Posts By: Anne Moore

Do I Really Need to Contract Fuel?

Do I really need to contract? When is the right time to contract?  How do I know if I’m getting a good price?  Why is the price of the contract higher than today’s price?

Over the years, there has been a lot of discussion and even a slight bit of controversy over the subject of fuel contracting on the farm.  Let me tell you this, there are no right or wrong answers to these questions.  I honestly don’t know if these are even the questions you want to be asking yourself when thinking about contracting. 

This time last year crude oil was hanging out around $60/barrel, which was about the average for 2019, and the beginning of 2020.  Until Covid hit the US, and along with it came the potential for an economic disaster that could top the Great Depression.  On April 20, 2020 the crude market made history; closing the day at -$36.98.  For 1-day crude oil was worth less than nothing! What a day, filled with fear and uncertainty. Since this day the markets have seen a slow steady recovery, very slow.  Non the less, we are currently hanging out around $45/barrel.  With no sign of complete economic recovery in the near future, the market has bounced a bit in the past few months; but seems to really like that $45/barrel marker. 

Though the energy markets seem very content under $50/barrel right now, we have to ask ourselves, what does the next 9 -12 months actually have in store for us?  Will the US continue to struggle financially?  Will Covid continue to rule the energy markets?  Will the new administration bring in new changes that will ultimately affect the markets?  The unknown can be quite scary. 

So, let’s go back to the original questions:

Do I really need to contract? 

That depends, how will you be affected by a price spike that could bring diesel fuel up over $1+/gallon higher than the current price?

Does contracting give you piece of mind?  Do you like to gamble?  When is the right time to contract? 

There is no right or wrong time to contract.  Historically, pricing is at it’s best between December & March…but history doesn’t always repeat itself!  If 2020 taught us anything, it taught us that!  Leaning on your energy sales consultant is the best idea. 

How do I know if I’m getting a good price?  What is a good price? 

The question you really need to ask yourself is; does this price work with my annual budget? In other words, can I spend this much for fuel and still make the necessary profit for my business.

Why is the price of the contract higher than today’s price? 

Contract prices can sometimes be higher than the current rack price (not always) because we are buying “futures”.  With “futures” purchase there is always a risk, and risky behavior comes with a higher price-tag!  Speculations of the futures markets can also wreak havoc on contract pricing-will there be supply issues in spring or fall?  Will there be a bumper crop and cause for higher demand for fall?  Will the prospect of a new administration cutting US drilling cause prices to skyrocket?  These types of conversations will definitely raise eyebrows and lock in pricing!

Back to the original question of “is contracting your fuel important?”

The answer is = YES, it is important, but it is not the best option for everyone.  Only you can make that decision if contracting is right for you. 

One statement I make to my customers: DON’T LOOK BACK!  What I mean by this, if you lock in your fuel at a price that you are comfortable with, stop shopping.  There is no reason to waste precious time looking for the cheaper price, there is always going to be a cheaper price, but there is always going to be a higher price too.  For your own piece of mind, lock it in and forget about it.  DON’T LOOK BACK, you might trip over something in front of you!

Written by Kim Leisner, Certified Energy Specialist

Your December Statement will Look Different!

We would like to introduce changes to our monthly mailed statements. Our intent is to provide a statement in the same detailed manner but easier to read.  To reduce personal contact with each statement as they are prepared for mailing, we are progressing to an automated system that will process and mail them. 

With this conversion invoices will not be sent with the statements but are still available online at MyCHS where they can be viewed or printed. Invoices can also be emailed upon request. This improved method will reduce costs and paper waste.

Starting with the December 2020 statement you will see these changes go into effect.

Here is an example of what the new statement will look like.

January’s statement will come a little late in the mail due to the holidays.


If you wish to see and print your individual invoices you can do so by signing up for MyCHS, our free web app. A single sign-on lets you see your CHS activity in one place: agronomy, energy (propane), grain and seed. Find contracts, bookings, settlements, prepays, invoices, and more. Download data for tax planning or proof-of-yield for insurance claims. Access multiple accounts with a single sign-on.  

We are focused on sustainability with a commitment to helping our customers and community.  

Address Mycotoxin Risks from 2020 Corn Silage

By Anthony Hall, MSc MSB, PAS, Technical Services – Ruminant, Lallemand Animal Nutrition

This year, producers endured multiple challenges during the corn growing and harvesting season. Today, producers find themselves feeding out newly fermented corn silage and worrying about exposing their herd to higher-than-average levels of molds or mycotoxins.

Assess conditions during harvest

Mycotoxins are produced by specific molds, which cannot be completely be avoided in the process of growing and storing crops for feed. Harvest conditions are an important factor to assess your operation’s risk of mycotoxin contamination. If corn was grown under stressors like drought, weed or insect infestation, or drought, the resulting silage is more susceptible to fungal infestation and could possibly lead to production of mycotoxins.

There will likely be lower the natural population of lactic acid bacteria on the plants. Yet, this risk can be offset if a research-proven forage inoculant was used at ensiling.

Understand risks to productivity

Mycotoxins can be the source of several important herd health and production problems ranging from reduced feed intake to suppressed immune response. Although, ruminants are more resistant to the effects of mycotoxins than monogastric animals like pigs and poultry. However, the toxins can disrupt rumen function in important ways. In addition, it can be risky for producers to estimate how much mycotoxin exposure a herd can withstand.

Often, mycotoxin testing is performed after animals’ exhibit reduced performance or health problems — meaning producers are already dealing with the financial effects. Researchers have found that, when ingested, mycotoxins can cause lactic acid to build up. This can result in Sub Acute Ruminal Acidosis (SARA). When SARA occurs, the animal’s ability to use the ration efficiently is impaired and can lead to other, more serious, health problems.1

Maintain optimal rumen function

To avoid these consequences, do not feed visibly moldy silage. This solves part of the problem as mycotoxin content is not necessarily related to the amount of mold seen. If contaminated feed manages to reach the feed bunk, it’s important for animals to have optimal rumen function. Producers can include a research-proven active dry yeast (ADY) probiotic in the ration to help achieve this goal.

ADY probiotics like LEVUCELL® SC that include the strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 have a high capacity to increase pH and fiber digestibility in the rumen. Probiotic feed additives can help improve rumen function and increase fiber digestion. This can help avoid reduced production due to several herd health challenges, including mycotoxins.

Lallemand Animal Nutrition is committed to optimizing animal performance and well-being with specific natural microbial product and service solutions. Using sound science, proven results and knowledge, Lallemand Animal Nutrition develops, produces and markets high value yeast and bacteria products ─ including probiotics, silage inoculants and yeast derivatives. Lallemand offers a higher level of expertise, leadership and industry commitment with long-term and profitable solutions to move our partners Forward. Lallemand Animal Nutrition is Specific for your success. For more information, please visit www.lallemandanimalnutrition.com.

Cenex® Gift Cards for Gallons Started November 1

Starting November 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021, end-user customers can earn one $50 VISA® gift card for every 100 gallons of qualifying lubricant and grease products purchased.

Eligible lubricant products include:

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

Eligible grease products include:

  • Corn Head Grease
  • HD Moly Xtreme
  • Poly-Xtreme®
  • Maxtron® EP
  • Blue Gard® 500+™
  • Fluid Gear Grease
  • Molyplex 500+
  • ML 365®
  • Red Protect XT®
  • Maxtron® FS

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, 2021. Contact your energy specialist with any questions.

Article courtesy of Cenex Fuels & Lubes

Grain Summary Report – New to MyCHS

We’re launching another new feature available to our producers through the MyCHS app! The Grain Summary is a new report that totals a customer’s grain payments over a calendar year or any selected timeframe.  It can be found in the top left menu on the home page of MyCHS under the Reports drop-down section. 

Benefits of the Grain Summary:

  • Subtotals of dollars paid by commodity
  • Pull grain payment information easily by calendar year, or customize the date range
  • Data includes gross amounts, total charges and net paid amounts from grain sales
  • Easily print or save the report as a PDF for records or to send to key business partners
  • Updates several times per day and is available online 24/7

Log into MyCHS today to see the benefits of this new feature. If you have any questions, please contact mychs@chsinc.com.

Keeping Engines Protected During Brutal WI Winters

It’s time once again to take steps to protect your diesel-powered equipment from harsh winter weather. Cenex Premium Diesel Fuels are exactly what you need – from moderate temperatures to extreme winter cold and everything in between.

CHS Larsen Cooperative takes your winter fuel needs seriously. The Energy Sales team, works closely with our logistics crew and drivers to ensure that every one of our customers gets the proper winter blend. 

Every year, in late October we begin the process of preparing your fuel for winter. We start out with an additive we refer to as WAIV or Winter Aid 4/Cold Flow improver.  This additive is made up of de-icers and wax anti-settling agents.  This additive mix has a treat rate of 1 gallon WAIV for every 1600 gallons of #2 diesel, or in our case Cenex premium diesel, this helps extend the operability of your equipment during the late fall chill. This is an inexpensive, yet effective plan for early weather treatment.

Then, as the very popular holiday of gun deer hunting season approaches, or some of you may know it as Thanksgiving week; we move from WAIV to Cenex Premium Diesel Seasonally Enhanced or SE.  This switch can occur slightly before or after deer hunting, depending on outside temps and forecasted weather.  The ultimate goal with Seasonally Enhanced fuel is to create a 70/30 blend in your tank.  70% #2 to 30% #1, which delivers cold filter plugging protection to approximately -25 degrees and an operability level of about -13 degrees.  Depending on outward weather forecasts, we usually continue delivering Ruby Fieldmaster SE and Roadmaster SE through March of the following year. 

As you can see, CHS Larsen Cooperative goes to great lengths to assure our customers that their fuel is prepared for winter weather.  What can you, as a consumer do to help the process and obtain the proper blend to keep you moving once we freeze over?  Below are a couple things to think about as winter approaches…

  1. Work with your CHS Larsen Energy sales team member or your local driver to make sure you leave enough room in your tank to blend the #1 in with your current #2 or Cenex Premium Diesel fuel supply. Sometimes it is necessary to stop delivery of fuel for a short period of time to allow tank to empty some.  We call this blending down a tank.  Make sure we do this early enough in the season, when temps aren’t yet arctic.  As a reminder, #1 will not blend properly if the outside temps are below the current cloud point of the fuel in your tank.
  • Don’t forget about your equipment!  You know the tractor that you haven’t used since July and don’t plan on using again; until you have to move snow in January.  Well that tractor has no #1 fuel in it!!!  Take it for a ride and use the fuel, refill it with winter blend.  This is a lot easier than emptying the tank, heating everything with a hair dryer and changing a filter, in -2 degree weather!
  • Preventative maintenance! Change your tank fuel filters twice a year, spring and fall. Old fuel filters equal plugged fuel filters equal no fuel coming out of your nozzle!  Don’t have a filter on your tank?  It is imperative you get one asap. Tanks get crud in the bottom of them, it’s life; the last thing you want to do is pull that crud out of the bottom of the tank and put it inside the fuel system of your equipment.  Call your Energy Sales Team Member and we can get you set up with a tank fuel filter system. 

If you have any questions about winter blending or Cenex Premium Diesel please call us, we are happy assist you with all of your energy needs. 

Written by Kim Leisner, Certified Energy Specialist

Jay Debertin: Update to CHS owners

Dear CHS owners:

Corn and soybean harvest is well underway, and it’s been a good fall. We’re glad to see that progress, although this week’s weather has forced a pause in many areas. We hope you are enjoying a safe, productive season and look forward to speaking with you at the virtual 2020 CHS Annual Meeting on Dec. 3.

Thank you for your business. Please let us know how we can help you complete this season and move into 2021.

Click here to hear more from CHS President and CEO Jay Debertin.

Celebrating Co-op Month

During October, CHS is joining cooperatives across the U.S. to celebrate Co-op Month. As part of the cooperative system, CHS is committed to supporting and strengthening owners and communities with diverse ideas, equity and inclusion.

The value of cooperatives comes through in the relationships we form with our owners. At CHS, we put that cooperative spirit into action as our team works with farmers and ranchers to help them grow their businesses and succeed.

This fall, you’ve seen our operations team working long hours to make sure crops are stored safely and quickly in our grain facilities. In the winter our energy specialists make sure your homes and businesses are warm. In the spring, our crop nutrient applicators, agronomists and energy specialists work with growers to plant the new crop with care and precision. And behind the scenes, employees make sure business is done smoothly and efficiently.

We are dedicated to developing a deep understanding of our growers’ operations and goals. We live and work alongside them, creating connections that empower agriculture.

Just as our cooperative works to ensure our owners have what they need, when they need it, that same commitment extends to our rural communities. We are focused on supporting ag leadership and safety initiatives in those communities. We support local food shelves and we fund scholarships for those pursuing careers in agriculture.

We bring the benefits of connection to a global supply chain to our owners’ farms and ranches. And we do it all with a smile and warm welcome. That’s true cooperative spirit.

We are proud to be part of the cooperative system, supporting our owners and their families through the generations. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Co-op Month.

David Neal

General Manager

CHS Larsen Cooperative

Exciting New Feature on MyCHS

Just in time for fall harvest, a helpful new feature is available to producers through the MyCHS app! Proof of Yield, a report that totals a customer’s grain deliveries by bushels over any selected time frame, is now available in MyCHS.

With the Proof of Yield report, producers will be able to:
• See subtotals per commodity
• View simple summaries of total grain bushels by year and commodity
• Pull historic data, as past years are often needed and MyCHS provides that data
• Verify the details of their grain deliveries including dates, bushel, weight, test weight and moisture
• Easily print or save report as a PDF for their records

Other benefits:
• It’s useful for insurance and U.S. government for crop claims (determines APH history, too!)
• It’s flexible to pull by month, calendar year, or a custom date range
• Easy-to-access by producer to send to key business partners such as accountants, insurance agents or tax preparers
• No waiting for mail delivery

Click Here to view a sample of the Proof of Yield report. It can be found in the top left menu on the home page of MyCHS under the Reports drop-down section.

Log into MyCHS today to see the benefits of this new feature. If you have any questions, please contact mychs@chsinc.com.

Harvest Monitor Checklist

GPS-based yield data has proven to be an extremely valuable management. However, improperly calibrated yield monitors can essentially generate difficult to interpret or useless data. 

Economic risk in agriculture has increased dramatically. Considering the amount of economic risk involved in each decision, taking the time and patience to properly calibrate a yield monitor is essential if the yield data will be used to make future agronomic decisions for your farming operation. 

Below are a few items that will help your operation make sure your monitoring system is ready and can get you the data your operation needs. 

Fall Monitor Checklist  

  • Monitor startup and available storage  
  • Verify variety tracking information 
  • Check for necessary monitor updates at local OEM dealer or CHS Larsen. 
  • Clean out moisture sensor area from cobs and grain fines from last years crop.  
  • Calibrate monitor with a weigh wagon for OEM and Ag Leader monitors. Multiple loads will need to be entered to ensure accurate data. For Precision Planting Yieldsense users calibrate using a single semi load of grain with a certified scale. 

For Climate FieldView Users 

  • Update Cab App to most current version in App Store  
  • Do NOT update iPad IOS version 14 until further notice.  
  • Plug FieldView Drive into the CAN Bus port or adapter cable 
  • Verify Bluetooth connection in iPad settings as well as Cab App  
  • Verify planting data is in FieldView Cab App 
  • Check equipment tab and make sure heads and platforms match your current setup 
  • Test “activation” of a field  

Contact your local CHS YieldPoint Specialist for help getting the most out of your data this fall. 

Happy Harvest! Call our Team to Help with you Monitor Issues.

© 2021 CHS Inc.