Freeing phosphorus: New ways to add crop nutrient availability

An innovative option makes broadcast crop nutrient applications more available.

Farmers wouldn’t be satisfied with just 20 percent weed control from a herbicide application, but that’s typically the best nutrient availability they can expect from dry phosphate fertilizer applications.

“Under the best soil conditions, only one-fifth of applied phosphorus may be available to the crop throughout the season,” says Steve Carlsen, Levesol and crop enhancement manager, CHS Agronomy. “Availability is even less when soil pH levels are too high or too low or in soils that contain too little organic matter.”

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Micronutrients 101: Going Back to Basics

This article first appeared in the LIFT newsletter, a publication of CHS Agronomy. Read the entire article.

As growers finalize planting preparations and plan in-season fertilizer and sidedress applications, they may be looking for solutions for micronutrients deficiencies identified by soil or tissue sampling on their most productive acres. What are the most essential micronutrients and what products can help with yield and profitability?

The essential micronutrients include Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo) and Manganese (Mn).

  • They are considered micros because they are needed in smaller amounts compared to macronutrients by the plant.
  • Many micronutrients hold the key to how well the other nutrients are used; attribute to how well the plant develops and effects the total yield it will produce come harvest.
  • They also help feed the microorganisms in the soil to perform important steps in various nutrient cycles of the growing process.
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CHS reports $125.4 million in second quarter net income

Sunset over a farm

April 8, 2020

Dear Owners:

We are pleased to share our second quarter results for fiscal year 2020. We reported net income of $125.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, which ended Feb. 29, 2020. This compares to net income of $248.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The company reported revenues of $6.6 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to revenues of $6.5 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. In the first six months of fiscal year 2020, CHS reported net income of $303.3 million compared to net income of $596.3 million in the first six months of fiscal year 2019.

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Update on COVID-19 from Jay Debertin

Dear valued customers and owners:

As our essential businesses work to meet spring season demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to focus on the health and safety of every person and community connected to CHS and the cooperative system.

We want you to know that CHS remains fully operational and committed to providing the essential products and services you need. Our supply chain is prepared and moving into action as spring fieldwork begins. Grain is moving and the spring shipping season has begun. We are grateful for those positive signs.

Thank you for your business. Please let us know how we can help you navigate through the days and weeks ahead.

Sincerely,

Jay D. Debertin
President and CEO

COVID-19 Updates – Locations

Current COVID-19 Changes at CHS based out of Brandon, SD (Updated Regularly)
Last updated 4/25/2020

Overall Company Updates:

  • We are limiting access at all locations and have eliminated walk-in traffic. Our staff members are available via phone (calls and texts) and email to fully serve your needs during this time.
  • We have restricted face-to-face meetings. Our sales staff will conduct business via phone, text or email. As a company that prides itself on the relationships we have built, this will be a difficult change. However, face-to-face meetings pose a greater risk for all parties. If you need to conduct critical business that requires an in-person meeting, please call for an appointment to confirm access to the facility and availability of staff. All visitors to our office will be required to complete a questionnaire before entering our facilities.

Baltic, SD

  • Seasonally closed to assist other locations with spring work.

Brandon, SD Grain:

  • Hours of Operation: 7:30AM – 5PM
  • Grain Shipments: Please stay in your truck as much as possible.
  • Please refrain from entering our office or other buildings unless it is absolutely essential. If it is essential, you will be asked to fill out the CHS Screening form before entering facility.
  • To limit face-to-face contact, please email me at alan.rausch@chsinc.com or call me (O) 605-582-2415 or Cell 605-941-5244
  • If you are on site for necessary business, please follow social distancing guidelines of 6 feet of space between people.

Canton, SD:

  • Grain Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM
  • Grain Contact Number: 605-987-2714
  • Energy Hours of Operation: 8AM – 5PM
  • Energy Contact Number: 605-332-5881
  • Grain Loading and Receiving: Please stay in your truck and do not enter the office. We will communicate through the kiosks.
  • Grain checks will be mailed out or passed through the scale window – call our office to talk with a member of our staff.

Colton, SD:

  • Hours of Operation: 7AM – 5PM Monday – Thursday, extended hours during spring season.
  • Office phone: 605-446-3400

Crofton, NE:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 5PM, Monday through Friday
  • Sales staff will be available by phone only.
  • Office is limited to essential visits only.
  • We are asking that appointments be made to visit staff in the main office as some staff can be working remotely, please call 402-388-4588.
  • Payments can be placed in the drop box outside the office door.

Elkton, SD:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM
  • Loading Grain: Please stay in your truck. DO NOT ENTER the scale room until further notice.
  • Delivering Grain: Please stay within 4 feet of your truck/tractor and wagon. DO NOT ENTER the scale room until further notice.
  • All grain checks will be mailed out.
  • Feed orders and deliveries, please call the elevator and we will assist you with your orders.
  • Hardware store and energy, the office is limited to essential business customers only.
  • Agronomy office is limited to essential business customer only and we ask that you make an appointment to visit with staff.
  •  We have a drop box outside the office door for payments.
  • To talk with office or agronomy staff, please call 605-542-2371
  • To talk with elevator staff, please call 605-542-2211
  • For any emergencies, please call 507-920-1075

Ellis, SD:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM Monday through Friday
  • Facility is closed to visitors except by appointment
  • Call for information, 605-332-5881

Garretson, SD:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM, Monday through Friday
  • Please adhere to the CDC guidelines at all times at this facility
  • We ask that appointments be made to visit office staff, please call 605-594-3415.

Hurley, SD:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
  • Grain Receiving & Loading: Please stay in your truck and do not enter the office unless otherwise advised by staff.
  • All grain checks will be mailed out of the Canton office.
  • Site Contacts: Office – 605-238-5281 or David, Location Manager, at (c) 605-214-0517

Jasper, MN

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM, Monday – Friday
  • Grain Shipments: Please stay in your truck as much as possible.
  • Please refrain from entering our office or other building unless it is absolutely essential.
  • If you are on-site, we ask that you adhere to the 6-foot distancing guidelines set out by the CDC.
  • To limit face-to-face contact, please email Brandon at brandon.mack@chsinc.com or call the office at 507-348-3911.

Kanaranzi, MN:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM, Monday through Friday
  • Grain Receiving and Shipments: Please remain in your truck and wait for instructions from staff. DO NOT ENTER the office area.
  • Please adhere to the 6-foot distancing guidelines set out by the CDC.
  • For any questions, please call 507-283-8989

Luverne, MN:

  • Hours of Operation: 7:30AM – 5:00PM
  • We are asking that appointments be made to visit staff in the main office, please call 507-283-4418.
  • Grain Deliveries: Please stay in your vehicle until the attendant comes out to give you instructions.
  • For Feed: Please call the mill at 507-449-2002 and someone will come to assist you.
  • For Energy Parts: Please call 507-283-4418 and someone will come to assist you.
  • Payments can be placed in the drop box located to the left of the main door.

Magnolia, MN:

  • Grain Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM – Monday through Friday
  • Grain Receiving and Shipping: We ask truckers and patrons adhere to the 6-foot distancing guidelines set out by the CDC. We will bring all paperwork to you.
  • For grain questions, please contact Brad Skattum at 507-920-9553
  • Ag Center Hours of Operation: 8AM – 5PM, Monday through Friday
  • Visitors are by appointment only.
  • Please contact our office at 507-283-2431

Marshall, MN:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 5PM
  • Agronomy sales staff will be available by phone or video calls only.
  • Office is limited to essential visits only. If necessary, please adhere to the 6-foot distancing guidelines set out by the CDC.
  • Seed Department: receiving and pickup, please leave paperwork on the back of your trailer and stay in your truck.
  • Grain Loading: Please stay in your truck.
  • Unloading Grain: Please stay within 6 foot of your truck/tractor while unloading.

Pipestone, MN:

  • Hours of Operation: 7:30AM – 4:30PM
  • We are adhering to the CDC guidelines, using 6′ spacing, wiping down contacted surfaces multiple times a day.
  • We ask that you limit contact with route drivers and adhere to the 6′ spacing.
  • For energy parts, please call 507-825-4256 and someone will come to assist you
  • Payments can be placed in the drop box located to the right of the main door
  • While assisting customers with portable LP tanks to be filled we are asking that you keep maximum distance and no follow employees to the fill station.

Ruthton, MN:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM
  • Agronomy sales staff is available by phone or video calls.
  • Office is limited to essential visits only. If necessary, please adhere to the 6-foot distancing guidelines set out by the CDC.
  • Grain Probe Shack: Please do not enter until further notice.
  • Loading Trucks: Please stay in your truck.
  • Unloading Grain: Please stay within 6 foot of your truck/tractor while unloading.

Tracy, MN:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 4PM
  • Loading Grain: Please stay in your truck. DO NOT ENTER the scale room until further notice.
  • Delivering Grain: Please stay within 4 feet of your truck/tractor and wagon. DO NOT ENTER the scale room until further notice.
  • All grain checks will be mailed out.
  • Please call, 507-629-3780 to talk with staff.
  • Feed Mill Hours of Operation: 6AM – 5PM
  • Please call or email in feed orders
  • Bulk and back delivery drivers, please stay in your trucks and call 507-629-3781 for assistance.
  • Bag feed orders, please call and we will bring bags outside to the loading dock.
  • Please contact Jacob Portz at Jacob.Portz@chsinc.com or Rod Benson at Rod.Benson@chsinc.com for any questions or orders.

Wausa, NE:

  • Hours of Operation: 8AM – 5PM – hours will adjust to 6:30AM – Dark when agronomy season starts.
  • If you with to meet with office staff, please call ahead to make an appointment as some staff is working remotely.
  • Our office is open, but ask that if you are ill, please stay home or call and we will meet you at the door. We would like to limit the number of people in the office.
  • Please respect the CDC guidelines of social distancing at 6ft if you are on the premises.
  • Sales staff is available by cell phone only.
  • We ask that you please stay in your vehicle when we are loading chemical or fertilizer.
  • If you are a trucker, please stay on the scale and someone will come to you.
  • Protocols are subject to change with recommended guidelines and management discretion.

Worthing, SD:

  • Hours of Operation: 7AM – 5PM , Monday through Thursday
  • Office Phone: 605-372-3700

A message about COVID-19

With the impact of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 evolving rapidly, we want to reassure you that CHS is taking steps to protect the health and safety of our employees, our owners and customers, and the communities we serve.

We are developing plans with the goal of continuing to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers and owners. Specific measures include:

  • Close coordination and collaboration to ensure safety and wellbeing of employees, customers and communities
  • Cancelation of annual meetings and other meetings of large groups and limiting visits to CHS facilities
  • Additional use of voice, video and other technology to serve you, our customers and coordinate farm visits
  • Activating plans to flex employees between locations or business units to better serve you
  • New process and rigor for interactions with vendors, suppliers, contractors or other third parties to promote health and safety
  • Fully utilizing our powerful and flexible supply chain and asset base should it become necessary to deliver to or from alternate locations

As the busy spring season unfolds, we will continue to adjust as circumstances change. We don’t take this challenge lightly, but we’re committed to working through it with effective planning, communication and execution. With our talented and committed team, best-in-class assets and our values of safety and cooperative spirit, we are confident CHS will continue to deliver products and services for customers and value for owners.


This means the cancellation of our upcoming annual meeting to be held on Friday, March 13, at the Caboose in Tracy, Minnesota, and Monday, March 16, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Extended absentee voting for the producer board in Region 6, which includes our locations in Crofton, Dixon and Wausa, Nebraska will take place at each respective location until Friday, March 20th at 4pm.

Further Cancellations:
The Worthing Ag Center Trade Show scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th and the Chili Cook-off in Garretson scheduled for Tuesday, March 24th have been cancelled.

Thank you for your understanding.

March 13 & 16 Annual Meetings Cancelled

Out of an abundance of caution due to growing international concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19), CHS has suspended meetings and events until further notice. This decision impacts site tours, annual meetings and other events.

This includes the cancellation of our upcoming annual meeting to be held on Friday, March 13, at the Caboose in Tracy, Minnesota, and Monday, March 16, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  

We are currently working through schedule of extended absentee voting for the producer board in Region 6, which includes our locations in Crofton, Dixon and Wausa, Nebraska.

Thank you for your understanding.

Learn ways to stay safe during Grain Bin Safety Week

grain bin safety training

Grain bins can be dangerous places. Purdue University researchers report that bin-related injuries such as entrapments, equipment entanglements and asphyxia are on the rise – more than 60 incidents occurred in the U.S. in 2018. 

As part of our commitment to safety as a core value, CHS is partnering with other ag industry leaders to support Grain Bin Safety Week, Feb. 16-22. Here are the top three things you can do to promote safe practices around grain bins:

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Freeze warning

Decrease the risk of cold-weather downtime with the right diesel.

use the right premium diesel during cold weather

When temperatures drop, a farmer’s work doesn’t stop. Keeping equipment running at its peak during colder weather requires a watchful eye on what’s in your fuel tank.

Here’s the main problem that comes when temperatures drop: Diesel fuel hits its cloud point — the temperature at which wax crystals begin to appear in the fuel, also known as gelling. Cloud point is reached in #2 diesel fuel when fuel temperatures hit 4 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on where you buy your fuel, says Chad Christiansen, manager of product quality and additives for CHS.

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CHS reports $177.9 million in first quarter net income

Truck delivering propane to residential home in winter

Significant increase in fall propane demand helped balance difficult market conditions

CHS reported net income of $177.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 that ended Nov. 30, 2019. This compares to net income of $347.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 reflect:

  • Revenues of $7.6 billion compared to revenues of $8.5 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Strong supply chain performance in our propane business that was a positive contributor resulting from efficient sourcing of propane during significantly increased fall demand – brought on by unseasonably early cold and wet weather during harvest – for crop drying and home heating.
  • Less advantageous market conditions in our refined fuels business compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, during which the company experienced historically wide pricing spreads between Canadian crude oil and crude oil from the United States. CHS processes Canadian crude oil at its refineries in Laurel, Montana, and McPherson, Kansas.
  • Poor weather conditions that occurred in fiscal year 2019 and the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 continued to negatively impact our Ag segment’s operations, resulting in lower crop yields, poor grain quality in some areas and lower fall crop nutrients sales.
  • Pressure on grain volume and margins due to slow movement of grain associated with unresolved trade issues between the United States and foreign trading partners.
  • Decreased fertilizer volumes compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 due to a slow harvest in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

“We are not immune to the challenges of our industry, and our first quarter results reflect the difficulties brought on by fall weather and ongoing trade tensions,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “The cooperative system, however, provides CHS and its owners stability to withstand these difficult times. Our focus remains on building efficiencies in our supply chain and on operating in this challenging agricultural environment.

“During a cold and wet harvest, we leveraged our supply chain to meet the significant increase in propane needs of our owners and customers,” Debertin continued. “Our focus on meeting the needs of our owners helped deliver the successful launch of two products – Acuvant™ and Trivar™ – that will be available for spring planting.

“We know the remainder of fiscal year 2020 will continue to present challenges, and we are confident in our ability to find opportunities in those challenges, to help our owners grow their businesses and to continue to strengthen our company,” he said. “No one feels those challenges more than our owners. We remain committed to supporting communities and experts as they address the stress felt across rural America.”

First Quarter Fiscal 2020 Business Segment Results

The following segment results were reported for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 as compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Energy
Pretax earnings of $162.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to $232.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Significantly less advantageous market conditions, driven primarily by decreased crude oil spreads on heavy Canadian crude oil processed at our refineries and, to a lesser extent, decreased crack spreads in our refined fuels business compared to the same period during fiscal year 2019. The decreased crude oil differentials and lower crack spreads were partially offset by favorable hedging activity in refined fuels.
  • The decrease in pretax income for refined fuels was partially offset by significantly improved propane margins from a late, wet crop combined with unseasonably cold weather across much of CHS service area that led to increased fall demand for crop drying and home heating compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Ag
Pretax loss of $13.9 million compared to pretax earnings of $80.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflects:

  • Poor weather conditions in fiscal year 2019 that culminated in a late and smaller fall harvest, resulting in decreased demand for farm supplies and crop nutrient products.
  • Ongoing global trade tensions between the United States and foreign trading partners continued to negatively impact grain volumes and margins.
  • Lower margins in our processing and food ingredients business.

Nitrogen Production
Pretax earnings of $16.5 million compared to pretax earnings of $23.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Lower equity income from our investment in CF Nitrogen, of which CHS has partial ownership, attributable to decreased market pricing of urea and urea ammonium nitrate, which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen.

Corporate and Other
Pretax earnings of $20.7 million compared to pretax earnings of $30.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Results primarily from lower equity income from our investments in Ardent Mills and Ventura Foods and decreased income in our financing and hedging businesses due to market-driven interest rate reductions and lower trading activity, respectively.
CHS 1st quarter balance sheet

© 2020 CHS Inc.