to proposed cuts in the FY-2018 budget released by the White House this morning.

“By shredding our farm safety net, slashing critical agricultural research and conservation initiatives, and hobbling our access to foreign markets, this budget is a blueprint for how to make already difficult times in rural America even worse,” said Ron Moore, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Roseville, Ill.

The budget would cut the federal crop insurance program by $28.5 billion—or roughly 36 percent—by capping the premium subsidy and eliminating the harvest price option. The crop insurance program is widely used by soybean farmers, and the harvest price option was selected in 99.4 percent of soybean revenue insurance policies sold in 2016. The White House’s proposed budget also would cut nearly $9 billion from Title I commodity supports, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, by reducing the adjusted gross income (AGI) eligibility cap from $900,000 to $500,000.

“Thirty six percent is the most extreme proposed cut to crop insurance I’ve seen in my 40 years on the farm,” Moore said. “This is a program that exists to sustain farmers who suffer catastrophic losses. Coupled with the arbitrary caps the budget would impose on premium subsidies, it’s clear that this budget was written without input from farmers who would be severely affected.”

The budget also poses an existential threat to export promotion and foreign food assistance programs. It eliminates funding for the two hallmark U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs for the expansion of foreign markets: the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development program (FMD).

____________________________

Read the full article at soygrowers.com

Bullard Seed Co. Feature

Recently, we had the opportunity to work with a great company based in Ashland, MO. Bullard Seed Co. is a family owned and operated contract producer of soybeans and wheat seed. They were looking to become faster and more efficient with their sorting process and the standard spiral separators Bullard had in place were not meeting their growing needs.

Profile’s President and chief engineer Steve DeJong worked with Bullard to create the best solution. Since Profile’s standard cabinet is four-inches too large to fit into Bullard’s existing space, Steve designed a custom cabinet to fit.

Bullard’s spirals are positioned ahead of the color sorter which in turn enables the sorter to become more precise in its sorting.

“I cannot explain it without visually showing you what they will do in operation – it is hard to explain until you actually see it run. This thing really works.” Said Joel Bullard, president and owner of Bullard Seed Co.

“They (rotary spirals) remove a small amount, yet they remove everything you want to remove,” he says. “They are so easy to set. It takes longer to climb the ladder to the platform on the cleaning deck than it does to change the setting.”

Bullard says they routinely check the spiral’s discard throughout the day and when they change from variety to variety. The spirals are so sensitive that Bullard usually makes a slight adjustment for each different variety.

“I cannot say enough good about these rotary spirals. It gives us greater confidence in our product.” Bullard says. “I feel every soybean plant should have them.

This case study was featured by SeedToday in the 2017 first quarter issue. The full article contains a profile of Bullard Seed Co. and how they decided to implement the rotary spiral separators into their seed cleaning operation.

Agricultural Giants Risk Being Left Behind in Agtech Boom

How does the agtech boom impact the biggest agricultural companies in the world over the next 10 years.

While a number of forward-thinking agricultural corporates are investing big money into agtech (agriculture + technology), there’s a significant majority who are not. They are waiting on the sidelines, perhaps understandably thinking that it makes sense to follow a “wait-and-see” strategy.

“Wait-and-see” almost never works in technology. The big agricultural corporates need to start taking genuine risks in agtech, which means making acquisitions that move the needle. Buying up smaller players alone won’t cut it. Neither will in-house innovation. Only bold moves and visionary tech acquisitions will help the big agricultural firms avoid disruption, and in some cases even become the disrupters themselves.

Agtech is where fintech was a few years ago

As an investment banker, I believe the agtech industry is where the financial technology sector was five or six years ago. Smaller and less developed, yes, but potentially on the same brink of a financial and value-creation explosion.

TechCrunch reported last week that investment into agtech tripled over the start of this year, compared to the same time last year. Most of this investment was at pre-seed, seed, and other early investment levels.

This is exactly what we saw before the fintech sector took off a few years ago: a period of intense, heightened early-stage investment in fintech startups; startups that grew over the next five to six years into companies with multi-billion dollar valuations.

There haven’t been many billion-dollar valuations in the agtech sector; Climate Corporation is the most famous one that may have just tipped over the $1bn point, according to some sources. However, if the agtech sector continues to track fintech’s rise, then we should expect to see perhaps 20 or more over the next decade, especially as agtech taps deeper into fast-growing markets like China and India.

Why “wait-and-see” is not a strategy in tech

With a few notable exceptions, like Monsanto and Syngenta, many of the biggest agricultural firms have been waiting out this agtech investment boom on the sidelines – or have only been dipping their toes in the water. Some of the biggest investors in agtech is, instead, a roll-call of well-known Silicon Valley names: Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, and Techstars.

“Wait-and-see” in technology can be fatal because it’s an abdication of a strategy. Technology is incredibly fast-moving, growing exponentially, and industries – like agriculture now – that are going through a period of rapid, choppy, tech-driven disruption are impossible to predict properly. The only thing that is certain, is that traditional ways of doing things and traditional business models will be overthrown. One month can be a long time in an industry that is undergoing disruption; one year is an age.

This means that speed out of the gate is essential. It’s the one quality that can give a company a real advantage. The companies who are in the second, third or even later waves of investment and acquisitions might find it difficult, if not impossible, to catch up. After declining to invest in Netflix, Blockbuster was never able to catch up despite later investing huge sums in an on-demand strategy

This difficulty to catch up stems from the fact that the first-movers will have acquired the best startups with the most promising technology, often at the lowest prices. Just to keep up will be a big ask, and to overtake, near impossible.

Why small acquisitions won’t cut it on their own

A number of agricultural CEOs and CFOs reading this article may remind themselves of a few smaller investments they’ve made. That’s a good start, and shows the right type of thinking, but dabbling in investment and acquisitions is often not enough to stave off disruption or realise the opportunity of becoming the disrupter

That’s because small investments may reveal a potentially losing strategy: buying tech startups with promising technologies to simply ‘bolt-on’ to the business. For example, it may be that the emergence of precision agriculture might convince an agricultural company to buy an agtech startup to answer its concerns about the impact it will have on the industry. But the agtech target’s absorption doesn’t necessarily lead to any lasting change in the acquirer – because so often it is left to operate independently.

When making an acquisition, if you want it to pay off, you ideally want that startup ultimately to transform the core of your business. The acquisition should not just become an arm’s length subsidiary; to be truly successful, the acquisition needs to lead to a total integration of the startup’s technology, team, and innovative mindset into your business. Over time it must become a core part of your organisational DNA.

In the banking sector, Michael Corbat, CEO of Citigroup, demonstrates the mindset required. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in 2014, he said he doesn’t consider Citi a bank, but “a technology company with a banking license”. So, it is no surprise to see that Citi has been one of the most active investors in fintech. Their venture arm’s portfolio currently comprises around 30 investments, and they are consistently making 5-10 deals every year. Corbat clearly knows the type of capital investment it takes to remain committed to a long-term strategy of truly transforming your core.

In-house innovation is not enough

One response I hear a lot from executives is that they feel it would be better to invest $1bn in in-house innovation rather than acquire an outside company. I understand the rationale for that.

But, we also have to be honest with ourselves. Many agricultural companies are just not set up and organised to drive through tech-enabled innovation; that’s simply not our expertise or strength. Instead, agricultural companies are experts in, among other things, supply chains, yields, and the longer-term planning that’s required to run a successful seasons-based business.

There’s no shame in saying that “our organisations aren’t the natural developers of the latest big data technology, aerial monitoring devices, and AI-powered agtech. Our companies are usually too large for that, and our headquarters are also often located too far away from the tech talent pool of Silicon Valley.”

So why gamble vast sums developing in-house technology when it can be acquired off-the-shelf by acquiring a successful tech startup that you, as a company, could take to the next level?

It’s time for agricultural companies to significantly increase their venture capital and M&A funding pools. Not only to see off disruption, but to get ahead of their competitors in buying the technology that will power the future of the industry. It’s time to act because another 12 or even six months could be too late for many.

Editor’s Note: Paul Cuatrecasas is CEO of Aquaa Partners, a specialist investment bank that advises growth-focused traditional companies on acquiring the right technology company.

*Article Posted with permission from AgFunderNews.