Leadership changes at CHS

CHS Leadership - Darin Hunhoff, CHS EnergyCHS Leadership - Jay Debertin, president and CEOThe CHS Board of Directors has elected Jay D. Debertin as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CHS. Debertin succeeds Carl Casale, who led CHS during record performance levels and expansion.

During Casale’s seven years with the company, CHS returned $3 billion to its owners, invested $9 billion in new capital expenditures and nearly doubled the size of its balance sheet from $8.7 billion in 2010 to $17.3 billion at the end of fiscal 2016. Casale focused on prudent fiscal management and enhancing management systems at the company.

“As we take our cooperative into its next chapter, we are confident that Jay is the right leader,” says Dan Schurr, chairman of the CHS Board of Directors. “Jay’s experience in achieving operational excellence and driving results fits squarely with our unwavering goal to deliver returns to our member-owners now and for the long term.”

(more…)

The Benefits of Precision Agriculture

United Soybean Board

When it comes to technology and data available within the agricultural industry, there’s a large amount of choices these days. It’s important retailers understand and are able to provide guidance for their customers about what works well and what doesn’t work as well. Understanding the technologies and datasets are important and how to best use them is even more crucial.

Precision agriculture is a term widely used today in the industry and essentially refers to technology and software systems that provide knowledge to enhance decision making, and if used properly can help contribute to reduced waste, increased profits, and protection of the environment.

Today growers are utilizing precision technology to enhance their growing process, including field application equipment and sensor platforms that control product purchases and can provide recorded data in real-time. Software is also available that can then be used to collect and analyze data to help inform retailers and growers of various decisions throughout the crop production process.

As precision agriculture increases momentum in 2017, here are four benefits and ways that precision agriculture can help growers increase field productivity while also reducing environmental stress.

  1. Monitor soil and plant parameters: Growers can determine peak conditions for plant growth by placing sensors throughout the fields.
  2. Automate field management: Soil and plant species can be automatically optimized through sensors taken from a Decision Support System, which can help determine the best moments to water and fertilize.
  3. Collect real-time data: Applying sensing devices throughout the field will allow a continuous monitoring of the chosen parameters and offers real-time data to help inform decisions throughout the planting and harvest season.
  4. Get the best results from labor and resources: Use technology to help maximize the benefits of your crop nutrients, crop protection and irrigation costs by using automatic sensors that alert the grower of the need or best time to irrigate, fertilize, etc.

It’s estimated that over 50 percent of growers currently engage in some form of agricultural technology. Precision agriculture can bring many benefits to growers who decide to use technology to help manage their fields.

Ag retailers have the opportunity to help their customers by providing them with local expertise on how the various technology available today, might best be implemented within their geography and more specifically within their individual operation to help them improve their return on investment in the most appropriate ways.

Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central

CHS reports fiscal 2017 second-quarter and first-half results

CHS office in winter

Earnings increase in second quarter on improved conditions across CHS wholesale and retail agricultural related businesses

ST. PAUL, MINN. (April 5, 2017)CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, today reported net income of $14.6 million for the second quarter of its 2017 fiscal year (the three-month period ended Feb. 28, 2017), compared to a net loss of $31 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Operating earnings for the company’s second quarter were $10.5 million, up from a loss of $91.8 million from the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Revenues for the second quarter were $7.3 billion, up 11 percent compared with $6.6 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

Earnings for the six months of the company’s fiscal 2017 (the six-month period ended Feb. 28, 2017), were $223.7 million, compared to $235.5 million for the first six months of fiscal 2016, a decrease of 5 percent. The decrease is a result of increased loan loss reserves, higher income taxes and continued challenges in the energy operating environment, which were partially offset by improved conditions across CHS wholesale and retail agricultural related businesses.

Revenues for the first six months of fiscal 2017 were $15.4 billion, compared to $14.4 billion for the first six months of fiscal 2016, an increase of 7 percent.

“As our operating environment remains challenging, we continue to act prudently, taking appropriate and measured actions regarding costs and investments, while positioning ourselves to take advantage of opportunities as they arise while focusing on return on our invested capital,” said CHS President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Casale. “We are on a journey and are starting to see the benefits of our focus.”

(more…)

Advice for Growers in Today’s Economy

advice for growers from John Laffey

Many growers are turning to agronomists, ag retailers and other industry experts for advice about the best ways to strengthen their farming operations. Topics including soil health, seed selection, insect and disease pressure and more have long been the starting point for growers looking for the best ways to make improvements that will make their operations stronger overall.

Today, as growers rely even more on data, research and other technology in addition to their traditional farming equipment, agronomists and their network of agricultural experts are as important as ever.

For growers, improving efficiency and making effective decisions can be crucial to achieving a high quality and profitable crop. Since they are always looking to make smart and strategic purchase decisions when it comes to seed, fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and adjuvants, growers look to utilize the expertise of their agriculture retailer and other ag partner businesses to provide them guidance when making these decisions. Through these agriculture experts, growers hope to successfully plant and produce a high yielding crop by minimizing pest and disease pressures and managing weed resistance to increase overall profitability for their farming operation. (more…)

5 Things to Know about Dicamba in 2017

using dicamba on soybeans

United Soybean Board

The agriculture industry has been working hard to provide the most effective herbicides to help slow down and minimize the growing weed resistance problem. However, efforts with formulating dicamba products go further than the manufacturer. Federal and state rules and regulations dictate how applicators and growers are able to legally and safely use different herbicides to limit volatility and drift in undesired areas.

With each new year and with new products, comes new policies. It is important for growers, applicators and other ag professionals to be aware of these policies to avoid negative consequences. (more…)

5 Ways to Ensure Better Soybean Health

soybean health

United Soybean Board

Although each crop has specific needs to be able to achieve their maximum economic yield, soybeans have earned themselves a reputation for being a lower-maintenance crop. Growers might be surprised to see that with a little extra effort, they can have more impact on their soybean yields by producing stronger and healthier plants. With this careful attention, yield results may prove surprisingly better come harvest.

Soybean growers will have a more successful season if they stay aware of the following soybean sensitivities:

1. Timing and Planting Environment

Soybeans, like corn, benefit from an earlier planting time. With longer exposure time, the crop receives more sunlight and water. In addition to finding the timing sweet spot for planting, growers should be aware of ideal soil temperature when planting soybeans. The benefits of an earlier planting date can be diminished if the soil is too cold to successfully germinate the seeds and encourage a strong emergence. Ideal soil temperature for planting beans is around 55° to 60° Fahrenheit.

2. Planting Depth

During the planting process, exact location of the soybean seed is vital to ensure uniform emergence. Soybeans are likely to prosper when planted about 1.25 to 1.5 inches into the soil. At this depth, the seeds will have access to the moisture they require to develop. With all seeds planted at or near the same depth and with access to appropriate moisture, growers should see better consistency across their field.

3. Seed Treatments

When it comes to soybeans, growers should understand what disease and pest pressures they need to be aware of for their respective fields. Their local ag retailer can help them develop a strategic plan to achieve their soybean yield goals. With current options in customized seed treatments, retailers can help their customer with a specialized seed treatment that best helps them get their crop off to a good start, but is also cost effective since it includes the active ingredients they need and not a lot of products they do not need.

4. pH Sensitivity

Soybean plants grow better in soils with a balanced pH level. According to Fred Below, Ph.D., plant scientist at the University of Illinois, the ideal range is between 6.0 and 6.8. The root system of the soybean plant leaves them vulnerable to soils that are more acidic or soils that tend to be heavily alkaline. The soybean plant’s single taproot only allows it to extract nutrients from one concentrated area. Acidity from the plant can be helpful to its growth initially, but if it is washed away by rain, the soil can become alkaline heavy. This makes nutrients unavailable to the plant. On the other hand, soil that is more acidic will shut down microbes in the soil. Maintaining a healthy, balanced pH level is an important to ensure the soybean plants are able to access an optimum level of nutrients at the time they need them to produce the best possible yields.

5. Soil Fertility

There are several nutrients that are critical to developing a healthy and high yielding soybean plant. Phosphorus and potassium are two key players in soybean health. Potassium helps with water management and disease prevention while phosphorus is used during growth and reproduction to store and help transfer energy produced by photosynthesis. It also helps enhance shoot and root growth and promote early maturity.

Micronutrients are also important to proper growth of soybeans. For example, soybeans need access to the appropriate amounts of soluble iron to develop into healthy plants. Iron is critical to the development of chlorophyll within the plant. Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) is a common soil issue in some areas of the country. IDC tends to occur in soil with high pH levels, which can prevent plant roots from reducing iron to a soluble state that can be used by the plant.

Soybean Health Resources

For additional soybean resources, check out a recent article by Kansas State Extension featured in Ag Professional, about the new “Soybean Growth and Development” poster published by K-State Research and Extension.

Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central

Celebrate National Ag Day on March 21

“Growing up in rural South Dakota, surrounded by farms and ranches as far as the eye could see, I never gave the food supply chain a second thought. It was intertwined in everything I did,” writes Mark Biedenfeld, vice president, CHS Aligned Solutions on the Ag Day blog. He goes on to emphasize the important role those in agriculture play in helping our broader communities understand where their food comes from.

Biedenfeld joins others in contributing to the blog in a nod to National Ag Day, coming up this Tuesday, March 21. The celebration is now a tradition across the U.S., created to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Agriculture provides almost everything we eat, use and eat on a daily basis, and is increasingly contributing to fuel and other bio-products. (more…)

5 Ways to Ensure the Best Stand

stand establishment

LivingLandscapeArchitecture

Uniform stand establishment is a critical component in achieving maximum yield potential. With unexpected weather and other uncontrollable factors often impacting the crop’s stand, it is even more important to be proactive in the areas that can be controlled. Fortunately, there are steps to help get your crop off to a strong start and encourage a strong and healthy stand.

1. Seed Selection

Each season it all starts with selecting your seed. There are multiple considerations growers need to be aware of when selecting the appropriate seed, including the geography, any unique field conditions, potential impact from weeds, disease and pests, maturity timing, etc. These considerations need to be evaluated in cooperation with your farm management practices to ensure the best results. Read more on considerations for seed selection, for soybeans and for corn. (more…)

Preparing for a Successful Planting Season

planting season

Ian Sane

As the weather begins to creep into warmer temperatures and the sun lingers in the sky longer in the evening, thoughts of spring come to mind.

With the 2017 planting season quickly approaching for many and even if still several weeks away for cooler geographies, it is a key time to make sure that plans are underway to help get the crop off to a strong start. Having a set schedule and list leading up to your key planting dates will provide extra time as necessary to be devoted to any unexpected issues as they arise. (more…)

© 2017 CHS Inc.