Posts By: Jennifer Chick

CHS Seeds for Stewardship funds support Dale & Clayton Fire & Rescue

Chris Tews, Dale Fire; Matt McHugh, CHS Safety Leader and Robert Wilkins, Deputy Assistant Chief, Dale Fire Department

CHS Seeds for Stewardship funds are going back into the communities where CHS does business to protect local fire fighters and community members, build stronger rural communities and support ag education.

Through CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship, Dale Fire & Rescue is receiving $2,800 and Clayton Fire Rescue is receiving $2,176 from CHS Larsen Cooperative. Dale Fire & Rescue will be using these funds to purchase a grain bin rescue system and Clayton Fire Rescue will be purchasing rescue saws.   

“CHS Larsen Cooperative has a close working relationship with both of these fire departments. From time to time we have the departments come to our locations to practice rescues and doing walk throughs with our staff; so, they have a better understanding of our business,” says David Neal, General Manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative. “Having this equipment will definitely help these departments provide an increased level of service to our communities and facilities in the area.”

Making the purchase of a grain bin rescue system will provide a centrally located resource that can be quickly deployed to help save lives in the community. There are several large farming operations that grow, harvest, transport, and store crops on site in Readfield. These bulk materials present unique challenges to emergency services and this equipment can help them do their job safely and more efficient than they can today. Dale Fire & Rescue also borders other farming communities who would benefit having a portable coffer dam and grain evacuation system readily available.

“Dale Fire & Rescue is looking forward to purchasing their coffer dam which is designed to keep grain from flowing against the entrapped victim and to create a space around the victim from which grain can be removed. We will be buying a kit that contains the coffer dam, the grain ejector, grates, and case.  This is portable system and we can quickly transport it to the surrounding departments if needed,” says Robert Wilkins, Deputy Assistant Chief, Dale Fire Department.  

Clayton Fire Rescue’s purchase of a rescue saw that cuts steel and a rescue saw that cuts wood will provide a quicker and safer response to many rescue situations. Both saws would be utilized for rescue and fire situations including but not limited to; grain bin rescue, person(s) entrapped in farm machinery, vehicle accidents, accessing fires in machine sheds and barns, removal of brush during wildland fires, and removal of trees and limbs from a natural disaster. The added equipment would provide needed lifesaving equipment to Clayton Fire Rescue and surrounding stations.

“Thank you to the CHS Seeds of Stewardship program for the generous donation of two rescue saws,” says Scott Rieckmann, Director of Public Safety. “The saws will greatly enhance our response to many types of emergency calls in our response area and neighboring communities.”

The CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship matching grant program supports our commitment to create connections that empower agriculture and our rural communities. Through this program, local CHS ag retail business units are identifying organizations in the communities where we live and work who need support for safety, ag leadership, farmer health and well-being, and community engagement.  

Since 2017, CHS has donated more than $1.8 million in funds through CHS Seeds for Stewardship.

Scott Rieckmann, Director of Public Safety; Ryan Jones, CHS YieldPoint Coordinator and Tony Seelow, CHS YieldPoint Equipment Specialist & Fire Dept Member

The CHS Larsen Cooperative- ag retail business delivers agronomy, energy, grain and feed products and services to Wisconsin ag producers and other customers from eight locations in 22 counties. It is part of CHS Inc., (www.chsinc.com) a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to creating connections to empower agriculture, helping its farmer-owners, customers and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, seed, crop protection products, grain marketing services, production and agricultural services, animal nutrition products, foods and food ingredients, and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries and pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign raises $2,275 locally for food shelves

Over the past year, it has become even more clear that local food shelves and pantries play an important role in communities. The CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign has supported those local organizations in their fight against hunger since 2011. This year, local efforts helped raise more than $2,375 and 3,992 pounds of food to distribute to local food shelves and pantries.

“We have seen increased demand for our local food shelves and food pantries over the past year due to the pandemic,” says David Neal, general manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative. “Our employees, farmers, and communities put cooperative spirit into action to help support these essential organizations in their efforts to feed those in need in our communities through our CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign.”

CHS Harvest for Hunger is organized by CHS Country Operations, the ag retail division of CHS. During March, CHS employees from locations across the United States worked with farmers, ranchers, community organizations and schools to raise $509,184 and 114,746 pounds of food to be distributed to food shelves, pantries and community organizations.

Locally, funds were distributed to:

Freedom Food Pantry, $1,370

New London Community Cupboard, $1,370

Fundraising efforts included the sale of Little Caesars take-home pizza kits and food donations.

With this year’s total, CHS has now raised more than $6.8 million and nearly 3.9 million pounds of food since the campaign was first launched in 2011.

The Difference Between Oil and Grease

Often when people think about lubricants, they only think about oil. But oil isn’t the only lubricant equipment owners need to keep their operation moving.

Grease plays a critical part in the health of their equipment and is an essential part for any well-rounded equipment maintenance plan. Grease provides different benefits to keep crucial components protected. To keep your customers’ operations moving and decrease downtime, here’s what you should know about the special role of grease.

How grease is different

Despite their physical differences, common ingredients are found in both oils and greases. The type of base oil, either classified as conventional or synthetic, determines how thermally stable the product is when exposed to extreme conditions. Specific chemical ingredients, also known as additives, are then added to provide each product with a specific slate of benefits.

The biggest difference setting grease apart from oil is its thickener. Grease is a thickened oil, not a thicker oil. The thickener within a grease acts as a sponge, holding the base oil and the additives together. This creates a grease’s semi-fluid or solid structure, as opposed to the syrup-like consistency of oil. This added thickener is crucial when it comes to the applications where grease is needed.

How grease functions differently

At the most basic level, oil and grease both perform the same general function: to prevent metal-on-metal contact and protect equipment from wear. However, there are many ways components move and environments they endure inside equipment.

For intense friction and high-speed applications, an oil is typically the best choice. But other components that endure heavy loads or move vertically typically require a grease. Grease is engineered to stay in place and provide a longer lasting barrier between metal components, such as wheel-bearings.

Grease also acts as an excellent seal. Moving parts that are exposed to the elements are a welcome mat for dirt and debris waiting to contaminate equipment. Grease seals out harmful contaminants, keeping equipment protected for maximum performance and minimum downtime.

How grease maintenance works (not so) differently

Owner’s manuals almost always provide instruction on the oil maintenance routine recommended for a piece of equipment. However, few manuals offer guidance on grease maintenance, even though it’s a vital part of an overall maintenance routine.

Because of its significant role in keeping equipment protected, it is important to use a high-quality grease product. For guidance on the best grease for your customers’ equipment, visit the Cenex Equipment Look-up Tool.

Bulk Fuel Storage Reminders

One important thing to remind all our customers to do during planting prep is to clean out dirt and other debris that has accumulated in your fuel tanks.  Debris can be pumped into equipment where it will cause build-up that leads to less-than-optimal performance and eventually can require expensive repairs. To reduce the risk, best practices call for fully cleaning out fuel tanks at least once per year and switching out filters each quarter.

Equally as important as getting rid of debris in tanks is keeping water out of the fuel supply. Fuel contaminated with water can cause decreased acceleration, loss of horsepower and, in some cases, engine damage that spells costly downtime. Water in the fuel also allows for microbial growth to form inside tanks that attack the fuel. Frosty springtime mornings add to risk with increased condensation.

Equipment today comes with water drain valves. As you prepare for a busy growing season, remember to use those valves to remove water from machinery, in addition to removing water from storage tanks regularly.

There is one extra-easy way to minimize water in equipment during the season, when you’re done working at the end of the day, take time to fill up the fuel tank. Condensation happens overnight — especially in spring weather — and reducing airspace by filling up tanks every day will reduce that risk.

For more information about bulk fuel storage or to learn more about the importance of Cenex premium diesel fuels, please contact your local sales representative. 

Nicolet Fire District Hosts Emergency Response Fire Training

The Nicolet Fire District, in partnership with the Wisconsin Propane Education & Research Council (WiPERC), is hosting an emergency response, live propane fire training on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6:00 PM.   Approximately 50 fire fighters from the Nicolet Fire District, White Lake Fire Dept., Riverview Fire Dept. and the Doty Fire Dept. are expected to attend.  At times during the training, area residents may see flames shooting 20 feet or more into the air.  Local media and other observers are welcome to watch.

The training consists of classroom instruction on the physical properties of propane and a hands-on portion that includes five fire scenarios including a grill, forklift, bulk tank, and propane terminal piping props. All hands-on training is overseen by Wisconsin certified fire instructors, FIRE LLC and is conducted in accordance with NFPA 1403.The Doty Fire Dept. is providing local coordination and the location for the training.  WiPERC estimates the value of this training is $4,000 to $5,000 depending on the size of the group trained and the number of trainers required.  

Propane will be provided by CHS Larsen Cooperative, who is a WPGA member and participates in the propane industry check-off program, which provides the funding for this training.

The Wisconsin Propane Education & Research Council is the education foundation of the Wisconsin Propane Gas Association (WPGA). 

The training will be held at the Town of Doty Town Hall located at 14899 County Road T Mountain, WI  54149.

For more information on this program contact Emma Corning, WPGA/WiPERC Executive Director at emma@wipga.org or 608-210-3307.                

Take a Critical Look at Your Open Silage Today

By now, you’ve opened up your new crop silage. This is a good time to assess both the silage — and the management decisions that got it there. Deciding what went right, and what went wrong, is helpful to ensuring an even better 2021 silage season.

Most silage challenges fall into one of two categories: dry matter (DM) loss or aerobic instability.

DM loss, or “shrink,” results in less available, and less high-quality, feedstuffs. This can occur due to many management factors but can be addressed by:

  • Harvesting at the right moisture and stage of maturity
  • Cutting at the correct length and with adequate processing (if necessary)
  • Using a proven inoculant to fit your needs
  • Packing tightly
  • Sealing the storage structure

Aerobic instability — often seen as heating — contributes to silage losses by leaving producers with spoiled feed that must be thrown out. In addition, heating normally reduces the forage’s nutritive value. Aerobic spoilage is caused by yeast growth in the majority of the cases. Yeasts need oxygen to grow, making the above management missteps likely suspects when there is heating, especially inadequate packing and sealing. Silages with high population of yeasts have lower nutrient digestibility (fiber, DM), and this leads to reduced animal intakes and performance.

At feedout, when silage is again exposed to air, spoilage yeasts “wake-up” and can grow rapidly, causing heating and spoilage. At this stage, common management practices can help reduce losses, including:

  • Keeping the silage surface tight and clean
  • Not removing silage too far ahead of feeding and leaving it sitting in loose piles, and/or
  • Feeding out at the correct rate

Inoculant choices can help address both DM loss and aerobic spoilage. For example, elite lactic acid bacteria and enzymes, like those found in MAGNIVA® Titanium forage inoculant, can maximize dry matter, nutrient retention and improve aerobic stability to deliver stable, high quality and palatable feed.

Forage inoculants including Lactobacillus buchneri NCIMB 40788 will be more resistant to heating and spoilage as this organism dramatically reduces yeast levels. L. buchneri 40788 applied at a minimum of 400,000 CFU per gram of silage, or 600,000 CFU per gram of high-moisture corn (HMC), has been uniquely reviewed by the FDA and allowed to claim improved aerobic stability.

By taking a critical look at this year’s silage, producers will be on their way to even better silage results next year.

Written by Renato J. Schmidt, Ph.D., Forage Products Specialist, Lallemand Animal Nutrition North America

Introducing an easier way to pay CHS

Sign-up to Pay Online Today

Pay Online is now available through the MyCHS app.

With Pay Online, anyone who has signed up for MyCHS can now easily pay statements or current balances securely from single or multiple bank accounts, view scheduled payments, and look up past online payments.

Pay Online saves you time and money as you no longer need to write and mail checks. Find the Pay Online feature in the lower-left hand corner. It’s easy to set up bank accounts so gather up your bank account number and routing number to get started today!

If you have not yet signed up for MyCHS, go to mychs.chsinc.com to register. Questions or comments, email MyCHS@chsinc.com or call 800-548-9727.

Dicamba-specific training is required to apply Engenia® herbicide.

Dear Engenia herbicide Customer,  

BASF is excited to announce new options for annual dicamba applicator training. This training is required for Engenia herbicide and other dicamba products approved for over-the-top (OTT) applications on dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton.   

Join us to learn about new application requirements and label enhancements for the 2021 season. Applicator training and certification can be obtained in multiple formats based on your schedule and needs. Due to COVID-19, dicamba applicator training will be primarily available through online offerings such as a self-paced training module and live virtual webinars.  

Please visit www.engeniastewardship.com for training options:   

Self-Paced Online Module:  This self-paced option will take approximately 1 hour to complete and contains a quiz at the end of the module. Once the module is completed a certificate is displayed that should be kept for your records. You will have the option to print and/or save your dicamba certificate. It is recommended that you complete this training on a web browser through a computer with a reliable internet connection.   

Live Virtual Webinars:  Live webinars, hosted by BASF experts, provide the opportunity for interaction and Q/A. There are a total of 6 remaining events that are scheduled to occur every Tuesday @ 10 am eastern with the next one scheduled for January 26, 2021. Attendance is limited to the first 250 attendees per event so register early for the event that best fits your schedule. Live Virtual Webinars are scheduled for: 
January 26, 2021 @ 10 am eastern 
February 2, 2021 @ 10 am eastern
February 9, 2021 @ 10 am eastern
February 16, 2021 @ 10 am eastern 
February 23, 2021 @ 10 am eastern
March 2, 2021 @ 10 am eastern

As a reminder only certified applicators may apply Engenia herbicide or other OTT dicamba herbicides. Some states have additional restrictions and requirements. Check with your state pesticide regulatory agency for additional training and application requirements or restrictions. 

Original email sent by BASF Agricultural Solutions

CHS to Host Educational Grain Webinar Series

CHS is kicking off the new year with a series of educational grain marketing webinars.

Tune in to hear from grain experts across CHS as they dive into all aspects of grain marketing, from futures to basis and all things in between. They will also be discussing grain marketing contracts and the benefits and strategies behind each type. All of this is designed to help you get the most out of every bushel.

Understanding Grain Marketing: A CHS Educational Webinar Series

February 16: Intro to the Grain Markets- understanding how futures and basis work.

February 23: Basic Grain Marketing Contracts

March 2: Managed Price Contracts, Average Price Contracts

Please note, you must pre-register in order to attend.

Each session begins at 3 p.m. CST and is free to attend. Please pre-register for one or all sessions. The link for access will be sent prior to each session. Access is available by computer, tablet or smartphone.

We hope you can join us for this educational series. Reach out to your local CHS grain team with questions.

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

© 2021 CHS Inc.