Bourbon Defined

Bourbon whiskey is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name of the spirit derives from its historical association with an area known as Old Bourbon, around what is now Bourbon County, Kentucky (which, in turn, was named after the French House of Bourbon royal family). It has been produced since the 18th century.[1] While it may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South in general, and Kentu...
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Bees and Agriculture

“Bees are essential to agriculture – now we can watch them at work!”At the ribbon cutting of the USDA Headquarters People’s Garden in April 2010 plans were already in place to install a beehive on the roof of the Whitten Building as well as a “bee-cam” so anyone anywhere could learn about bee activity. click here for full article
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Rye Update – March 2014

Rye out of Canada is going to be harder and harder to come by at a historically reasonable price. A producer/farmer will make the best financial choice with their land – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she will look solely at dollars earned per acre. Input costs are an obvious factor when making cropping choices, and in Canada, logistics/logistical options are becoming more important as the overall crop (all grains) has been steadily increasing. What is the incentive to ...
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Lending is a People Business

The tradition of the American family farm is the original small business venture.  Producers put their soul into their business with the goal of building something larger.  Farming is truly the backbone of America and is a major contributor to our success as a nation.Lending Still a People Business (from AGR Financial Services)In my youth, a popular TV show hosted by Art Linkletter was called “Children say the Darndest Things”. Oftentimes on the show, youngsters would come ...
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September Rye Harvest Notes

Harvest in Canada is wrapping up, albeit a bit slower than average.  This past (2013-2014), we have seen rye exports out of Canada decrease by 38%.  Domestic usage in Canada has also decreased by 19%.  Because of these decreases, the carryout from this past crop year is now projected to be 49,000 metric tonnes.  Movement of rye into the US is very slow, albeit steady.  And despite weakness in the overall grain market, rye prices remain steady due to a continuing low...
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Bourbo-geddon? Whiskey Demand at All-Time High

We believe it is important to be on top of Bourbon inventory levels. This article sheds some light on supply and demand.Blame the new urban bartenders, those pretentiously mustachioed hipsters who’ve sold us on shifting our taste buds upmarket. While once we contented ourselves with a margaritas made from glow-in-the-dark mixers, in today’s cocktail culture we fetishize Manhattans sourced from Brooklyn’s craft distilleries and top them with artisanal, organic cherries.click her...
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Whiskey Sales Continue to Rise

If you’ve paid any attention to spirit sales in the last decade, it should come as no surprise to you that the bourbon and whiskey market is booming.  According to the Associated Press, U.S. bourbon and whiskey exports continue to skyrocket, surpassing one billion dollars in total this past year.  On the home-front, things are going just as well, with revenues increasing 10% last year alone.  You can read more about the dollars and cents here.This isn’t just good ...
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The Business of Craft Spirits – Minneapolis

This month the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal will be getting a few of the twin cities local distilleries together in one room to discuss the past, present and future of the craft spirits business!  Our very own Cara Fields will be on the panel of experts discussing the past, present and future of the craft spirits business! Be sure to follow along with this conversation on Twitter using the hashtag: #mspbjspiritsSome of the other panelists will be Bob McManus from 11 wel...
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Grain Inspectors and Digital Media Tools

Social media is becoming an important part of every business today.  This holds true also for Grain Inspectors for the USDA.  Check this out from the Department of Agriculture:Most consumers may not realize it, but in many ways grain inspection has not changed much over the years. Even though there are sophisticated scientific tests today to measure moisture, oil, protein and several other intrinsic qualities of grain, the human eye still carries the most weight when judging a gra...
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Rye is a “Hot Commodity”

Rye is a “hot commodity”.That is, rye whiskey is a “hot commodity”… but rye grain as a commodity is a different story.Rye is not something that a farmer necessarily wants to produce in large quantities anymore. There are several reasons for this.  First, rye isn’t generally a high dollar yielding crop. At best, it will produce 40-45 bushels per acre. While the input costs (fertilization, pest control, etc) are not as high as other crops, the return ...
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