Posts By: Anne Moore

Market Rallies

Unloading Grain in Market Rallies

 

WILL SPRING EVER START? Rain, rain, and more rain has held everyone off from getting that good start on putting seed in the ground. While producers are waiting, they are watching the grain markets. We have seen some small market rallies with the weather being the focus. So, some producers have taken a step to sell some new and old crop. Doing something on a rally is better than doing nothing and wishing you had later. Watch for those market rallies because they may be short, but powerful enough to get you the price you are looking for.

GUARANTEED GRAIN DELIVERY AND STORAGE OPPORTUNITY UPDATE:

  1. Commitment cards are going to be sent out in the very near future. This cards will give you the opportunity to tell us how many bushels you are committing to with this guaranteed grain delivery and storage opportunity. Please watch for this card in your mail.
  2. After we receive the cards back we will be sending out information on when the payment will be due, along with a contract to sign.

If you are still wanting to learn more about this opportunity click here.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED INTEREST AND SUPPORT. THINK SUNSHINE!

by Helen Nemitz, Grain Originator

2017 Alfalfa Considerations

Standing AlfalfaThe fall and winter of 2016, along with the spring of 2017, has surely wreaked havoc throughout our trade territory in regards to the alfalfa crop.  As agronomists, we are noticing some areas nearly untouched from winter-kill. While other fields are virtually a total loss.  Some older stands are weakened to the point that they will not provide ample feed for this year. They likely would be better off to rotated to corn.  CHS Larsen Cooperative still has an ample supply of alfalfa seed, both conventional and Roundup Ready®, along with oats for cover crop.  As the calendar pushed later, alternatives such as sorghum and sudan mixes may come into consideration.  Please talk to your agronomist about seed supply today.

If this spring doesn’t allow us time for seeding alfalfa, keep in mind that fall (August 1-15th) is another great time to get alfalfa established for the following year.  Remember to have your field soil tested. You will need to have an adequate pH before trying to establish alfalfa.

Healthy Crop

Those that have alfalfa, I still urge you to keep up your fertility program with Aspire® (Potash + Boron) and a sulfur source.  Recent years have offered us ample supplies of alfalfa. However, some may be looking to buy alfalfa due to the winter-kill.

Click here to read about some pricing considerations for standing crop from Greg Blonde, UW-Extension.

by Lisa Busse, CCA, Sales Agronomist

The Cool Side of Managing Heat, Diet and Transport Stress at Breeding Season

Managing Heat

The primary area of heat stress impacts on the beef industry has been focused largely on feedlot performance.  However, during the course of our field research on Hydro-Lac® for mitigating the effects of heat stress, some astute producers have tied some common sense-logic together with some of the most relevant and latest reproductive science to improve embryo transfer (ET) and artificial insemination (AI) results on their operations.

One area that producers and scientists alike have looked to most recently is improving fertilization rate and improving embryo survival rate.  Recent research in early embryonic death has been linked to heat stress, transport stress, body condition loss and dietary shifts near or shortly after the time of breeding¹.  Several, if not all of these potential stressor conditions, can exist in the scenario of beef cows and heifers being synchronized for timed AI programs.  Multiple processing chute trips, transporting to summer pastures with increased exposure to heat and solar radiation, the change in feed from hay-based rations to lush grass, and the potential to lose body weight briefly following this change all can negatively impact AI or ET success in the first 30 days or so post-breeding.  Therefore, managing and mitigating these stressors can have huge economic benefits to beef cow-calf producers.

Body Condition

The impact of body condition gain or loss may seem simple enough, but plane of nutrition at time of breeding can have a significant impact on embryo quality and survival².  This is possibly due to energy reserves available to the growing embryo at a tissue level in utero.  Cattlemen can apply the common-sense approaches of managing for low stress animal handling in combination with a diet transition plan that ensures a positive energy balance for females going out to pastures post-breeding to improve embryo survival.

Managing the breeding season diet is also where the proven practice of feeding Hydro-Lac® prior to and during stress events, such as heat or transport stress, has potential to be a valuable tool to improve first-service conception rates when fed in concert with beef synchronization programs.   Our repeated research trials show improved tissue energy reserves from feeding Hydro-Lac®³.   Producers have repeatedly shared that Hydro-Lac® provides a practical application of the product for the purposes of strategically improving energy status prior to and during the breeding season, which can positively impact overall pregnancy rates.  It’s simple, effective and holds great potential for improving return on the investment in high value genetics through AI or ET.

If you’d like more information about managing for greater reproductive success by managing diet, transportation and heat stress, contact your Form-A-Feed representative today.

 

¹Bridges, et. al., Nutritional Challenges for Embryo Survival in Cattle, MN Nutrition Conf 2014

²Kruse, et.al. 2013

³Kern, et. al. 2011,2013 & Hoffman, et. al. 2013

Original Source Form-A-Feed Written by: Daniel Kohls, P.A.S. – Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist

Add Fuel Maintenance to Your Spring Planting Checklist

Add Fuel Maintenance to Your Spring Planting Checklist

From checking spare parts inventories to squeezing in one more maintenance check, equipment is always top of mind as you prepare for spring planting. And while it’s crucial to ensure engine components and moving parts are operating at peak performance, checking your fuel practices should carry equal weight. Your equipment is only as good as the fuel used in it, so it pays to get into the habit of keeping fuel clean.

Two key things affect the quality of your fuel supply: Keeping bulk fuel storage up to snuff and choosing the right fuel.

Better bulk fuel storage

If there’s one thing farmers should do during planting prep, it’s cleaning dirt and other debris that has accumulated in the tank, says Ron Jessen, director of Cenex® refined fuels marketing for CHS. That debris can be pumped into your equipment where it will cause engine build-up that leads to less-than-optimal performance and eventually can require expensive repairs. To reduce the risk, best practices call for fully cleaning out fuel tanks at least once per year and switching out filters each quarter.

Equally as important as getting rid of debris in your tank is keeping water out of your fuel supply. “Water is the natural enemy of fuel,” says Jessen.

Fuel contaminated with water can cause decreased acceleration, loss of horsepower and, in some cases, engine damage that spells costly downtime. Water in your fuel also allows for microbial growth to form inside your tanks and attack your fuel. Frosty springtime mornings add to risk with increased condensation.

Farmers can do a few things to mitigate water accumulation in fuel tanks, says Jessen. “Equipment today comes with water drain valves. As you prepare equipment for a busy growing season, use those valves to remove water from machinery, in addition to removing water from storage tanks regularly.”

There is one extra-easy way to minimize water  in your  equipment during the season, explains Jessen: “When you’re done working at the end of the day, take time to fill up the fuel tank. Condensation happens overnight — especially in spring weather — and reducing airspace by filling up your tank every day will reduce that risk.”

High-quality fuels deliver high-quality performance

As technology evolves, farm equipment and diesel engines are becoming more advanced and now, more efficient Tier 3 and Tier 4 engines are expected to pull large implements at high speeds during planting season. These newer engines have tighter tolerances for imperfections like dust, rust and other corrosive materials, making it especially important to protect engine components. A key way for farmers to maintain and get the most bang for their buck from their equipment is by investing in premium diesel fuel.

“Equipment keeps getting larger and farmers are planting more acres at a faster pace than ever before,” says Jessen. “Time during planting and harvest is of the essence.  The savings through fuel efficiency and additional horsepower with a premium diesel fuel will benefit any producer.”

The preparations you make for planting set the stage for the rest of the growing season. Don’t forget to add a fuel check-up to your equipment maintenance schedule. For more information on improving fleet operations or the value of premium diesel fuel, chat with our Energy Specialists to help figure out what is needed on your farm!

Orginal Source Cenex.com By: RON JESSEN  Director of product management and business development, Refined Fuels in FUEL EFFICIENCY

Case Trident has Arrived

Case Trident
 In mid-April, we received our brand new Case Trident Patriot® Spreader.

This is one of six Case Trident’s made this year as test run for Case. They are using our machine to pull data to fine tune this model for final production. We are one of two cooperatives in Wisconsin with this machine. The technology on this machine is a brand new design.

This will allow us the opportunity to apply two dry products at one time. It has technology on the box that will slow down the spinner on the edge of the field, so this will allow us to keep more product in the field, giving us more precise control of application. This also has a unique air suspension shock system which gives better control in the field and better precision in applying. It also has true 4-wheel drive.

CHS Larsen Co-op Employee Randy Weyland is the designated operator of this new machine. Ed Danke, Jeff Buttles, and Andy Colrue will be potentially also run this machine when needed.

By Scott Jones, Agronomy Department Manager

 

Have a Comprehensive Plan to Beat Heat Stress

Heat Stress Cows

Written by: Daniel Kohls, P.A.S. – Form-A-Feed Nutrition and Production Specialist

Even though hot summer days seem weeks away, now is the time to start protecting your herd against heat stress. Cow comfort, cow behavior, and grouping issues exacerbate themselves when heat stress is added to the mix. Lower milk production, poorer reproduction, elevated somatic cell count (SCC), increased lameness, and increased cull rate can all be magnified by heat stress events — as they happen and long after the heat has passed. This makes a well-designed plan a high priority for every dairy.

Auditing your dairy for heat stress preparedness and making appropriate changes are highly profitable practices.

Areas to review in your dairy  should include, but are not limited to:
  • Water quality and availability
  • Shade access
  • Air quality
  • Wind and ventilation
  • Parlor and holding area cooling
  • Evaporative cooling equipment such as sprinklers
  • Fly control
  • Nutrient balance
  • Hydration therapy strategies

The use of our Heat Stress Risk Snapshot is an easy to use tool to assist with preparing your dairy for the summer.

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Propane for Alternate Purposes on Your Farm

By Kim Leisner 

Propane is largely known for heating our homes, drying our corn and running forklifts at your local warehousing facility

But did you know that you can run your car or truck with propane?

Propane burns much cleaner which keeps maintenance costs down, while efficiently fueling your engine.  The Wisconsin Propane Gas Association is currently offering a $1,000 incentive to assist with the conversion to propane from gasoline or diesel.  Call your local Energy Sales Person for more details on this great opportunity.  Please click on the link below to hear what others have to say about using propane on their vehicles.

Click Here to Watch Video

Read more about our Propane Services

Make the Switch: Propane-Powered School Buses

By: MATT KUMM, CHS propane marketing manager in PROPANE

Most people can’t tell from simply glancing at one as it passes down the road, but propane auto-gas school buses are becoming increasingly popular in communities across the country. Today, there are more than 11,000 propane school buses operating in the United States. Each year, more communities are making the switch as school officials continue to look for ways to cut emissions, provide healthier environments for students and save costs wherever possible.

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Evaluating Technologies and Innovations for Dairies

Written by: Dave Lahr, M.S., Form-A-Feed Nutritionist

Technologies and Innovations for Dairies

Dairies have been adopting new technologies for generations.  Our grandparents or great-grandparents may have been among the first in the area to use a milking machine, or AI.  Can you imagine dairying without bulk tanks and refrigeration, or automatic waterers?  Now, robotic milkers and computerized calf feeding systems are common.  New tools and technologies are becoming available with increasing frequency.

So how does a dairy manager decide which technologies are right for their operation?

The ones with the most enticing advertising, or the one used by that elite herd you just read about?

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