Check for underground utilities before digging

Whether your spring to-do list includes building a fence or planting trees – breaking ground should always be done with caution. April is National Safe Digging Month so remember, your best line of defense before digging is to call 811, a free service that marks underground utilities and pipelines. Many of these are less than a foot underground. 

The process is simple: Call 811 or visit clickbeforeyoudig.com three days before a digging project, wait for underground utilities to be marked and don’t dig within two feet of those markers.  

digging

It’s best to call 811 any time you break ground, even if you think you know where a utility line is located. “In the U.S., an underground utility is hit every nine minutes, causing dangerous consequences,” says Tina Beach, public awareness specialist for CHS. “It takes a lifetime to build a farm, and it takes just one free call to keep it safe.”  

Area producers share in local CHS patronage distribution

Eligible farmer-owners of CHS retail businesses based in Colorado shared in the recent distribution of cash patronage and equity based on business done with the co-op.

Between the three retail businesses, eligible farmer-owners in Colorado and western Nebraska shared in a total of $4,644,776.68 in patronage dividends based on business done Sept. 1, 2017 — Aug. 31, 2018. Of that, $820,732.05 was paid out in cash.

“We’re extremely proud to share this important cooperative membership benefit with our customers,” said John Ptacnik, general manager of the CHS retail business based in Yuma, Colorado.

This locally based retail division of CHS Inc. allocated a total of $2,361,329.60 in patronage dividends from fiscal 2018, of which $417,247.03 is being paid out in cash.

“Delivering an economic return to our farmer-owners for the business they do with CHS is one more way we help our owners grow,” said Evan Fust, general manager of CHS Grainland, based in Holyoke, Colorado.

CHS Grainland allocated a total of $2,269,336.88 in patronage dividends to its eligible members based on business done Sept. 1, 2017 – Aug. 31, 2018, of which $400,991.76 is being paid out in cash.

Since 2015, the two retail businesses have worked together through an agronomy partnership to bring agronomy services and products to area producers. Farmer-owners who did business through that agronomy partnership shared in $14,110.20 of patronage dividends, with $2,493.26 of that being paid out in cash.

“We are proud to bring the latest in precision ag technology, crop inputs and crop protection products to our farmer-owners, while also allowing them to earn patronage on the business they do with us,” said Jason Hovey, general manager of the agronomy partnership, based in Sterling, Colorado.

Overall, CHS Inc. will return $150 million in cash patronage and equity redemption to its owners in 2019, part of the cooperative’s commitment to sharing profits with owners and returning money to rural America where it can be reinvested in the community. More than 840 local cooperatives and 25,000 farmers share in this distribution of cash patronage and equity redemptions.

The percentage returned to owners is determined annually by the CHS Board of Directors.

“Returning cash to our owners enables farmers, ranchers and cooperatives to invest in their own futures,” said Dan Schurr, chairman of the CHS Board. In the past 12 years, CHS has returned about $3.5 billion to its owners in the form of cash patronage.

3 equipment tips to get the most out of a short planting season

Planting Equipment Tips

By Mimi Falkman, senior marketing specialist, CHS Lubricants

Planting season is always a busy time of year on the farm, but it can be especially tight when winter overstays its welcome. A short spring means there’s even less time than usual for farmers to complete some of the most important work of the year.

During a condensed planting season, equipment is under added stress because it needs to work overtime to meet demands. To keep machines protected and operating at peak performance during a shorter spring, farmers can set themselves up for success by preparing their equipment and fluids while the fields are still wet.

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CHS reports $596.3 million of net income for first six months of fiscal 2019

CHS Income

CHS Inc. reported net income of $248.8 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 and $596.3 million for the first six months of fiscal 2019.

“Our strong performance in the second quarter reflects our hard work at serving our owners and other customers better. We’ve refocused on serving our customers and improving our operations, and that has shown positive results in our financials for the first half of fiscal 2019,” said Jay Debertin, CHS president and chief executive officer. “Our performance also reflects the benefit of a diverse platform across business units that serves our cooperative and farmer-owners.”

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Recognize, respect risks associated with grain handling

Grain powers American agriculture. During Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week, March 25 through 29, we want to remind everyone working on farms and in grain-handling facilities to respect and understand the risks associated with working with grain.

“It’s important to continue to work with the industry, our employees and our farmer-owners on the hazards in the grain industry, while stressing safe practices and controls to ensure their safety,” says Matt Surdick, manager, Country Operations Environment, Health and Safety, CHS.

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It Takes Talent to Feed the World

By Nanci Lilja, President, CHS Foundation

When most people think of agriculture, they wonder how we are going to feed the growing population of 9.6 billion by 2050. And while that’s an important question to consider, I find myself thinking more often about the individuals needed to fill the talent pipeline to feed that growing population.

With nearly 4 in 10 agriculture jobs going unfilled each year and the average-age of farmers ever increasing, it’s going to take a pragmatic, creative approach to encourage young people to pursue careers in agriculture.

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CHS adds crop protection distribution with acquisition of West Central

West Central Distribution

CHS has completed the acquisition of West Central Distribution, LLC, a full-service wholesale distributor of agronomy products headquartered in Willmar, Minnesota.

“Completing the acquisition of West Central demonstrates our commitment to provide more of the products, services and technologies cooperatives, retailers and our farmer-owners need to compete,” said Gary Halvorson, senior vice president, CHS Agronomy. “Ownership of West Central expands our agronomy platform, positions CHS as a leading supply partner to cooperatives and retailers serving growers throughout the United States and adds value for CHS owners.”

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Will 2019 be a disease year?

It may be impossible to tell with complete certainty where a disease will be an issue, but most people can agree on the conditions that can lead to disease. These conditions, otherwise known as the Disease Triangle, include a susceptible host, a conducive environment and a pathogen. When those three things collide, there will be a disease issue.

disease triangle

Though we can see the triangle forming, we can’t always predict how strong the pathogen will spread or how strong it will be. Because we are unable to make this prediction, prevention and planning are key to stopping the spread of diseases.

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© 2019 CHS Inc.