3 Challenges Growers Face in Current Agriculture Landscape

 

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.

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Soil Compaction

By Seth Warner, YieldPoint Specialist

Here in northeast Wisconsin we tend to have very wet falls and springs which can cause concern for soil compaction. Having advancements of larger equipment has greatly reduced the issue because the weight is distributed over a larger surface area. However, even with smaller equipment, there are some things to keep in mind to reduce the issue. Did you know that one pass of equipment can cause 70% of compaction issues?

Knowing that equipment can have such an influence on soil we encourage farmers to keep traffic paths the same throughout the field. For example, it is better to concentrate the compaction to the headlands.  Contrary to popular belief, saturated soils will not get compacted like moist soils. The excessive water in the soil profile actually carries the weight of the load instead of the soil carrying it. Conversely, a deep tillage pass may not always be the right answer when ruts are made throughout the field. By using a soil compaction probe, you can determine what type of compaction issues are within your fields.

If you are finding compaction issues feel free to contact our YieldPoint Team to help decipher what actions you can take to help avoid future problems.

Wrapping Up 2016 Harvest

by Helen Nemitz, Grain Originator

Another harvest season has come to a close for most of our producers. As we reflect back it was a fast and furious one with added rain, which held off some of the acres to be harvested until we had a long stretch of freezing temperatures. That time has now come and we are feeling it all the way to our toes. Thank goodness December 21st is coming and days will start to get longer.

Abundance has been the name of the game this harvest season, with yields above average and quality at one of its highest levels. This means that the producers have more grain to sell/store at the elevator this year. LARGE CROPS and SPACE are two thoughts that have been on the minds of many this season. This concern can be put together with CONDO STORAGE. Do you know what it is? If not, ask your friendly grain employee.

Markets reflected the abundance and made some movement in a downward price direction that was anticipated, but others were unforeseen. The unexpected bright spot has been the positive movement of the bean market with demand for the oils. Producers have been on top of it and are taking advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves. Not only are producers marketing the bushels in the bins, they are also making plans for the next season ahead. Knowing what it takes to put the crop in the ground will help determine what needs to be covered for the input costs next year. Get some of it taken care of when you see rallies in the market. Have a plan – each producer has different needs—do you know yours?

Producers have worked hard to put grain in on-farm storage, so please make sure everyone is taking the precautions to care for it.  Fans need to be clear of debris and maintained so that air flow is not restricted and grain can stay fresh. When you are working with bins, safety is the number one concern. Always let others know what you are doing and when, that way your safety and their’s is taken into consideration.

As our loyal customers labored to get the harvest off the fields, all the employees at the elevators worked to receive it. A BIG THANK YOU to everyone for the long hours and days of work to get the harvest processed efficiently and safely.

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON

CHS Annual Meeting delegates approve amendments to articles and bylaws

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.

Technology Helps Growers with Environmental Stewardship

environmental stewardship

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…)

Seed Selection Considerations for Soybeans and Corn

seed-selection
Image courtesy United Soybean Board

There are a number of factors that need to be considered when selecting a seed variety, and it’s no easy task for growers these days. Below are some considerations for seed selection, for soybeans and for corn.

Soybeans

  1. When selecting soybean seed for the upcoming planting season, the first factor to take into account is the maturity rating of the soybean you’re selecting. Selecting a seed variety that’s well suited to your geography enables the crop to move through its lifecycle efficiently in a way that best matches its environment. Selecting the correct maturity rating allows the crop to take full advantage of the growing season in your area and helps maximize your yield potential.
    A bean with too early of a maturity rating for your geography can leave yield potential on the table by not taking advantage of the additional growing days. On the other hand, if you select a variety with too late of a maturity rating for your geography, you risk the beans not reaching physiological maturity before the frost. Knowing how a variety will work within your specific geographic conditions help strike a balance that will aid in procuring the highest potential yield for your crop.

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Insurance for Your Equipment

By Kim Liesner, Energy Sales Manager

As a teenager, I would say that I like to take chances and live life on the edge!  I stayed out to late, never wore a seat belt, drove way too fast, ate pizza for breakfast, this list could go on and on!  Over the years, I realized that these were not my wisest decisions, especially the pepperoni pizza at 6 am, can you say heartburn.  Now that I am a parent, homeowner and generally responsible adult a lot of things have changed.  I have become more aware of what it takes to protect myself.  I keep my cash in the bank, not under my mattress, I always buckle up and I am adamant about making sure my homeowner and car insurance is always valid.

Now that we are all responsible adults, I am sure you can relate.

But I must ask this question; you insure your home, you insure your pick- up truck, your boat, you even carry life insurance, but what about your equipment?  I’m sure we can all agree that corn and milk prices could be better.  With a lower income coming in, what kind of a financial hardship would a blown engine on your 2013 JD S680 cause for you and your family?  Tractors and Combines are huge investments, and you need to protect this investment, just like you would protect your home from a fire or your vehicle from a crash!

cenex-tppIn an effort to help put your mind at ease, CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to offer the Cenex Total Protection Plan (TPP) on new and used Farm equipment.  When you use Ruby Fieldmaster Diesel Fuel and Cenex lubricants, you get up to 10 years or 10,000 hours of engine and transmission coverage.

Think of it as a no-fault insurance policy- one that helps keep you in the field when you need to be there.  There is no deductible and no burden of proof, which can really pay off and help keep things moving during crunch times like harvest season!

Whether you buy new or used equipment, you simply will not find a better more economical way to protect your investment.

For more information, please contact the Energy Salesperson in your area

Kim Leisner, Sales Manager (north of GB) 920-598-1215

Dawn Matzke, CES (south of GB) 920-562-6902

Kyle, CES (west of Shawano) 715-340-3561

360 Yield Center Success

by: Ryan Jones, YieldPoint™ Program Specialist

360With the 2016 harvest coming to a close I would like to take a moment to tell you about two products we sold this fall from 360 Yield Center.

The first product is 360 Bullet, this is a replacement ripper point. The 360 Bullet point is designed to shatter the complete soil profile. The feedback we have heard from our growers running these points this year has been excellent. We still have 360 Bullet points in stock.

 brush

The second product I would like to touch on is 360 Yield Saver.  360 Yield saver is designed to be a replacement to OEM gathering chains on a corn head. These chains are designed to reduce header loss by 80% by closing the gaps in traditional deck plates and gathering chains. We gathered some information from a few demos around the area and we are seeing a consistent yield advantage. We will have more information on these as we get our plots finalized from this year.
Contact your YieldPoint Specialist if you’d like to receive more information.

November Harvest Update

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by Helen Nemitz, Grain Originator
Harvest continues, as we go along Mother Nature is doing her part in aiding in the release of moisture from the remaining beans and the abundant corn that is still standing in the fields. The beans are finally coming in under 13% on a consistent basis and some corn has gone from low 20’s to 16% moisture.
We are seeing great progress in field work as farmers are wrapping up the harvest and doing fall tillage. Some areas are still very wet which makes it harder to get the harvest off the fields. Those acres may have to wait for a longer period of freezing temperatures and yes that “S” word, Snow. This has been one of the warmer falls with temperatures that I can handle this late in November Any time I do not have to have my three shirts and a coat/gloves/boots, winter apparel on, is a great time. Others do not agree and would like to see the cold here already, but that is what makes it great, we can all have our own opinion.
At the elevator we are doing all we can to make space for the bumper crop and help our loyal patrons get done with this year’s awesome crop. Some of you may have noticed we have our pile done and covered in Readfield.  A big thank you goes out to all who have been patient with what we have been doing to continue to have grain flow through the elevator. Full does not mean that we are done for the season. Sometimes, it just means we need a day or two to move more out.
Just a gentle reminder to please call ahead for hours at the different facilities this time of year and thank you again for your continued patience and loyalty.
Have a safe Deer Hunting season and a very Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!!!

How Growers Can Overcome Low Commodity Prices

Dr. Fred BelowThere are many issues growers face in today’s agricultural industry. One rising to the top of the list is low commodity prices.

Growers across the country are facing the harsh reality of a decrease in income forecasted for the third straight year due to an extended decline in corn and soybean prices. According to the USDA, net cash farm income for 2016 is forecast at $94.1 billion, and net farm income at $71.5 billion – following the declines in 2015.

One way growers can help their profitability during this time is to make sure they are getting the best yield possible, so they simply have more crop to sell.

Growers should make sure they are maximizing their production practices to help capitalize on the best potential yield:

  • Proper soil preparation, prior to planting
  • Applying crop nutrients and fertilizers as appropriate to help with emergence and throughout the life of the plant
  • Applying crop protection products as appropriate to help combat disease, weeds and insects
  • Proper irrigation, as appropriate
  • Effective harvesting practices and techniques

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