A simple 4-question test for choosing a diesel engine oil

filling diesel engine oil jugs

By Erin Wroge, CHS market supervisor, Cenex brand lubricants

Choosing the right engine oil for your equipment can get complicated fast. Today’s diesel engine oils are more advanced than ever, and with all the options on the market today, it’s no wonder if your head is spinning. Viscosity control? Shear stability? TBN retention? It can almost feel like you need an advanced degree in mechanical engineering just to pick the right product for your equipment.

Not everyone is a lubricants expert, and they shouldn’t have to be. Still, choosing the right engine oil is a critical decision. The oil inside your heavy-duty equipment is a protective barrier against thousands of pounds of pressure and constant stress. Without the right premium lubricant, your equipment can wear itself down to the bone — incurring costly damage and downtime.

The good news is that picking an engine oil doesn’t have to be rocket science. Cenex® offers a full line of high-quality lubricants designed to meet a variety of heavy-duty applications. To determine which product is right for your operation, just ask yourself these four simple questions. (more…)

Grain Update – November 8, 2018



USDA To Release Monthly Grain Report On 11/8/18

The USDA will release its monthly grain report on Thursday, November 8, at 11 am CST.  The market is expecting the corn yield to be reduced by 1-2 bushels down to 180 or so.  As harvest has moved north, many of the areas in the northern corn belt were forced to deal with flooding conditions in June.  This has caused more yield variance than normal, and it has also caused vomitoxin levels to rise in some of these flooded areas as well.  We have also seen some lower test weights in corn than previously thought.  Lower test weights lower the bushel per acre yield as well, and also affect corn quality.  We have seen some major hog producers in western Iowa now raise concerns about the lower quality corn with higher vomitoxin levels.  With this new threat, they may now be forced to buy their corn from another region to secure better quality corn so their feed ration quality does not deteriorate.


2019 Cenex® Gift Card for Gallons Promotion


The Gift card for lubricant gallons promotion is back again this year starting on November 1, 2018. For every 125 gallons of qualifying Cenex® lubricants you purchase from CHS Larsen Co-op from November 1, 2018, through February 29, 2019, you will receive a $50.00 Visa gift card. Better yet, there is no limit to the gallons you can buy during this four month promotion period or the number of Visa gift cards you can earn. Listed below are the qualifying Cenex® lubricants that are eligible (most commonly needed products). Plus, greases are also eligible towards the 125 gallon threshold.

Qualifying Products:

Maxtron® DEO Synthetic Blend Diesel Engine oil

Maxtron® Enviro-Edge® Full Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil

Superlube TMS® Conventional Diesel Engine oil

Maxtron® GL Full Synthetic EP Gear lubricant

Maxtron® THF+ Full Synthetic Tractor Hydraulic Fluid

MP Gear Lube

Qwiklift® HTB® Hydraulic Fluid



Blueguard® 500+

HD Moly Extreme

Maxtron® EP

Maxtron® FS


Molyplex 500+

Poly Extreme®

Red Protect®

Fluid Gear Grease

For more information or to place a lubricant order please call your Energy Specialist today. CHS Larsen Co-Op thanks you for allowing us to be your Cenex® lubricants supplier.

Grain Update – October 25, 2018



Corn & Bean Harvest Progress Passes The Halfway Point

The USDA reported on Monday that the national bean harvest was 53% complete and corn harvest was 49% complete.  The northern Corn Belt has been in active harvest since mid-last week, and farmers have been making huge progress in the last week.  Locally, the focus has been on beans first, and then the corn.  I would estimate that bean harvest is now 30% complete and corn harvest is likely only 5% complete today.  Farmers will likely continue to harvest beans until Sunday when rain is forecasted, and this rain will continue for several days next week.  Thus, beans that don’t get harvested this week, it may be some time before farmers are able to return.  In the meantime, many will likely change heads on their combines and go after corn until the beans dry out again.  Bean yields continue to be very good and way above average.  Corn yields seem to be more varied as many fields were negatively affected during the dry period in mid-June.  Some corn fields are having problems with lodging with a few varieties having a real problem.  The decent yields and soft soil conditions are making some fields more prone to lodging compared to others.  We have not seen much damage in soybeans as compared to the problems in the Delta areas and southern Corn Belt.  However, another rain event, and this could start to change.  Over all, yields and quality seem really good this year on corn and beans.


Now is the Perfect Time to Change Lubricants in Your Equipment


As we enter the end of October, harvest is in full swing in many parts of Wisconsin. As field work comes to an end in the November and December it’s time to think preparing for putting equipment away for the winter. With new technologies in oil and other lubricants, we are seeing higher hour thresholds and thus longer drain intervals for such things as engine oil, transmission, and hydraulic oils/fluids. Many farmers are now experiencing just one oil change per year and topping off other lubricants as needed in season.

Many manufacturers of farm equipment and accessories are recommending that oil/lubricant changes take place when the equipment is being put away for the winter. The reason for this is twofold; first, it is important to make sure all that old and worn out lubricants are pulled out of the engines, transmissions, braking, hydraulic, and gear areas so the acids/dirt do not sit on metal parts over winter, possibly causing corrosion or other damage. Second, new oil and lubricants, with their full load of protective additive ingredients, will not only protect the metals, seals, and other parts, but add full lubrication protection over winter/extended periods of inactivity, aiding in start-up come next spring. Think of this as applying a protective layer of lubricant on all metal parts before the cold Wisconsin winter and months of inactivity occur.

Because of these manufacturer recommendations to change oil and other lubricants in the late fall/early winter, CHS and Cenex® have a bulk lubricant program in place called the Gift Cards for Gallons lubricant program. This program takes place from November 1, 2018, through February 28, 2019, for delivery of the most requested oil, lubricants, and grease needed for farm and heavy duty equipment. This program not only allows you to get engine oils and lubes when you need them after the harvest season is completed; but, also gets you ready for spring and eliminates the annual road bans on deliveries come March and April. Talk to your local CHS Larsen Certified Energy Specialist for more details on this gift card program and how you can earn a Visa $50 gift card for every 125 gallons of lubricant and grease products purchased during the promotional period. Combine high quality Cenex® lubricants and the Cenex Total Protection® Warranty program (TPP) and you are set to protect the internal parts of the machines that power your farm operation.

Written by: Todd Plath, CES

Keeping Your Engines Protected is Our Top Priority

Protecting you Equipment from Wisconsin’s extreme winter temperatures


As the days get shorter and the nights grow colder, it’s time to start thinking about protecting your equipment from Wisconsin’s extreme winter temperatures.

CHS Larsen Co-op has already started the process of planning for winter.  Approximately a week ago we added the WA4 additive to our Cenex® Ruby FieldMaster® and RoadMaster® fuel.  For a few extra cents per gallon the WA4 cold flow improver gives you a slightly higher operability range than our standard fuel. It’s perfect for this time of year, when temps can range anywhere from 25 to 70 degrees.

Thanksgiving and deer season will soon be upon us, and so will be the switch to Our Cenex® Ruby FieldMaster® and RoadMaster® SE (Seasonally Enhanced).  SE was formulated to provide excellent coverage for the end of fall/beginning of winter, with a cold filter plugging point (CFPP) of -25 degrees.

But, as anyone that lives in Wisconsin knows, we need more protection than the SE once winter actually hits.  When it gets cold, I mean really cold, like nose freezing shut/hurts to breath kind of cold; we need a fuel blend that will keep us going.  Everybody knows, the world doesn’t stop turning because it’s -30 degrees outside and we don’t stop either.  That is why Cenex® created WinterMaster®!

Cenex® WinterMaster® gives us operability of -30 degrees with a CFPP of -55 degrees.  With a 70/30 blend of #1 & #2, this is the final step we take to ensure that we are ready for whatever winter can throw at us.

If you are wondering what formulation is right for you and at what times you should make the switch to winter fuels, please call your Energy Sales Representative today.

Winter Master Road Master XL 

Written by: Kim Leisner, Energy Sales Manager

CHS celebrates National Co-op Month through cooperative education

October is National Co-op Month

The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., announced it has awarded more than $440,000 in cooperative education grants to projects that will help students learn about the cooperative business model and what makes cooperatives unique.

“October is National Co-op Month to raise awareness about cooperatives. What better time to celebrate how the CHS Foundation has supported cooperative education projects for more than 20 years?” says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. (more…)

Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program

As the leaves fall and the cooler weather sets in, preparing for winter moves up on our “to do” lists.  Many of us prepare by giving our snow blowers a tune up, putting away our summer wardrobe and get the sweaters & vests out of storage, maybe installing a snow fence.

How many of us are tasked with having to prepare financially for winter?  Maybe not you, but someone you know could be struggling with having to decide whether to pay their heating bill or buy groceries.  Many of our parents & grandparents are going without crucial medication in order to pay their heating bill.

If you or someone you know is struggling to make ends meet in the winter, please know that there is help. The Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program or WHEAP is available and they are now taking applications for the 2018/2019 heating season.

Please follow this link for contact information and income guidelines or call 1-866-HEATWIS.  CHS Larsen Cooperatives energy department has worked with WHEAP for many years and We will be happy to assist in any way we can.


Fall Flooding Damage to Soybeans

Field Facts written by DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Sciences

Types of Flooding Damage

Soybeans are very susceptible to flood damage in the fall, with lodging, shattering, and low quality grain being the most likely issues. Yield may be reduced by each of these problems.

  • Lodging – Soybeans have little resistance to flowing water, so lodging is a likely result where water rapidly enters or leaves the field. Even non-flowing water can kill or weaken roots and leave soybeans susceptible to future lodging.
  • Shattering – When soybeans are mature, splitting of pods and loss of seeds (“shattering”) increases with repeated cycles of wetting and drying. Prolonged wetting due to submersion may amplify shattering losses.
  • Grain quality reductions are inevitable with prolonged submersion of soybean pods. Issues include:
    • Sprouting in the pod if soybean seeds have dried below 50% moisture and imbibe water to increase back above 50% moisture (soybeans are very near to 50% moisture at physiological maturity, or growth stage R7).
    • Diseases may be introduced into pods and seeds by flooding. Diseased and discolored soybean seeds can incur dockages at the elevator.
  • Yield losses can result from several factors:
    • Shattering before or during harvest
    • Severe lodging that limits harvest of plants or pods
    • Silt and debris that reduce harvest of lower pods
    • Sprouting and diseases that reduce seed weight
    • Damage to soybean plants prior to maturity, resulting in smaller seeds
      (see Appendix 1.)

Management of Flooded Soybeans

  • Scout fields thoroughly to identify the type and extent of flooding damage. Continue monitoring fields closely through the pre-harvest period to optimize harvest timing and minimize yield and quality losses.
  • Manage field areas separately – Most fields will not be uniformly affected by flooding. Where practical, consider harvesting flooded and non-flooded field areas separately, as one harvest date may not be optimal for the whole field.
  • Separate grain from flooded and non-flooded fields or field areas, as quality, storage life and marketing channels may be very different from these sources.
  • Early harvest – Fields with severe flooding damage will likely benefit from early harvest to avoid further shattering, lodging and quality problems.

Shattering in Soybeans Due to Repeated Wetting and Drying.


  • Delaying harvest of minimally damaged fields is a viable strategy for preventing or reducing soil compaction. Allowing fields to dry adequately to minimize compaction must be balanced with the risk of harvest losses.
  • Pursue crop insurance claims for heavily damaged fields or field areas. Contact your crop insurance provider before harvesting field so he/she can submit a notice of loss. It will be important to clearly document any flooded areas for insurance or disaster relief assistance claims.

Storing Flood-Damaged Soybeans

A general rule of grain storage is to avoid mixing good quality and poor quality grain. This is especially true for soybeans with quality deterioration due to flooding. Sprouted, disease damaged, and discolored soybeans may lower soybean grade and incur dockage at the elevator. These quality impairments will also lower storage life, often significantly.

To help prevent contamination and extend storage life, clean bins, areas around bins and all grain handling equipment before putting grain in storage. Aerate grain to equalized temperatures throughout the grain mass. Hot spots need to be eliminated by stirring and cooling or removing grain from the bin.

A normal soybean crop should be at 13% for a 6-month storage period, and 12% for 12 months of storage. For lower quality soybeans, experts suggest drying grain one or two points below that required for a normal crop, monitoring grain closely while in storage (at least twice monthly), and in some cases, storing this grain for only six months rather than a year.


Appendix 1. Soybean growth stages and approximate seed moisture, days to maturity and yield loss from plant damage or death that stops seed development before full maturity.

Stage R6 – Full Seed Stage

  • “Green bean” stage – bean fills pod cavity
  • Seed Moist. ~75 – 80%
  • ~25 days remaining until full maturity
  • Yield Loss ~ 20 – 35%

Stage R6.5 – Mid-way from Full Seed to Maturity

  • Pod/seed color between green and yellow
  • Seed Moist. ~65-70%
  • ~16-18 days remaining until full maturity
  • Yield Loss ~ 10 – 15%

Stage R7 – Beginning Maturity Stage

  • All green color lost from seeds and pods
  • Seed Moist. ~55 – 60%
  • ~8 – 10 days remaining until full maturity
  • Yield Loss ~ 0 to 5%

How to maximize crop nutrients throughout the growing season

preventing Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in soybeans with Crop Nutrients

Image Courtesy of Kyle Schafer

Crops demand nutrition throughout the entire growing period, but most of them can’t utilize those nutrients effectively during early development. A shortage of nutrients can lead to significant yield loss and stunted plant development.

How effectively those nutrients are managed in the spring can affect how the crops look in the fall. Weather and other pest and weed influences can also impact crop growth and development, but good nutrient management is essential as crops reach the final stages of growth. As crops move through the grain fill period in the fall, growers need to keep an eye out for nutrient deficiency symptoms. (more…)

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