Recognize, respect risks associated with grain handling

grain safety
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. (more…)

Join the fight against rural 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 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

National Ag DayWhen 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. (more…)

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.”


Harvest for Hunger

Help put a meal on the table to those in need within our local area.

We are in the business of feeding the world, which is why our annual Harvest for Hunger campaign is an important part of what we do through CHS Country Operations. Though these rural communities are growing the crops that are feeding a hungry world, that doesn’t mean there isn’t hunger right here — the family next door, the neighbor down the street. We may not know who in our communities are going hungry, but through our Harvest for Hunger campaign, we are helping local and regional food shelves feed those people in need.

1 in 13 people struggle with hunger in North Dakota.

How can you help put a meal on the table to those in our local area?

Harvest for Hunger is a fundraiser exclusive to CHS, we care about the issue of hunger in the United States and we are dedicated to do what we can to alleviate hungry citizens. This fundraiser not only raises awareness and funds aimed towards food poverty, but also focuses on putting dollars back into our communities. If CHS South Central raises funds, CHS Inc. will match that funding! These funds will will come back to the community in form of donations towards local projects and academics.

We will be accepting grain, monetary funds and non-perishable food items for the local food pantries now through March 20th.  Contact us to learn how you can help fight hunger in our local communities.

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.”

Changes to IRS Section 199 DPAD affect CHS owners

The U.S. House and Senate have passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the President has signed it, which repeals the IRS Section 199 Domestic Production Activities Deduction (DPAD), effective Dec. 31, 2017. As a result of this pending change, CHS will share fiscal 2017 DPAD allocations with eligible owners by Dec. 31, 2017.

Past federal income tax law allows agricultural cooperatives, like CHS, to pass through Section 199 Domestic Production Activities Deduction known as DPAD to eligible patrons. The CHS Board of Directors determined that, based on fiscal 2017 performance, eligible owners will receive the unused portion of the company’s DPAD, totaling nearly $151 million generated from patronage-related business conducted with CHS for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2017.

The fiscal 2017 allocations being made by the end of December 2017 replace the DPAD allocations eligible owners would have typically received in May 2018. You are encouraged to consult a tax professional to determine how this deduction can be claimed for federal and state purposes.

CHS farmer-owners will receive a statement outlining their Section 199 DPAD allocation for fiscal year 2017 within the next week. The Section 199 DPAD allocated to you is available as a deduction for the tax year in which you received this statement. For most individuals, this means the deduction can be used on your 2017 federal tax return. The deduction allocation will also be shown in Box 6 of a 1099 PATR that you will receive by mail in January 2018. Deductibility for state purposes varies by state.

If you have additional questions, please contact the CHS Patron Equities team at 1-800-328-6539, ext. 6124.

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.

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