Welcome to CHS Crop Life

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.”  

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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Area producers share in local CHS patronage distribution

Eligible farmer-owners of CHS Ag Services, based out of Warren, Minnesota, shared in the recent distribution of cash patronage and equity based on business done with CHS.

“We’re extremely proud to share this important cooperative membership benefit with our customers,” said Ryan Anderson, general manager. “Delivering an economic return to them on the business they do with CHS is one more way we help our owners grow.”

This locally based retail division of CHS Inc. allocated a total of $12,949,391.11 in patronage dividends to its eligible members based on business done Sept. 1, 2017 – Aug. 31, 2018, of which $2,288,157.82 is being paid out in cash.

Overall, CHS Inc. will return $150 million in cash patronage and equity redemption to its farmer-owners in 2019, part of the cooperative’s commitment to sharing profits with our 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 and based on performance, financial strength and long-term growth opportunities.

“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.

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.

Stand-Up for Grain Safety Week was organized by the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Grain Elevator and Processing Society, the American Feed Industry Association and the Grain Handling Safety Coalition.

The groups remind us to remember five steps to grain safety:

  • Never walk down grain
  • Guard elevated work surfaces
  • Watch for moving equipment
  • Safeguard moving equipment
  • Lock out equipment

Moving or flowing grain acts like quicksand and can bury a person in seconds. From the time an auger starts, a person has two to three seconds to react. In four to five seconds, a person is trapped. In 22 seconds or less, the person is completely covered by grain. Grain bin incidents often result in multiple fatalities because coworkers improperly attempt rescue procedures and become engulfed themselves.

“Following procedures, evaluating your surroundings, using proper equipment and ensuring constant communication are keys to entering and exiting a grain bin or silo safely,” Surdick says. “Do it the right way, every time.”

Be aware of bridging grain, which occurs when grain clumps together due to moisture or mold. These conditions can create an empty space beneath the grain as it is unloaded, which means it can collapse unexpectedly or under a person’s weight. Do not enter a bin when there is a bridging condition, or if grain is built up on the side of the bin.

Always monitor the atmosphere inside bins for dangerous changes. Make sure there two people are always present when working in bins and maintain communications between the attendant outside the bin and the person inside the bin.

Never move grain into or out of a bin while someone is inside. Lockout/tagout all mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment that presents a danger, particularly grain-moving equipment.

A bin of grain may seem harmless, but in just seconds, that harmless grain can claim a life. Please be safe and share these messages with anyone working with grain.

Join the fight against hunger

People in rural communities live surrounded by growing food, but they experience hunger too. That’s why CHS is once again teaming up with local farmers to fight hunger in rural America. The CHS Harvest for Hunger food, grain and fund drive begins March 1 and continues through March 20 at your nearest CHS location.

“We might never know that the neighbor across the road or down the drive struggles to put food on the table, but through our efforts this month, we can make sure those local food shelves can anonymously help those who need it most,” says Rick Dusek, executive vice president, CHS Country Operations. “For nine years now, our CHS employees and farmer-owners have stepped up during this annual campaign to help local and regional food shelves feed those in need.”

Since 2011, CHS has raised more than $5.6 million and 3.6 million pounds of food through its Country Operations business units. CHS locations across the United States have organized ways to get farmer, ranchers, employees and community members involved in fun and interactive ways to to raise food and funds to fight hunger.

Financial donations are encouraged as they give food banks additional buying power to provide nutritious food at deeply discounted rates; $1 equals 6 pounds of food for area food banks. But food and grain donations are also accepted. Every donation counts.

“All the food, money and grain raised by CHS Harvest for Hunger goes directly back to local and regional food banks to help fill their shelves,” Dusek says. “This way, we can help those in need by ensuring those organizations dedicated to fighting rural hunger have the resources they need to make a real difference in people’s lives.”  

Stop by or contact your nearest CHS location to learn how you can support CHS Harvest for Hunger.

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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Join us for Annual Meeting and Ag Industry Day

CHS Ag Services will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, March 7, in conjunction with Ag Industry Day at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. We encourage to you attend this meeting and Ag Industry Day to gain valuable insight into the 2019 growing season and hear latest industry news and trends. You will also be able to participate in the governance of your cooperative and learn more about the future direction of CHS Ag Services.

Registration for the day begins at 8:30 a.m. with the annual meeting beginning at 9 a.m. Hear from the CHS Ag Services management team and producer board, as well as Jay Debertin, CHS President and CEO. From 10:30 a.m. to noon, the U.S. Farm Report will be taping a live session at Ag Industry Day. Following lunch, you will be able to choose from a variety of breakout sessions focused on agronomy, energy and grain. The day ends at 3 p.m.

CHS Ag Services
Annual Meeting and Ag Industry Day
Thursday, March 7, 2019
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with lunch provided
Alerus Center
1200 S. 42nd St
Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201

CHS Ag Services looks forward to visiting with you at the annual meeting and Ag Industry Day on March 7. It will be a time to learn, connect and share our vision for the future. If you have any questions prior to the meeting, please contact Ryan Anderson, CHS Ag Services general manager, 218-843-5205.

© 2019 CHS Inc.