At its September meeting, the CHS Board of Directors made a number of decisions regarding equity management. The following letter from CHS Board Chairman Dan Schurr outlines these decisions:
Dear Cooperative Owner,
CHS was built on the shared values of managing our business with the highest integrity, building lasting and mutually rewarding relationships, and partnering for our collective success.
These values guide every decision your CHS Board of Directors makes on your behalf. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of those owners and employees that came before us, CHS is a cooperative that’s been built for the long haul. Your Board of Directors will ensure that tradition continues. It’s with this spirit that we share recent Board decisions around equity management.
Despite solid performance in our core businesses, a few large events have resulted in substantial fiscal 2017 financial losses in certain patronage-based businesses. These events included a loss attributed to a large producer loan and business unit asset impairments in the United States.
There was a small uptick in phosphate sales ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival in Florida, where the bulk of North American phosphate production is located. Phosphate facilities there shut down as part of their hurricane preparedness plans.
Early reports from manufacturers are that damage at the facilities appears to be limited, but full assessment will take time. Some finished product has sustained water damage but no exact estimates have been released yet.
A major manufacturer expects to be able to resume production fairly soon, but says its third quarter production volumes could be impacted by the storm disruptions. It had stopped making price offers to either domestic or international customers until late Thursday, Sept. 14. The market has reacted and prices moved up significantly late last week.
Several import vessels of phosphates are arriving in the Gulf this month, including one vessel with CHS cargo, which arrived and was unloaded in between hurricanes. Most of that product is now making its way up the river system.
Staff at CHS terminals are busy filling orders and working with accounts to get product in position before the busy harvest season gets underway across the Cornbelt. CHS is working hard to make sure producers are being kept informed of any supply changes or concerns that might arise from the recent storm damage to production facilities or transportation infrastructure.
The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., is committed to developing the next generation of leaders in agriculture. As part of the foundation’s work centered on advancing agriculture education, it has awarded scholarships to six Colorado high school graduates. The Colorado students are among 100 students representing 23 states and Canada. Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship to cover expenses associated with their freshman year of college.
“The success of our hometown communities and rural America depends on students with a strong interest in agriculture to pursue ag-focused degrees and be the innovators to feed the world into the future,” says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. “We’re pleased to recognize these students with scholarships and join their communities in looking forward to the important contributions they’ll make to the ag industry.”
These Wisconsin high school students are among the 2017 CHS scholarship winners:
- Paige Gaffney, Barneveld, Wis.; South Dakota State University, Agricultural Business
- Cole Jakupciak, Clayton, Wis.; University of Wisconsin – River Falls; Crop and Soil Science
- Mallory Miles, Roberts, Wis.; North Dakota State University; Animal Science
- Dawson Nickels, Watertown, Wis.; University of Wisconsin; Dairy Science
- Kayla Stott, Tomah, Wis.; Iowa State University; Food Science
- Cayley Vande Berg, Rosendale, Wis.; University of Wisconsin – River Falls, Animal Science
- Kaitlin Weishaar, Westfield, Wis.; California Polytechnic State University; Architecture/Urban Planning
An independent, external committee selected recipients based on their career goals, essays, extracurricular involvement, transcripts and reference letters. In addition to high school scholarships, the CHS Foundation funds an additional 200 scholarships for students enrolled in an agricultural-related program at colleges across the country. These scholarships range from $1,000 to $2,000 and are directly administered by more than 30 CHS partner schools. Click here for more information.
About the CHS Foundation
The CHS Foundation is funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company. As a part of the CHS stewardship focus, the CHS Foundation supports organizations that develop future leaders for agriculture through education and leadership programs, improve agricultural safety and enhance community vitality in rural America. Learn more at chsinc.com/stewardship.
During the heat of summer and the height of growing season, your propane supply might be the last thing on your mind. However, recent market indicators show propane supplies are below average, which could limit availability during high-demand periods, such as harvest. Now’s the time to assess your upcoming fuel needs.
CHS has partnered with The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) to collaborate in creating a dynamic, online-learning program focused on improving sustainability practices and standards in production agriculture. The curriculum will be designed for agronomists and agribusiness professionals and will establish a recognized, industry-wide standard of education to help agronomists and other agriculture professionals truly implement sustainable practices in the field. (more…)
Underlying business performance stable, one-time events cause quarterly loss
PAUL, MINN. (July 14, 2017) – CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, announced a net loss of $45.2 million for the third quarter of its 2017 fiscal year (three-month period ended May 31, 2017), compared to net income of $190.3 million for the same period one year ago. Consolidated revenues for the third quarter were $8.6 billion, compared to $7.8 billion for the third quarter of 2016, representing a 10 percent increase.
“Despite the economic challenges in agriculture and energy, several of our underlying businesses are having a solid year,” said CHS President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Debertin. “Unfortunately, we’ve experienced three negative one-time events this fiscal year that have resulted in charges leading to a loss in the third quarter and a significant earnings decline for the year to date. In response to these events, we are implementing measures to better identify risk management gaps in some of our processes and when necessary enhance our ability to effectively manage our risks.”
There are several factors to consider before and during herbicide spray application. Taking the appropriate steps to prepare for a successful application can save time, money and effort. While spray requirements may vary based on crop, location and herbicide formulation, there are steps that should be taken to ensure the best protection against weeds during the current crop season and to protect the effectiveness of the herbicide long term.
Mother Nature plays an important role in the success of herbicide application. In addition to the preventive and arbitrary actions necessary to increase herbicide effectiveness, working with natural conditions is extremely beneficial and mandatory since we do not control the weather or other natural factors. (more…)
The CHS Board of Directors has elected Jay D. Debertin as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CHS. Debertin succeeds Carl Casale, who led CHS during record performance levels and expansion.
During Casale’s seven years with the company, CHS returned $3 billion to its owners, invested $9 billion in new capital expenditures and nearly doubled the size of its balance sheet from $8.7 billion in 2010 to $17.3 billion at the end of fiscal 2016. Casale focused on prudent fiscal management and enhancing management systems at the company.
“As we take our cooperative into its next chapter, we are confident that Jay is the right leader,” says Dan Schurr, chairman of the CHS Board of Directors. “Jay’s experience in achieving operational excellence and driving results fits squarely with our unwavering goal to deliver returns to our member-owners now and for the long term.”
Debertin previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company’s diverse energy operations and processing food ingredients business. He joined CHS in 1984 and has held a variety of leadership positions within the organization in energy, trading and risk management, transportation, and agricultural processing. Jay also serves as chairman of Ventura Foods.
“CHS is strong today because we drive the business with a central purpose in mind and that is to help our cooperatives and farmers grow,” says Debertin. “I look forward to working with our talented group of employees as we concentrate on world-class execution across our system. I see growth and strength ahead for our business.”
Additionally, Darin Hunhoff, who has been with CHS for 25 years in a variety of leadership positions, most recently as head of CHS strategy, will step into the role of leading CHS Energy and the processing and food ingredients business.
United Soybean Board
When it comes to technology and data available within the agricultural industry, there’s a large amount of choices these days. It’s important retailers understand and are able to provide guidance for their customers about what works well and what doesn’t work as well. Understanding the technologies and datasets are important and how to best use them is even more crucial.
Precision agriculture is a term widely used today in the industry and essentially refers to technology and software systems that provide knowledge to enhance decision making, and if used properly can help contribute to reduced waste, increased profits, and protection of the environment.
Today growers are utilizing precision technology to enhance their growing process, including field application equipment and sensor platforms that control product purchases and can provide recorded data in real-time. Software is also available that can then be used to collect and analyze data to help inform retailers and growers of various decisions throughout the crop production process.
As precision agriculture increases momentum in 2017, here are four benefits and ways that precision agriculture can help growers increase field productivity while also reducing environmental stress.
- Monitor soil and plant parameters: Growers can determine peak conditions for plant growth by placing sensors throughout the fields.
- Automate field management: Soil and plant species can be automatically optimized through sensors taken from a Decision Support System, which can help determine the best moments to water and fertilize.
- Collect real-time data: Applying sensing devices throughout the field will allow a continuous monitoring of the chosen parameters and offers real-time data to help inform decisions throughout the planting and harvest season.
- Get the best results from labor and resources: Use technology to help maximize the benefits of your crop nutrients, crop protection and irrigation costs by using automatic sensors that alert the grower of the need or best time to irrigate, fertilize, etc.
It’s estimated that over 50 percent of growers currently engage in some form of agricultural technology. Precision agriculture can bring many benefits to growers who decide to use technology to help manage their fields.
Ag retailers have the opportunity to help their customers by providing them with local expertise on how the various technology available today, might best be implemented within their geography and more specifically within their individual operation to help them improve their return on investment in the most appropriate ways.
Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central
Many growers are turning to agronomists, ag retailers and other industry experts for advice about the best ways to strengthen their farming operations. Topics including soil health, seed selection, insect and disease pressure and more have long been the starting point for growers looking for the best ways to make improvements that will make their operations stronger overall.
Today, as growers rely even more on data, research and other technology in addition to their traditional farming equipment, agronomists and their network of agricultural experts are as important as ever.
For growers, improving efficiency and making effective decisions can be crucial to achieving a high quality and profitable crop. Since they are always looking to make smart and strategic purchase decisions when it comes to seed, fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and adjuvants, growers look to utilize the expertise of their agriculture retailer and other ag partner businesses to provide them guidance when making these decisions. Through these agriculture experts, growers hope to successfully plant and produce a high yielding crop by minimizing pest and disease pressures and managing weed resistance to increase overall profitability for their farming operation. (more…)