Posts By: CHS News

CHS adds crop protection distribution with acquisition of West Central

West Central Distribution truck
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.”


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 triangleThough 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.

Set up for success

Since a healthy plant withstands stress significantly better than one facing nutrient deficiencies or disease and insect pressure, creating a prevention plan catered to a grower’s specific situation is recommended.

Early planting has a number of benefits including increased yield and the potential to avoid an early fall frost. As many growers aim to get an early start to planting, there are specific challenges to keep in mind. For example, the earlier growers plant, the cooler the soil may be, which can delay emergence, slow plant growth and make seeds more susceptible to disease pressure.

Establishing a crop protection plan

Seed treatment is a valuable tool to protect the seed and young seedling. When used as part of a crop protection plan, seed treatments can add a layer of protection for plant development. As part of that protection plan, utilizing fungicides in the strobilurin family can protect the developing seedling and clean up the soil in the root zone, minimizing disease inoculum throughout the season.

In addition to disease control and cleaning up the soil, strobilurin fungicides provide additional plant health benefits including increased greening, improved drought tolerance and better resistance to later season diseases and insects.

Using a fungicide at plant

Historically, there’s been a challenge putting fungicides down at plant because they either required additional equipment or didn’t mix well with liquid fertilizer, other chemicals or micronutrients. Talk to your local agronomist about fungicides that are fertilizer-compatible.


Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central

FFA: Funding future agriculturalists

FFA Students

One of the largest rural youth leadership organizations, FFA, kicks off National FFA Week, Feb. 16-23 to celebrate all things ag leaders, blue corduroy and agricultural education.  Many CHS employees are former FFA members and many CHS locations are involved with their local FFA chapters.

To celebrate National FFA Week, CHS Foundation President Nanci Lilja answered a few questions about why the CHS Foundation supports FFA and what makes this partnership so special.

Q:  What is FFA?

FFA is a youth organization that uses agricultural education to prepare middle and high school students for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.  FFA helps members develop their talent and leadership skills and explore their interests in agriculture through hands-on opportunities, classroom instruction, career development events (CDEs), leadership conferences and much more.

Q: How does the CHS Foundation support FFA?

The CHS Foundation is two years into its three- year, $3.8 million grant to National FFA that supports proficiencies and career development events, New Century Farmer and teacher education and retention programs.  In addition, the CHS Foundation also supports 17 state FFA associations throughout the CHS trade territory.  That funding varies by state, but also supports proficiencies and career development events, state FFA officer teams, leadership conferences and even jackets for students who may not be able to afford them.

Q: Why does the CHS Foundation support FFA?

CHS, the CHS Foundation and FFA have a few things in common, and one of those is recognizing that well-trained, passionate individuals are needed to ensure agriculture is successful far into the future.  FFA students are those individuals. They are developing strong leadership skills through hands-on agricultural-based education and activities. While 55 percent of FFA members come from rural areas, an increasing percentage represent a wide array of diverse backgrounds and FFA is their first introduction to agriculture.  We consider our support of FFA a smart investment in future leaders and the talent pipeline.

Q: What makes FFA special?

The students! Every time I have the privilege to interact with FFA students, I am impressed at their thoughtfulness, creativity and passion.  FFA develops strong and capable leaders that understand agriculture.  With these students leading the next generation, I’m confident our industry is in good hands.

To learn more about how the CHS Foundation supports other organizations that develop ag leaders for life, visit

CHS Reports $347 million first quarter fiscal 2019 net income

Winter scene

CHS Inc. has reported a net income of $347.1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2019. “Our strong first quarter results position us well as we start our 2019 fiscal year,” said Jay Debertin, CHS president and chief executive officer. “We are focused on making CHS our customers’ first choice by advancing our technology solutions and equipping employees to meet the changing needs of our customers around the world. We will do this while maintaining financial discipline and rigor.”

CHS owners elect five directors at CHS Annual Meeting

chs board of directors at CHS Annual Meeting

CHS elected five directors at the CHS Annual Meeting.
Pictured (left to right) are: David Beckman, David Johnsrud, David Kayser, Russ Kehl and Steve Fritel.

The 2018 CHS Annual Meeting wrapped up December 7 as more than 1,900 CHS member-owners took part in educational sessions, board elections and governance, and heard company updates in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A recap of the meeting, including the 2018 CHS Annual Report, videos and photos is ready to view.

During CHS Board elections Friday morning, CHS owners elected a farmer from Nebraska and re-elected four other farmers to serve three-year terms on the board. CHS Directors must be full-time farmers or ranchers to be eligible for election to the 17-member board.

Newly elected Director David Beckman of Elgin, Nebraska, succeeds Don Anthony of Lexington, Nebraska, who retired after serving on the board since 2006. Along with his wife, brother and their families, Beckman raises irrigated corn and soybeans and operates a custom hog-feeding operation. He received his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and he serves as board chairman for Central Valley Ag Cooperative, York, Nebraska, and secretary of the Nebraska Cooperative Council.

Re-elected were Steve Fritel, Rugby, North Dakota; David Johnsrud, Starbuck, Minnesota; David Kayser, Alexandria, South Dakota; and Russ Kehl, Quincy, Washington.

Following the annual meeting, the CHS Board re-elected Dan Schurr, LeClaire, Iowa, to a one-year term as chairman. Other directors selected as officers for 2019 were:

  • J. Blew, Castleton, Kansas, first vice chairman
  • David Johnsrud, Starbuck, Minnesota, secretary-treasurer
  • Jon Erickson, Minot, North Dakota, second vice chairman
  • Steve Riegel, Ford, Kansas, assistant secretary-treasurer

Learn more about the CHS Board of Directors.

CHS reports fiscal 2018 net income of $776 million

CHS income fiscal 2018

CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, today reported net income of $775.9 million for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2018.

“Our fiscal 2018 results show the progress we are making on the priorities we set for CHS,” said Jay Debertin, CHS president and chief executive officer. “Our year-over-year financial performance shows good improvement, our balance sheet is solid, and our relationships with cooperative owners are strong. The diverse CHS business platform allowed us to deliver improved earnings and enables us to return $150 million in cash patronage and equity redemptions to owners even as we navigated challenging market conditions.” (more…)

A simple 4-question test for choosing a diesel engine oil

filling diesel engine oil jugs

By Erin Wroge, CHS market supervisor, Cenex brand lubricants

Choosing the right engine oil for your equipment can get complicated fast. Today’s diesel engine oils are more advanced than ever, and with all the options on the market today, it’s no wonder if your head is spinning. Viscosity control? Shear stability? TBN retention? It can almost feel like you need an advanced degree in mechanical engineering just to pick the right product for your equipment.

Not everyone is a lubricants expert, and they shouldn’t have to be. Still, choosing the right engine oil is a critical decision. The oil inside your heavy-duty equipment is a protective barrier against thousands of pounds of pressure and constant stress. Without the right premium lubricant, your equipment can wear itself down to the bone — incurring costly damage and downtime.

The good news is that picking an engine oil doesn’t have to be rocket science. Cenex® offers a full line of high-quality lubricants designed to meet a variety of heavy-duty applications. To determine which product is right for your operation, just ask yourself these four simple questions. (more…)

CHS celebrates National Co-op Month through cooperative education

October is National Co-op Month

The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., announced it has awarded more than $440,000 in cooperative education grants to projects that will help students learn about the cooperative business model and what makes cooperatives unique.

“October is National Co-op Month to raise awareness about cooperatives. What better time to celebrate how the CHS Foundation has supported cooperative education projects for more than 20 years?” says Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. (more…)

How to maximize crop nutrients throughout the growing season

preventing Iron Deficiency Chlorosis in soybeans with Crop Nutrients

Image Courtesy of Kyle Schafer

Crops demand nutrition throughout the entire growing period, but most of them can’t utilize those nutrients effectively during early development. A shortage of nutrients can lead to significant yield loss and stunted plant development.

How effectively those nutrients are managed in the spring can affect how the crops look in the fall. Weather and other pest and weed influences can also impact crop growth and development, but good nutrient management is essential as crops reach the final stages of growth. As crops move through the grain fill period in the fall, growers need to keep an eye out for nutrient deficiency symptoms. (more…)

CHS Board announces patronage and equity distribution

Patronage and equity are key benefits for owners of CHS and the cooperative system. CHS is committed to distributing patronage and redeeming equity for its owners while maintaining a strong balance sheet so it can continue to provide owners with the goods, services and supply chain capabilities required for long-term success.

Following the close of fiscal 2018, the CHS Board of Directors has announced the following patronage and equity distribution decisions:

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