ELIMINATE RISK: PROTECT YOUR EQUIPMENT

By: ANDREW HAMILTON
CHS technical services and quality manager, Cenex brand lubricants

Of all the risks you must manage as a farmer, one of the biggest, and often most expensive, is your equipment. And should the unexpected happen, damage to farm machinery can cost thousands of dollars—and create downtime during critical points in the year.

Fortunately, there are ways to protect the health of your equipment. With the CENEX TOTAL PROTECTION PLAN®warranty, you can have peace of mind knowing that your equipment is protected from the inside out.

For a affordable, one-time setup fee, the Cenex Total Protection Plan covers your equipment for the long run. An industry-leading guarantee, the plan protects equipment above and beyond manufacturers’ warranties, covering new equipment for up to 10 years or 10,000 hours and used equipment for up to 8 years or 8,000 hours.

Learn more about protecting your equipment

 

It’s important to use high-quality fuels and lubricants to keep equipment running in peak condition. That’s why the plan requires exclusive use of Cenex® fluids—all of which meet or exceed OEM product specifications—and LubeScan oil analyses that reveal important data about what’s going on under the hood.

When used together, Cenex fuels and lubricants provide optimal performance for machinery. For example, CENEX® RUBY FIELDMASTER® premium diesel fuel can increase engine power by up to 4.5 percent as well as increase fuel economy by up to 5 percent. 

“The Cenex Total Protection Plan is important to the cooperative network. A co-op is family — we take care of each other. We help farmers get better prices, have better buying power and  work in unity,” says Craig Bollig, regional sales director of lubricants for CHS. 
 

Encourage your cooperative to apply for Seeds for Stewardship matching grants

Seeds for Stewardship matching grant
Spring and warmer weather are upon us. It’s a great time to plant the seed of community support and grow pride in your community by encouraging your local cooperative to apply for a Seeds for Stewardship matching grant. Since Seeds for Stewardship began in early 2017, CHS has partnered with more than 70 local cooperatives on more than 100 projects in rural communities. Your cooperative could be next!

(more…)

Tan Spot Showing Up – What Can You Do?

Finding quite a bit of tan spot on wheat the past few days.  This disease wasn’t onset 5 days ago, just starting to appear now.  So far this season we have had perfect weather conditions for disease pressure in cereal crops.  With the moisture we have been receiving, dewy mornings and hot afternoons; expect to see more disease pressure.  Using a preventative and curative fungicide at herbicide timing like Stratego in wheat will treat the tan spot and will have to continue to monitor disease pressure throughout growing season.  Contact your agronomist to stay ahead of the game and protect that yield today.

 

 

 

-John Muske, CHS Northern Plains Agronomy Manager

 

Soil Whisperers

White Hall, Ill., farmer Maria Cox, left, and her crop advisor Kyle Lake were named 2018 4R Advocates by The Fertilizer Institute. Photo by Erin Williams, CHS.

Adapted from C magazine article by Peg Zenk

READ MORE: Find the entire C magazine article here.

Not all risk is bad. While farmers work hard to reduce financial risk, innovators take calculated risks when it comes to new when it comes to new agronomic approaches.

Illinois farmer Maria Cox is one of those innovators. She and her crop advisor, Kyle Lake, with CHS in Carrollton, Ill., were named 2018 4R Advocates by The Fertilizer Institute. Each year, the award recognizes five farmer-retail agronomist teams who are dedicated to implementing the 4Rs of nutrient stewardship: using the right nutrient source, at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.

In conversations with Cox and others who have actively embraced the 4Rs, common management challenges and strategies emerge. Among all the technologies and tactics they’ve tried, these growers point to strategies that are producing the biggest benefits in terms of soil health and the bottom line.

Shift application timing

Returning to the family farm outside White Hall, Ill., after working in agribusiness for four years meant Cox brought a fresh perspective to the row crop side of the business. Her father, Ethan, gradually began turning over management of the 3,000-acre corn-soybean-corn- silage operation to Maria, the sixth generation to manage it. This allowed him to focus on their 100-head cow-calf herd and backgrounding enterprise.

“I looked at the things we had been doing well, including building grass waterways and buffer strips and using no-till systems on highly erodible fields,” she says. “But I also began looking for things we could be doing better. My education and work experiences taught me to question everything.”

She started by looking at when and how fertilizer was applied. Historically, most of the nutrients had been applied via commercial fertilizer and manure in the fall at a flat rate, based on crop removal levels. Working with Lake, Cox began implementing the 4R principles to improve nutrient efficiency and minimize waste. They shifted much of the farm’s commercial fertilizer application to the spring — a major decision, since many growers in Greene County on the state’s west side still apply most of their fertilizer in the fall, says Lake.

“The Cox farm now fall-applies nitrogen on only the first fields to be planted to corn in the spring, and they use split nitrogen applications, including a side-dress pass, on most corn fields,” he adds. Those changes have improved nitrogen use efficiency from 1.5 to 1.2 pounds per bushel on many fields and to 0.9 pound per bushel on the most productive fields.

Variable-rate Value

For Minnesota farmer Tony Rossman, grid soil-sampling and variable-rate fertilizer application have become his most important tools for maximizing efficiency and minimizing environmental nutrient loss in his corn-soybean rotation. Topography in his fields north of Rochester transitions from flat prairie to rolling hills, which requires a customized approach for each field and sometimes each acre.

“Spoon-feeding the crop when it needs nutrients is not always the most convenient management approach, since it often requires another pass across the field,” he says, “but that’s part of delivering nutrients at the right time for maximum plant uptake.”

Despite variability from one growing season to the next, Rossman has seen yields climb consistently over the last five years since he began working with agronomists at CHS in Rochester, Minn., to put his 1,600 acres into CHS YieldPoint® services.

Question every pass

Fall tillage is still fairly common in many parts of Illinois, but as she returned to the operation, Cox says she was quick to question whether deep tillage was necessary.

“My dad had been successfully no-tilling soybeans for years and it just seemed logical to build on that approach on our corn acres,” she says. “By eliminating tillage passes, we’re not only saving money but saving soil.”

Aiming for a mostly no-till system, Cox decided to try strip tillage with ammonia application on several fields last fall. “It should deliver the best of both worlds, disturbing only one-third of the soil surface while creating a nice bed for corn to be planted into in the spring,” she says.

“The fields had been planted to an oat cover crop and the row cleaners did an excellent job ahead of the anhydrous knives,” recalls Lake. “There hasn’t been much strip tillage done in our area, but it looks very promising.”

Evaluate cover crops

In just a few years of working with cover crops, Rossman says he’s seen benefits including improved water infiltration and less runoff, especially during heavy rainfalls; increased organic matter levels; and less weed pressure from waterhemp and other species.

“Over the past four years, we’ve been fairly aggressive about using cover crops, including cereal rye, brassicas and turnips,” he says. “We started by seeding after harvest on the 200 acres of sweet corn and peas we raise annually for a local canning plant, but have also begun flying cover crop seed onto corn stubble, hoping to get about 4 inches of growth in the fall. Ryegrass typically regrows 10 to 12 inches in the spring before we apply a burndown treatment.”

His cattle graze cover crops in late fall. “They eat the grass and spread manure naturally. It’s very sustainable and one more way our cattle enterprise brings value to the crop side,” says Rossman.

Water quality results

Monitoring water quality is another means of measuring nutrient management success. With a river running through part of his Oronoco, Minn., farm, and as a cattle-and-hog producer who regularly applies manure to fields, Rossman says he has always been responsible about fertilizer use.

Along with using a nitrogen stabilizer and knifing in manure to avoid odor issues and volatilization, he helped organize a small group of local producers who share information about sustainable best practices, including tillage strategies and cover crop use. The group’s research led Rossman to enroll in the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program, a voluntary program of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. He is working toward certification through the program, which requires taking regular water samples to monitor contaminant levels.

LEARN MORE: Find more information at nutrientstewardship.org

Watch a video of about fertilizer best management practices.

Start the New Season with a New Grease

cenex grease

Using the right grease is one of the most important decisions you can make as you prepare equipment for the high-pressure planting season. But recent updates in grease formulations might make you do a double take as you get ready for spring.

“When you put the grease into your grease gun and on bearings, you’re going to notice it looks different,” says Andrew Hamilton, director of technical services and quality for Cenex® lubricants and refined fuels. “That is on purpose. You’re getting a better grease.” (more…)

Over-width application and planting equipment allowed on highways during nighttime hours.

April 27, 2018 Alert

Executive Order Issued to Allow Over-Width Fertilizer Equipment to Move on State Highways During Nigthtime Hours

Governor Dennis Daugaard signed Executive Order 2018-04 today stating that because field work has been delayed due to unseasonably cold and wet weather and soil conditions, an emergency has been declared allowing over-width application vehicles and planters to move on state trunk highways in South Dakota during nighttime hours. The order will remain in effect until May 31, 2018, and is for the entire state of South Dakota.

Required for Compliance:

  • The vehicle must had an over-width permit from the Department of Public Safety and carried in the vehicle for the duration of the emergency
  • The vehicle cannot exceed twelve (12) feet wide
  • The vehicle must be equipped with flashing or rotating white or amber warning lights at each side of the equipment’s widest extremity
  • The warning lights must be clearly visable to motorists approaching from front and rear at a distance of at least 500 feet
  • The vehicle must comply with recommended weight postings

Travel on the Interstate System is not authorized. Please refer to the Executive Order for exact details.

Contact Us

Kathy Zander, Executive Director

Roxanne Rice, Finance Director

Phone:  605/224-2445

Fax: 605/224-9913

Email:  info@sdaba.org

Website:  www.sdaba.org

Anatomy of a grain trade

anatomy of a grain trade infographic

The global grain trading business is risky. Avalanches and mudslides can stop trains in their tracks. Striking union workers can halt grain loading at port. Freezing sea spray and high swells can delay ocean vessels for days. Commodity prices and costs shift constantly.

While those situations may be beyond a grain company’s control, there are countless other factors that a team of CHS experts successfully manages 365 days a year – always focused on efficiency, safety and profitability. (more…)

CHS reports a net income of $346.7 million for the first half of fiscal 2018

CHS income fiscal 2018

 

CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, today reported net income of $346.7 million for the first half of its 2018 fiscal year (six-month period ended Feb. 28, 2018), compared to net income of $223.7 million for the same time period a year ago.

Consolidated revenues for the first half of fiscal 2018 were $14.9 billion, down from $15.4 billion for the first half of fiscal 2017. Pretax income was $185.0 million and $249.1 million for the first half of fiscal 2018 and 2017, respectively. (more…)

© 2018 CHS Inc.