The phrase “work smarter, not harder” is popular for a reason – there’s truth behind it. For an industry that requires non-stop hard work, any break given with a more efficient strategy can make all the difference. Smart farming decisions helps growers reduce costs; increase yield and maximize profits while being extremely efficient. We have offered suggestions on agriculture apps before and thought we would start the year by suggesting a few more apps for you to consider.
Here are four apps, recently recommended by CropLife Magazine, that growers should consider implementing into their management process to help make smarter and more efficient decisions. (more…)
As growers look for ways to survive and grow in the current agricultural economy, their efforts go hand-in-hand with trying to produce better yields and increase their profitability. Smart input decisions are a way growers can improve their operation’s efficiency to ensure a high-quality crop that results in increased yield and profitability for their overall operation.
Below are some of the inputs every grower should consider as they make smart and strategic purchase decisions for the benefit of their operation. (more…)
It’s that time of year again, cooler mornings, frosted windows, which means it’s time to winterize your stored diesel fuel. If No. 2 diesel cools during colder, overnight temperatures, it may reach “cloud point,” when wax crystals develop in the fuel. The fuel will look cloudy and crystals can plug the fuel filter, resulting in poor starts, engine hesitation, stalling and even engine damage. Use the below guidelines to winterize fuel left over from harvest. (more…)
ST. PAUL, MINN. (January 12, 2017) – CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, today reported net income of $209.2 million for the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year.
Earnings for the period (Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, 2016) declined 22 percent from the same period of fiscal 2016. The decrease was primarily attributed to lower pretax earnings in the company’s Energy and Foods segments along with Corporate and Other. These declines were partially offset by increased pretax earnings in the CHS Ag segment as well as earnings from the new Nitrogen Production segment.
“We’ve been in business for nearly nine decades, so we’ve experienced these types of cycles before,” said CHS President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Casale. “Although it’s not possible to predict how long the current down cycle in the ag and energy industries will continue, we’ll navigate through this period by continuing to run our businesses efficiently and effectively, by maintaining a strong balance sheet and by ensuring we serve our owners’ and customers’ needs in all we do.”
Equipment can be one of the most expensive investments you can make for your business. And with today’s lower grain/milk prices and tighter budgets, many farmers are considering used machinery as an alternative to buying new. However, the hours logged on a piece of machinery are not always a reliable indicator of the health of the engine. Below, are listed three considerations that may help you make a final decision when you are in the market for “new-used” equipment.
- Get an oil analysis.
Potential buyers can look for leaks and damage when inspecting used machinery, but even if a piece of equipment looks good on the outside, it’s harder to tell the condition under the hood. That’s where an oil analysis can be a valuable tool for the buyer. It is like a blood test for a machine’s engine, transmission and hydraulic systems. The cost of an oil analysis kit ($15 to $25) is minimal considering the valuable insights it can provide on a machine that likely costs tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy.
- Consider the age of the engine and the fuel it’ll need. (more…)
Most research today supports soil sampling and testing as a best management practice. Growers should take the opportunity learn as much as possible about their soil in order to produce their best yields. This includes knowing what nutrient deficiencies exist in their soil.
The following explains the process of soil sampling, and highlights key data growers will learn from testing and analyzing their soil.
The Soil Sampling Process
The primary objective of soil sampling is to provide a representative sample of the fertility within the field.
Based on the variability throughout the field, the number of acres per sample will vary.
- If soils are similar in texture, slope, previous crop and production practices, then the number of acres per sample can increase.
- If soils within a field are variable, than those areas can be sampled separately to determine the needs in those specific areas.
The agriculture industry not only provides food, energy and products that we all use on a daily basis, it is also often a leader in technology. Agricultural companies, professionals and even individual growers are often at the forefront of new technology concepts as they continue to work to make this very busy industry more efficient in costs, production and labor.
The industry continues to grow and evolve – making growers’ lives easier while still allowing them to produce the food that feeds the world. A few of the newest innovations are stemming from the big data trend that’s making a huge impact across most industries. (more…)
It’s easy to look around and see how agriculture impacts our world. This might be one of the reasons you chose a career in production agriculture. Even though you love your chosen career path, it doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges out there every day. The difference between the successful growers and the ones who aren’t as successful is how they approach the challenges that come their way.
The best way to solve a challenge is by looking at the opportunities behind the challenge and then taking control of your own destiny. The following are three very different challenges, but each with opportunities for you to succeed.
Delegates to the CHS Annual Meeting have approved amendments to the CHS Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. The amendments created a new membership class structure and criteria.
“We appreciate our owners’ commitment to the governance of the company they own, as evidenced by their strong interest in the proposed changes to the core CHS governing documents” says CHS Board Chairman David Bielenberg. “Having a voice in the governance of the company you own and do business with is an essential point of difference of the cooperative business model.”
The two resolutions – one amending the company’s articles and the other amending the CHS bylaws – each received a “yes” vote of more than 86 percent.
When the CHS Board reconvenes in 2017, it will work to develop procedures regarding implementation and for members to periodically certify their ongoing eligibility for their membership class. “We are committed to keeping members fully informed,” Bielenberg says.
Steve Fritel, chairman of the CHS Board’s Governance Committee, says the board took its commitment to communication seriously by listening to owners, keeping the proposed changes simple and ensuring there was time for learning and conversation.
“Our goal is always to ensure that CHS remains an agricultural-focused and producer-governed cooperative,” Fritel said. “At the same time, we also recognize we must accommodate our current members as they change to stay relevant to their customers. Our articles and bylaws need to line up with the ways our members do business today, while recognizing the strong heritage of the member cooperatives who built today’s CHS.”
View details of the new membership classes on the CHS Governance page.
Growers are often called stewards of the land, and with the supply and demand increasing at a rapid pace they are also looked upon to produce higher quantities of food and grain in the same amount of time, all while protecting the environment.
Thanks to today’s innovative technology, environmental concerns including soil erosion, animal welfare and nutrient runoff can be minimized or prevented.
Farms are becoming increasingly progressive and the use of technology has made farming practices more sustainable to the environment than we have ever seen in history.
Improvements in technology continue to help growers with their environmental stewardship efforts, including: (more…)