Crude Market Update


US oil prices are treading water above $60/barrel for the 1st time since 2015.  A little scary for some!  It poses the inevitable question whether or not we secure our fuel now, at what seems to be the high point or wait for a possible drop in the market, but risk a continued rally?  Sometimes looking back at history can help make these tough decisions a little easier.

Since 2013 we have seen the price of the barrel of oil peak at $110, capsize to $26, then roll back to that $50-$60 mark.  After watching this huge price fluctuation over the past decade, this is what we have learned.

Above $80 crude is too high-  Cash flow is ample & investors end up flooding the market by funding way too many drilling rigs, this is corporate greed at its finest.  What this ultimately does though, is send inventories through the roof, while demand stays the same; ultimately reversing the market and we see price fall.

Under $40 crude is too low- Cash flow dries up, investors start to tighten their belts and not only are there no new drilling, but the current drilling starts to shut down.  Basically production comes to a screaming halt, inventories decline; while demand sees no change.  That is when you start to see the price rise.


Preparing Your Propane-Powered Home for Winter


Temperatures are dropping, which means many homeowners are turning up the thermostat to heat their homes. For those who heat their homes with propane, preparation can help make  for a safe and easy transition.

Rural homes in particular require extra steps to keep the inside warm and cozy all winter long. Below are some tips and tricks to help ensure your home is heated by propane  safely and efficiently all winter long.

Inside your home

1. Refill your tank at the beginning of the season. If possible, talk to your dealer about setting up automatic deliveries to make sure your heat stays consistent and you don’t have to worry about your tank running low.  Lastly, check your tank level prior to extreme weather or a long holiday weekend.

2. Have your heating and appliances checked by a technician. A check-up with a qualified service technician will ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible, which will help conserve fuel and save money on utilities.

3. Install a programmable thermostat. Homeowners save an estimated 10 percent per year by using a programmable thermostat. Be sure to set yours to a lower temperature when the house is empty.

4. Adjust your water heater. Heating water is usually a relatively large energy expense. If you haven’t already, set your water heater to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help cut down on costs.

5. Reverse your ceiling fan blades. Switching your ceiling fan’s blades to run clockwise will push warm air downward.

Outside your home 

1. Clean and store your propane grill. Be certain the tank valve is closed. Scrape any food off the grate, wipe down the outside and refer to the owner’s manual for additional cleaning suggestions. Make sure the grill and the grill cover are completely dry to avoid rusting. If possible, store your grill in a dry place as well.

2. Store only empty propane tanks inside. Ideally, after a long grilling season, your propane canister will be empty. However, if it’s not, don’t store your portable grill tank (or your grill, for that matter) inside your home.

3. Never use portable equipment inside. As much as we’d all like grilled steak in February, the inside of your home is not a safe place to use propane appliances like grills and generators.

4. Clear any debris in your propane appliance vents that may have accumulated (such as bird nesting material) over the summer months.

Preparing your household propane tank and appliances for winter is an important step to ensure the safety and efficiency of your heating. If any questions or uncertainties come up, reach out to our Certified Energy Specialist

Original Source: Andy Ernst CHS Propane Marketing Manager in Safety Tips

Stay Warm This Winter: Propane Tank Maintenance

Some people love it, others may not, but the truth of the matter is that winter is on its way!  Stay warm this winter by keeping these tips in mind as it relates to your propane tank.

  • Keep a path from your driveway to your propane tank clear and free of snow. Failure to do so will impact our delivery team’s ability to fill your propane tank. We want to ensure you have heat all winter, but we need your help to ensure we can access it. We recommend clearing a path after each snowfall and whenever drifting occurs, to keep the path accessible for propane delivery trucks.
  • Keep your tank free from deep snow coverage. Propane tanks that are covered in deep snow are at greater risk for leaks, as the fittings, joints, and even the whole tank (with deep snowfall) can shift due to the weight of the snow.  Snow-covered tanks can also prevent any leaking gas from escaping, causing a dangerous gas build-up.  The snow also impacts how well your tank operates, as heavy cover can cause improper vaporization.  Stay safe and keep your propane system fully functioning by periodically brushing the tank off this winter.
  • Ensure safe practices when clearing snow. Keep safety top of mind around your propane tank this winter—be sure to exercise care when using heavy equipment to move snow, and use a broom (rather than a shovel) to clear snow from the tank to avoid puncturing the tank.
  • As always, if you smell gas, leave the area immediately! Avoid flames and sparks—don’t turn on light switches, and wait to use your cell phone until you are away from the area.  If it is safe to do so, turn off the main gas supply valve on the tank; then, report the leak, using a phone from a safe distance away from the leak.

If you have any questions regarding your propane service or are looking to lock in winter heating gallons, please give our office a call at 1-866-455-7200

Cenex® Winterized Premium Diesel Fuels


It is time to start thinking about winter diesel fuel. Cenex® Winterized Premium Diesel product line offers broad coverage to meet the unique needs of your equipment – from moderate temperatures to extreme winter cold and everything in between.

Our full line up of Cenex Winterized Premium Diesel Fuels includes:

Cenex Wintermaster® Winterized Premium Diesel is formulated with an operability of –30° F and a typical cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of –55° F. Cenex Wintermaster is specifically formulated for the demands of diesel powered equipment in the most extreme winter conditions.

Cenex Roadmaster XL® and Ruby Fieldmaster® Seasonally Enhanced Premium Diesel Fuels are formulated for moderate climates and provide outstanding shoulder season flexibility. Cenex Seasonally Enhanced Premium Diesel Fuels deliver a typical cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of -25° F.

#1 Diesel Fuel with Cenex Premium Diesel Fuel Additive is used to blend down your Cenex Premium Diesel Fuel tanks during transition from summer to fall/winter, helping ensure additives remain at proper levels. Ideal for blending down bulk tanks, retail fueling site tanks and customer storage tanks.

Contact your CHS Larsen Co-op energy team for more information.

Content courtesy of Cenex Refined Fuels & Lubricants

Gear Up For Gift Cards for Gallons

Beginning Nov. 1, end-user customers can earn one $50 VISA® gift card for every 125 gallons of qualifying Cenex® lubricants purchased through February 28, 2018.

Qualifying Cenex products include:    

  • Superlube TMS®
  • Superlube 518®
  • Qwiklift® HTB®
  • Maxtron® Enviro-EDGE®
  • Maxtron® DEO
  • Maxtron® THF+
  • MP Gear Lube
  • Maxtron GL
  • Cenex premium greases

To redeem purchases, end-user customers must complete a redemption form, attach their detailed invoice(s) and/or receipt(s), and mail the documentation as instructed no later than April 6, 2018.

Article courtesy of Cenex Fuels & Lubes

What is your time worth?

Since the onset of ULSD in 2006 & the common rail diesel engine just one short year later; higher pressures in diesel engines play a major factor in unscheduled maintenance.  Cenex Fuel has seen the need for a better quality fuel to help these engines perform at their peak levels and they answered with the best additive package manufactured! Our multi-functional additive package has many features and benefits that create the highest quality fuel that money can buy.


My colleague Lynn Sheets from Key Cooperative in Iowa has seen the changes for himself and would talks about how Cenex Fuels have addressed this.



Filter Prices Got You Down?


Preventative maintenance like engine oil and fuel filter changes are part of farming, but having to change a fuel filter between oil changes, can not only be a pain in the keester, it can get expensive too!  As we have discussed previously, the high pressure and heat from the new engines are causing fuel to “cook,” creating a gum like substance and carbonaceaous deposits.  These two items will plug up a filter quicker than you can say “I don’t have time for this!”  The injection stabilizer in Cenex fuels helps prevent the fuel from “cooking” thus keeping your filter cleaner for longer.

With the average cost of a tractor fuel filter being $100, don’t you owe it to yourself to use a fuel that will give your filters the long life they deserve?

Please listen to Joe Trudeau, as he explains how one small change in fuel made a huge difference for his business.

By Kim Leisner, Energy Sales Manager

Fuel Injector Problems Are No Problem for Us!

Fuel injector deposits have become a regular occurrence in Tier 3 & Tier 4  engines.  Injector deposits create power loss, fuel economy reduction and even complete injection failure.  As we all know, there is not time for any kind of failure when you are planting or harvesting your crops.

Cenex fuels are specially formulated to prevent injector problems due to the new engine standards. Our detergents keep the fuel clean, while injection stabilizers make sure the injectors stay clean, then there is the corrosion inhibitor that helps keep the rust away.

Look at the difference Cenex fuel can make on your injections…

Fuel injector

Fouled Injector

Fuel injectorEnhanced Cenex Premium Diesel®


Please watch as some of our friends from the West talk about their experience with standard #2 vs Cenex fuels.


Is Your Diesel Fuel Up to the Challenge


About 10 years ago engine designers were tasked with new EPA standards for less emissions and better fuel economy.  In 2007, the common rail system was born!  Since then more stringent emissions standards have been put in place.  This has created upgrades to the common rail system, since 2010 there have been two major upgrades performed, these upgrades have created a diesel fuel engine that has extreme pressure and heat with lower tolerances.  The major side effect of this heat & pressure has been “cooked fuel.”  Over the past 10 years farmers are seeing more filter changes and higher down time than ever before.

I have created a four part series with some examples of how Cenex Ruby Fieldmaster & Roadmaster have come to the rescue and addressed these fuel related issues that are associated with the common rail system.  Please turn your sound up on your computer or phone and watch this overview of the common rail system as it pertains to you.

Grease is Grease….Right?


When looking at grease, most would think that all greases are the same; and as long as I am greasing my equipment regularly, no matter the name brand or type of grease…I am ok!
Here is the first question I would ask you, “why are you choosing the grease you are using now?”

Brand loyalty: My father used it, my grandfather used it my great-grandfather used it and I use it.

Grease Color:  The red grease is the best!

Price: I grease every day, I’m not gonna buy that “expensive” stuff, and waste money.

Accessibility: I buy my grease at the gas station, I’m there filling my truck up anyway.

Friendships: I buy my grease from Jim, he is my neighbor, we’ve been friends for years…and his sister is real pretty!

All of these reasons may seem legitimate, but have you ever stopped and wondered if there isn’t more to choosing a grease than the above mentioned? Think about this for a second – are you using the correct grease for the application?  I wouldn’t think that a multipurpose grease created for small engines and passenger vehicles would be the grease you would want to use in a backhoe or a pay loader.  That would be like putting 87 grade gasoline in Dale Jr’s Race car.  Doesn’t make any sense.  Yes, I agree that the multipurpose grease is easily accessible and most likely more economical than a higher grade grease.  But by using the incorrect grease in your equipment, you are greasing more often than necessary, when lubricating twice as much as needed, I can’t imagine you would be saving a whole lot of money.  The extreme heat and pressure given off by backhoe’s and pay loaders are creating way to much friction for this grease to handle and it will ultimately fail- leaving you with no lubrication to protect your equipment and potential for breakdown.

Guess what, not all red grease is created equally either.  Every brand has their own “red” grease & not all are for the same application, most have different base greases.  Base grease is very important, it is like the flour that holds a cookie batter together.  With just eggs, butter and sugar your cookie would be a mud pie looking mess, but add that flour and now you have a cookie with some consistency.  Base greases are the same- you need all the other components to the grease, like misc. oils & additives, but without the base to thicken it, you would have nothing more than car engine oil. It would make it kind of tough to lube up a bearing with that!  As important as Base grease is, please understand that not all bases are compatible with each other.  For instance, if you are currently using a lithium based grease, you would not want to add a calcium complex based grease on top of this.  They would break down almost immediately and run off.  If you find that you would like to change to a grease more suited for your application, but contains an incompatible base; simply flush out your system prior to your first greasing.

We offer many different types of greases for all your needs. To learn more about what lubricants we carry click here. If you would like to discuss your current needs, please contact our energy team and we will be happy to stop by and help you choose a lubricant that is right for you.  By the way, I have a pretty sister too!

By Kim Leisner, Energy Sales Manager 

© 2018 CHS Inc.