New app puts CHS activity at your fingertips

farmer loggin in to MyCHS

Time. We never seem to have enough of it.  And every new tech tool seems to just add another online destination with a singular purpose. But not for CHS patrons. With a simple single sign-on, producers can see their CHS business activity all in one place, even if they have multiple accounts. Contracts, bookings, prepays, scale tickets, payment history and more for agronomy, energy, grain and seed business can be viewed, sorted – even downloaded – from anywhere, anytime. All from one, web-based app: MyCHS.

The biggest advantage? Saving time. CHS transactions are a touch away – whether in front of a laptop in a farm office, on a tablet in the field or on a phone in the tractor cab.

“I can customize what I can see,” says Lucas Goodwin, Minnesota farmer and MyCHS user. “Filtering is easy. And navigating between all the separate components, like the contracts and the settlements, is logical and quick.”

Lucas was among a group of CHS customers picked to give app feedback in small focus groups and then as a beta user, comparing the new MyCHS with the former Customer Resources tool. Getting customer feedback early and ongoing during the development process was critical to making sure the web-based app fit the way today’s farmer wants to use technology.

“It’s a nice upgrade,” he concludes of MyCHS. He was a user of the former application. The recent upgrade provides all producers doing business with CHS with the data they need to make timely, information-rich decisions.

“Our CHS producers have continued to advance and look for ways to become the best they can be in some of the toughest markets they’ve experienced,” says Megan Schmit, director, Grain Procurement for CHS Country Operations division. “Even our producers who may not have called themselves tech savvy are using more and more tools to better their operation and MyCHS is giving them access to their total business with us, not just grain.”

Megan was part of the CHS team helping connect with farmers and finding out what would serve their information needs.

“I’m excited that we’re not stopping here,” she adds. “We’re going to continually take feedback from our producers and employees to keep improving and enhancing this tool for years to come.”

MyCHS is a free web-based app, available to any farmer or rancher doing business with CHS. It’s easy to register here and start seeing what MyCHS can do to help you.

CHS reports $54.6 million of net income for third quarter of fiscal 2019

Company reports net income of $650.9 million for first nine months of fiscal year

CHS Inc. today announced its financial results for the third quarter and the first nine months of fiscal year 2019.

CHS reported:

  • Net income of $54.6 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to $181.8 million for the restated third quarter of fiscal 2018. One-time pre-tax gains of $124.1 million in the restated third quarter of fiscal year 2018 were not realized in the same time period in fiscal 2019. One-time pre-tax gains of $19.2 million related to the purchase of the remaining 75 percent share of West Central Distribution, LLC were realized in the third quarter of fiscal 2019.
  • Consolidated revenues of $8.5 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to $9.1 billion for the restated third quarter of fiscal 2018.
  • Net income of $650.9 million for the first nine months of fiscal 2019 compared to $535.5 million for the restated first nine months of fiscal 2018, an increase of 21.5 percent.

“Our cooperative continues to perform well through the first nine months of the fiscal year. Though our net income was down compared to the prior year third quarter of fiscal 2018, the first nine months of fiscal year 2019 have been strong,” said Jay Debertin, CHS president and CEO. “During the third quarter, we completed the acquisition of the remaining 75 percent ownership interest in West Central Distribution, LLC, a full-service wholesale distributor of agronomy products headquartered in Willmar, Minnesota. The acquisition demonstrates our commitment to provide more of the products, services and technology our owners need to compete. Scheduled maintenance at our refinery in McPherson, Kansas, slowed production of refined fuels; but that maintenance investment will enable CHS to better serve our owners and rural America in the long term. We are committed and working hard to maximize earnings for our owners by creating connections to empower agriculture.

“The uncertainty of the international trade markets continues to create difficult circumstances for all who work in agribusiness. Weather challenges led to late planting that has hurt our owners – America’s farmers and cooperatives that help grow the food to feed the world,” Debertin said. “We traveled throughout our trade territory this spring to meet with our owners, and every location we visited was impacted by heavy spring rains and late planting. At CHS, we are working to navigate external challenges, and we are committed to leveraging the strength of our supply chain to help our owners and customers navigate as the year progresses.”

Third Quarter Fiscal 2019 Business Segment Results

The following business segment results were reported for the third quarter of fiscal 2019 as compared to the restated third quarter of fiscal 2018.

ENERGY

The $92.7 million decrease in Energy pretax earnings reflects:

  • The impact associated with the turnaround – scheduled maintenance to repair and improve operations – at our McPherson, Kansas, refinery.
  • The return of Canadian crude oil prices to more normalized levels, where they are expected to remain for the rest of fiscal year 2019.
  • The gains realized in fiscal year 2018 of sales of 34 Zip Trip stores and the Council Bluffs pipeline that did not recur in fiscal year 2019.

AG

The $39 million decrease in Ag pretax earnings was driven by:

  • Decreased margins and volumes for grain and oilseed, poor weather conditions including heavy snow and rainfall, historic flooding on waterways and continuing global trade tensions.
  • Increased loan loss reserves associated with the challenging agricultural environment.

NITROGEN PRODUCTION

The $39 million decrease in Ag pretax earnings was driven by:

  • Increased market pricing of urea and urea ammonium nitrate, which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen, of which CHS is a part owner.

CORPORATE AND OTHER

The $44.9 million decrease in Corporate and Other pretax earnings reflects:

Read the full press release here.

Top ways to keep water out of your diesel

By Steve Hinds, Senior Business Development Manager, CHS Refined Fuels Marketing from the Cenexperts blog

diesel powered tractor in a corn field

Incompatible people are often said to mix like oil and water. But if you really want to talk about an unfortunate combination, look no further than fuel and water. Water in a machine’s fuel line can be a one-way ticket to trouble.

The good news about water damage is it’s preventable. Here’s what you need to know about diesel fuel water contamination and how to keep it from sinking your operation.

Top problems caused by water in diesel fuel

From reduced performance to major engine problems, water contamination is a serious issue for diesel equipment owners. Here are the most common problems that can occur when water contaminates fuel. 

  • Microbial growth: Water is a hotbed for microorganisms. And a microbial invasion can spell disaster for a piece of equipment. These microscopic parasites can plug fuel pumps, injectors and filters, potentially leading to equipment breakdown.
  • Fuel filter distortion: Today’s high-performance farm machines have tight tolerances, so fuel filters are essential for keeping impurities out of engines. But if a fuel filter is exposed to water, it becomes distorted, allowing impurities to pass through into the engine.
  • Corrosion: Last but not least, corrosion is another major problem that can result from water-contaminated diesel fuel. Metal parts, from fuel tanks to injector pumps, can rust if they come into contact with water.

How to keep water out of diesel equipment

Your fuel system is bigger than just the fuel line inside your equipment. To keep water out of your machinery, it’s important to tackle the problem at its source: your bulk fuel tank. Here are two easy preventive actions.

  • Perform regular bulk tank maintenance: Keep your operation running smoothly by establishing a bulk tank maintenance routine. A few easy things you can do regularly include draining and cleaning your tank, cleaning the pump screen and changing pump filters seasonally.
  • Collect a tank sample: Keep a lookout for water in your bulk tank by taking occasional tank samples, which give you a valuable snapshot of the conditions inside your tank. To learn more about tank sampling and to purchase a tank sample, contact your local Certified Energy Specialist.

Choose fuel that fights water from the start

One of the simplest ways to protect your operation from water damage is also one of the most overlooked: fuel selection. Even for experienced farmers, it can be easy to fall into thinking that fuel is fuel — but the truth is, all diesels are not created equal.

Switching to a high-quality fuel like Cenex Ruby Fieldmaster® premium diesel can go a long way toward protecting your operation from water damage. That’s because Ruby Fieldmaster contains an industry-leading additive package, including powerful demulsifiers that keep water out of equipment.

Demulsifiers work by separating water from fuel, and they’re active even while the fuel sits inside your bulk tank. Thanks to these demulsifiers, extracted water sinks to the bottom of the tank and collects safely beneath the fuel — keeping water from ever entering your equipment in the first place.

With a few simple precautions, fuel contamination is easy to prevent. Cut corners, though, and it could leave your operation…dead in the water. Start protecting your operation today with Premium Diesel from Cenex.

Join us for the 2019 CHS Owners Forum webinar

CHS Owners Forum Webinar

Missed the 2019 CHS Owners Forum in your area? Tune in for the CHS Owners Forum webinar Friday, June 28, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. CT, to hear business updates from CHS leadership including CHS President and CEO Jay Debertin. We will also take a look at industry trends and ask for your input on how we can make connections that support long-term success. Register here.

Ready for Change

By Annette Bertelsen, from Spring 2019 C magazine

What happens when the world’s biggest buyer suddenly backs away from U.S. soybeans? That’s been a question on everyone’s mind since July 6, 2018, when the United States implemented China-specific tariffs. The move embroiled U.S. farmers and cooperatives in a trade war that hit the soybean world particularly hard. Spring USDA data shows 2018–2019 soybean export inspections down nearly 34 percent from the year before, with farms and cooperatives struggling to handle huge carryover and reduced cash flow.

“We don’t know yet how all this will play out for the soybean market,” says Nancy Johnson, executive director of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association. “Wheat growers who experienced the Russian wheat embargo in the 1980s say they are still feeling repercussions 40 years later because other countries stepped in and sold grain to the Soviets. Brazil is already harvesting soybeans headed to China.”

Ground to a Halt

North Dakota was hit hard by the recent trade standoff . “For two decades, we sold most of our soybeans directly off the farm, delivering them to a local terminal that unloaded 500 trucks a day and sent several shuttle trains a week to the Pacific Northwest for export to China,” says Johnson. “Demand was good. Soybeans penciled out beautifully.”

Last summer, things changed abruptly in the state, which ranked No. 2 in exporting whole U.S. soybeans.

“For months, there were zero bids for soybeans in the Pacific Northwest, our traditional export region. Everything ground to a halt and most of the crop went into storage,” says Johnson, who notes the situation was further aggravated by bad fall weather that extended or prevented harvest. Johnson estimates half of North Dakota’s 2018 soybean production is still on the farm or at elevators.

Successful Navigation

“Global grain trade is in constant flux. Currencies fluctuate, elections happen, economies grow and policies shift,” says John Griffith, senior vice president, CHS Global Grain Marketing. “But the U.S.–China tariff situation is the single largest politically driven event in recent history. It reminded us all to be wary when business gets concentrated with one country.”

Recent grain flow interruptions due to trade issues — compounded by heavy snow that limited rail shipments and spring flooding that slowed river barge movement — reinforce just how critical a global footprint is to the U.S. farm economy. Export business is the marginal demand that has the biggest impact on prices U.S. farmers receive, says Griffith.

CHS markets grain to buyers in more than six dozen countries. “Demand in the Asia Pacific region is growing. Latin America is a strong market, right in our backyard. And South America and the Black Sea region remain critical for sourcing so we can be a reliable year-round grain supplier,” says Griffith. “Every day, we bring these pieces together to fulfill our mission of providing market access and competitive bids to our owners.”

When trade disputes slowed grain flow to China in 2018, the CHS grain marketing team in Southeast Asia was able to secure new business in countries including Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Effective communication has been critical to navigating through the changes, Griffith says. “We put extra effort into keeping everyone well informed, and we strategized together as a supply chain so farmers, cooperatives and CHS could plan for harvest and changing logistics.”

Education and advocacy are important, too, says John Engelen, vice president, CHS Government Affairs. “As the United States seeks a fair and level playing field for U.S. exporters, CHS has met with legislators, Cabinet officials and trade negotiators to educate them about the impact of trade policy on American farmers and ranchers. We have also joined in eff orts by coalitions and trade groups to urge the administration to resolve trade disputes in a timely manner.”

Something Bigger

Local cooperatives like Western Consolidated Cooperative (WestCon) in west-central Minnesota say being part of a larger system is always important, but even more so during times of uncertainty.

“In the northwestern Corn Belt, 90 percent of our corn and 60 percent of our soybeans go to the Pacific Northwest. Any export disruption starts to build our inventories immediately, affecting handling capacity and profitability,” says Paul Mattson, grain department manager for the Holloway, Minn.–based cooperative.

“We appreciate that CHS has been building relationships with new buyers, giving farmers access to the increasing corn and soybean demand in Mexico and to soybean buyers in nontraditional markets like Europe and parts of Southeast Asia,” says Mattson.

“Our owners trust West-Con and CHS to connect them with global markets and provide critical market information,” he adds. “That is why cooperatives were started 100 years ago — because working together is better than working individually.”

Roger Hugenberg, general manager of Ursa Farmers Cooperative in Ursa, Ill., agrees that collaboration delivers added value.

“We get daily trade updates from CHS,” he says. “We recently exchanged ideas at a conference and held a strategic board retreat with help from CHS Cooperative Resources. The discussions accelerated our learning curve for better solutions as part of the supply chain and help us remain relevant to producers.”

You are invited to the 2019 CHS Owners Forums

register for a 2019 CHS owners forum

The 2019 CHS Owners Forums will be held at 11 sites across the country in May and June. As an owner of CHS, we invite you to join us at the forum nearest you to hear business updates from CHS leadership including CHS President and CEO Jay Debertin. We will also take a look at industry trends and will be asking for your input on how we can make connections that support long-term success. Forums will wrap up with lunch at noon. Please register to reserve your spot.

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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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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© 2020 CHS Inc.