CHS Inc. owners elect five board members during annual meeting

Portrait of newly and re-elected CHS Board Members

CHS owners elected five board members to three-year terms during the cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting held Dec. 5-6 in Minneapolis. Pictured (l. to r.) are: Kevin Throener, Hal Clemesen, Mark Farrell, Alan Holm and Steve Riegel.

Officers of board also elected by board peers following Annual Meeting

CHS owners elected five board members to three-year terms during the cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting held Dec. 5-6 in Minneapolis. Newly elected to three-year terms are:

Hal Clemensen succeeds former director Randy Knecht, who retired from the CHS Board of Directors on Dec. 6. Clemensen represents Region 4, covering South Dakota, and has been the president of the board of directors of Agtegra Cooperative since its formation in 2018. He was president of the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association from 2005 until its merger with North Central Farmers Elevator in 2018. He is a past director and is an active member of the South Dakota Soybean Association and an active member of South Dakota Corn Growers. In 2015, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives named him Farmer Cooperative Director of the year. He raises corn, soybeans and wheat near Conde, South Dakota. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economic and Agricultural Business from South Dakota State University. Clemensen was appointed to the CHS Board’s Government Relations and Corporate Risk committees.

Kevin Throener succeeds former director Dennis Carlson, who retired from the board on Dec. 6, and represents Region 3, which covers North Dakota. Throener has been a director of CHS Dakota Plains Ag since 2014 and served as vice president of the Sargent County Farmers Union Board of Directors since 2007. He has also served on the Cogswell, North Dakota, Volunteer Fire Department since 1997 and was its chief from 2010 to 2018. Throener raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa and operates a feedlot and cow/calf business near Cogswell, North Dakota. Throener and his wife Ronda are first-generation farmers who built their operation from the ground up. He studied Agricultural Systems Management at North Dakota State University. He was appointed to the CHS Board’s Governance Committee and the CHS Foundation Board of Trustees.

Reelected to three-year terms are:

  • Mark Farrell, who operates a corn, soybean and wheat farm in Dane County, Wisconsin, representing Region 5.
  • Alan Holm, who operates a corn, soybean, sweet corn, peas and hay operation and has a cow-calf herd near Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, representing Region 1.
  • Steve Riegel, who raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, dryland wheat and milo near Ford, Kansas, representing Region 8.

Following the Annual Meeting, the board held its annual re-organization meeting. Each of the following board members was elected to one-year officer terms:

  • Dan Schurr, chair
  • C.J. Blew, first vice chair
  • Jon Erickson, second vice chair
  • Russ Kehl, secretary-treasurer
  • Steve Riegel, assistant secretary-treasurer

Nitrogen Application in Wheat

By: Zack Meyer
Agronomist, CCA
CHS - Okarche

Wheat production is a gamble year in and year out. It is not up to a producer to decide on when the next weather event will take place. The next rain or freeze is right around the corner, but how far ahead is that corner? Growers are mostly in the dark in terms of knowing when our next market rally comes around. One thing that you can control as producers are crop management inputs and other decisions that allow you to give your crop the best chance at succeeding. One of the most important of these decisions revolve around nitrogen.

Step one when dealing with nitrogen or overall soil fertility is knowing what you are working with. The CHS agronomy team offers soil sampling services and evaluations based on analytical results from your field. These results will allow you to implement a strategy that will put your inputs on the acre that needs it and at the necessary amount. Why apply nitrogen at $0.40 per lb. if you don’t know whether you even need it, or how much you actually need? Oftentimes, we all fall into the habit of repeating what we did last year, even though that may not always be our best management decision.

There are a number of factors to consider when making nitrogen applications to wheat. Requirements for nitrogen fluctuate throughout the growing season. At preplant, wheat only requires a small portion of the total requirement. Therefore, you should always consider spreading your applications throughout the year. I like to see 3 applications (preplant, late fall, and spring) of nitrogen throughout the season on an ideal year. In a grazing situation, more nitrogen applied in the fall will boost early forage growth providing more tonnage and quality forage through the dormant period. Environmental conditions play a role in when we can and cannot make nitrogen applications. For example, this year’s crop to date is behind in growth. Therefore, some fields are just not exhibiting enough growth to make that late fall application of UAN. In this case, you may be limited to just a preplant and spring application. Our current crop’s situation may also allow us to explore other sources of nitrogen to help lessen the possible crop injury. This should still allow you to reach your total nitrogen needs. 

Another advantage to splitting your nitrogen applications is to minimize the loss of excess nitrogen. The plant can only utilize a portion of the applied nitrogen at one time, leaving the excess susceptible to volatilization and leaching. While CHS carries products to minimize the amount of loss stemming from leaching and volatilization, the best practice is to split applications.

Crop investment is a scary thing when our commodity prices are struggling. We must always keep an eye on our “break even” but understand that with a little TLC, our current wheat varieties are capable of big things on any given year. It’s imperative to collect all the possible information that will help you feel confident your investments will net a return. Your CHS agronomist can work through this process with you. We will discuss agronomic advantages or disadvantages of our products, develop strategic crop budgets that keep an eye on the “break even”, or assist in all other cropping needs on your farm.

CHS Board announces fiscal 2019 equity management decisions

CHS will return $180 million in cash patronage and equity redemptions to its owners based on fiscal 2019 earnings.

Of that $180 million, $90 million will be distributed in cash patronage and $90 million will be distributed through equity redemptions.

  • Of the $90 million in equity redemptions, $63 million will be returned to member cooperatives and $27 million to individual members.
    • The $27 million in redemptions of individual producer member equity will be provided based on qualifying requests from individual members (estates and age 70+).
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4 essential lubricant tips for winterizing farm equipment

Farm equipment sitting in storage

By Jon Woetzel, Manager Technical Services, Energy Lubricants, CHS from the Cenexperts blog

Harvest is tough. Once you’ve made it through some of the hardest weeks of the year, both you and your equipment deserve some R&R. But before your machines take a long winter’s nap, it’s important to get them ready for sitting dormant in the cold.

Even when your equipment isn’t running, lubricants play an essential role in keeping it protected. That’s why, as part of your yearly winterizing routine, you’ll want to assess your equipment’s fluids. Use these four lubricant tasks to protect your rigs all the way to spring.

1. Get a used oil analysis

Throughout harvest, your machines work overtime to meet the grueling demands of a farm’s busiest time of year. By the end of the season, all that wear and tear can take a toll on an engine, and seemingly small issues at this point can lead to bigger problems come spring.

A used oil analysis is an easy way to catch early warning signs of major issues that could be brewing inside your engine. This is because oil is the lifeblood of your equipment, touching nearly every part inside the engine.

Used oil analysis works by detecting any trace elements present in a sample of used oil from inside your rig. Based on the elements that turn up, lab technicians can identify a number of issues that may be waiting to happen in specific areas of your engine. Fix any issues before putting your equipment away, and you’ll set yourself up for success come time for planting. To get started, you can purchase a used oil analysis kit from your local CHS energy specialist.

2. Replace the engine oil

Once you’ve performed a used oil analysis, you may also want to consider an oil change before you put your machines away for winter. This is especially true if the results of your analysis reveal any traces of wear. After you make any repairs recommended by your analysis, give your machines some fresh, clean oil so you don’t leave acids and contaminants festering inside your engine for months on end.

Even if your used oil analysis comes back clean, you may still want to consider replacing your oil before winter. Remember, the longer an oil has been used, the less effective it becomes at protecting against rust and corrosion.

If you’re getting close to your change interval, it’s best to replace oil this season instead of waiting until spring. Just be sure to run the engine for at least 10 minutes before storing your rig to allow the oil to circulate. For protection all winter long, try a high-quality engine oil from Cenex such as MAXTRON® ENVIRO-EDGE® synthetic diesel engine oil, engineered for maximum lifespan and excellent protection against corrosive wear.

3. Top off your hydraulic tank

Another lubricant tip for winterizing your equipment is to top off hydraulic tanks. To function properly, hydraulic systems need to breathe, but since they’re not airtight, they’re prone to letting in moisture as equipment sits all winter. Condensation inside a hydraulic system is bad news due to the harmful corrosion it may cause.

The best way to prevent condensation in your hydraulic system over the winter is to minimize the airspace inside. The less opportunity air has to get in, the lower the chance that moisture will collect. Check your hydraulic fluid level, and if it’s not full, go ahead and top off your tank. Be careful, though, not to overfill. To further minimize condensation, you may also want to consider switching to a hydraulic fluid designed to prolong the life of your system’s seals, like MAXTRON® THF+.

4. Grease up moving parts

Finally, once you’ve taken care of your machines’ other fluids, complete the job by greasing any moving parts. Even though they’ll be sitting still all winter, moving parts can still corrode.Not only will a fresh coat of grease keep your equipment from rusting through the winter but it will also get it moving again easier come spring. For superior protection against rust and corrosion, try a Cenex grease such as MAXTRON® FS.

When the hard work of harvest is over, it can be tempting to overlook details like winterizing your equipment. But the period right after harvest is a valuable opportunity to take care of maintenance tasks that can fall through the cracks during busier times of year. Give your machines some TLC now, and you can both kick back soon for some well-deserved hibernation.

© 2019 CHS Inc.