December newlsetter


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December newlsetter

  1. 1. Comfrey • Morgan • Morton • Springfield • WabassoVol. 14 No. 4 • December 2012 108 years StrongPurposeful Planning Delivers Successful YearWe have just completed our year-end financial audit, and have put two primary strategiesthe board has met with the auditors. The numbers confirm in place to help us deliver onanother strong performance for Harvest Land Cooperative, this core value.with all divisions growing and operating profitably. First, we are committed to deliv-Here are a few of the financial highlights: ering a consistent dividend andSales $263,000,000 equity payout while providing aLocal earnings $3,700,000 diversified portfolio of products,Patronage refunds received $2,700,000 services, and knowledge. WeNet margin after taxes $6,100,000 are also committed to timely, efficient market access.Patronage Rates 2012Cash patronage 50% $1,676,527 Second, we will maintain an By DENNIS SCHREIEREquity retirements 65 and older $902,970 internal risk-management GENERAL MANAGERScholarships paid $21,700 strategy to protect Harvest Land Cooperative, and at the same time provide external risk management resourcesCapital Projects/Purchases 2012 to protect our owners.Springfield terminal crop nutrientblending and storage $1,000,000 Purpose and focus are very important ingredients inAgronomy operations custom our success. But it is the commitment of the board ofapplication equipment $1,665,000 directors, management team, employees, and you, our owners, that translates this purpose into reality. ThankWhile on the subject of finances, please check your tax you for another successful year. I look forward to seeingID numbers when you receive your 1099s in January. If you at the annual meeting on January 7 in Springfield. nwe do not have your number, or it is incorrect, pleasenotify us as soon as possible.Pursuing our purposeThe theme for this year’s annual statements is ourpurpose statement, “Committed to Our Owners’Success.” We achieve success as an organizationbecause our focus is on our owners and your success.Our decision-making is always guided by this question:Will this benefit our owners and help build our relation-ship with them?As we look back at our performance at year’s end, thisis a natural time to emphasize one of our core values—financial strength and stability. This is particularlyimportant in a volatile world and ag economy, so we
  2. 2. Record-Setting FallThe early harvest was a real shot in the With the storage and blending expansionarm for fall application. When the pace completed during the past few years, we’vefinally slows, we will have covered a record greatly increased our blending and loadoutnumber of acres since the crops came out. speed. Now we’ve added new tenders andIt’s always a good position to be in, because applicators to convert that capacity intoyou never know what spring will look like. faster service for our customers. We’re ready to handle whatever spring has inWe will be adding application equipment store. nto help us continue to meet your need forapplication services. Some of that newequipment will also enable us to offer a newservice—custom sidedressing 32%. By Joel Kretsch OperationsIn General, a Good Harvest Though expectations weren’t too high to expect to begin shipping corn trains to the begin with, harvest in our trade territory west coast export market in late winter. was generally better than most people anticipated. Of course, some areas were In the meantime, the domestic market has hard hit by drought and by wind, which seen steady demand for feed grains and put some corn on the ground. the ethanol grind is down from last year’s 5 billion bushels, with the USDA projecting We shipped several bean trains this fall for a 4.5- billion-bushel grind this crop year. export with one or two to go, but only one corn train as the west coast bean program Finally, I want to mention that long-time grain was (and still is) in high gear. After the driver Clem Wersal is retiring in December export bean program begins to wind down after 15 years with Harvest Land Coopera- we expect corn exports to pick up as world tive. We wish you all the best in retirementBy Kevin DeBerg feed grains are fairly tight. At this time we Clem. nGrain MerchandiserPage 2 2 Page ©2012 Harvest Land Cooperative. All Reserved. Published in partnership with with VistaComm ( ©2010 Harvest Land Cooperative. All RightsRights Reserved. Published in partnershipVistaComm ( ® ®
  3. 3. Keeping Tabs on Farm BillThe 2012 farm bill has every person in the about the 2012 farm bill and potentialagricultural industry waiting on the edge of changes in your biggest risk managementtheir seats for the House of Representative tool, crop take action! The 2012 farm bill passedthe Senate in June 2012 with bipartisan We will be hosting Producer Outlooksupport but has not yet received a vote in meetings in January. Please continue tothe House. watch for more information about dates, times, and locations on Facebook and ourAgQuest and Harvest Land are partnering to websites: and www. By kathy mainerbring you the latest news and information for breaking news. n Agquest insurance office managerReady to Help You GrowBy GLENN FISHER, Feed Division Manager It’s been a good year for the Harvest Land management. We have plenty of capacity to feed division, highlighted by the addition of handle additional feed business, so if you’re swine specialist Kevin Langemo. Kevin is looking to expand—or just want to make a available to help you grow your operation, positive change—consider Harvest Land. and he’s been out in the country meeting some of you already. If you’re in the swine Finally, I want to mention that long-time business, Kevin can be a valuable resource feed delivery driver Ron Turbes is retiring in for you. December after 31 years with Harvest Land. Fortunately, we’re going to continue to see We also have barns available and can offer him on a part-time basis. We wish him all several pig sourcing options and solid risk the best in retirement. n HARVEST LAND ANNUAL MEETING Monday, January 7th, 12:00-Lunch, 1:00 Meeting at the Springfield Community CenterParents—Your Cooperative Can Help With CollegeIf you’re a Harvest Land patron, your equity in the coopera- university, technical college, or business college. Thetive can help fund your student’s college education. College student must be a full-time student, as defined by thestudents can receive up to 25% of their parents’ revolving institution they are attending. A copy of a certificate offund equity—up to $500 maximum per year per student. enrollment or grade transcript is required.To qualify, the student’s parents must be members The Harvest Land scholarship program is just anotherin good standing with Harvest Land Cooperative. The benefit of the cooperative way of doing business. nstudent must be enrolled in an accredited, post-secondary Page 3
  4. 4. Increased Demand Makes Crop-Protection Planning Essential Increased weed and insect above could reach sold-out or allocated positions as tolerance to certain products and early as December 2012. traits in 2012 created increased demand for herbicides and insec- Early planning for expected needs of these (as well ticides to combat these issues. as other) products will be critical as we attempt to Products that became extremely secure adequate supplies. The sooner our agronomy hard to secure last year included staff knows your intentions, the greater success we the herbicides Liberty®, Status®, will have in securing those products at the most com- and Callisto®, just to name a petitive price. Putting together accurate forecasts with few. Also, insecticides like Force® your account manager will ensure we have your needs and any SmartBox® products covered without adding to supply issues by over-book- basically sold out during the ing.By Tim Woelfel early spring period.Crop Protection Manager As with any product, when demand increases, priceAs the season progressed into late June and early July, generally increases also. To secure early pricing, ourreports of weed and insect infestations became com- agronomy department will attempt to take possessionmonplace. Waterhemp resistance and corn rootworm of as much product as possible to meet our projectedinfestations were the two most reported problems. needs. However, our warehouse space is limited. We may ask you to take early possession of certain limitedPreparing for 2013 products, enabling us to secure sufficient quantities ofLooking ahead to the 2013 growing season, the herbi- all products at competitive prices.cides mentioned above—and many of the pre-plant andpost-emerge soybean products such as Authority® First Please take the time to meet with your account managerand Flextar®—are expected to be in very high demand. in the next few weeks to discuss your plans for nextAnd we expect demand to rise for all at-planting insec- season. That will give us the best opportunity to meetticides. Some will see sales increase 3 to 4 times from your needs. n2012 levels. It is probable that some of the products Day Planner One of the best features of being a manager is Minnesota West in 2007 and his A.A.S. that you also get to manage yourself. “I think degree in agronomy from South Central what I enjoy most about my position is that College in 2011. He joined the Harvest Land I have the ability to plan my own schedule team in April 2011. when it comes to day-to-day duties,” states Neil Roiger, assistant manager of Harvest Editor’s note: In his free time, Neil enjoys Land’s Comfrey location. woodworking, golf, and spending time with family and friends. His free time may Neil, a lifelong Springfield resident, grew up be a bit more limited now, since he and his on a farm eight miles southwest of town. He wife, Alissa, just welcomed their first child, earned his A.S. degree in engineering from daughter Addilynn, in November. n Page 4
  5. 5. Strong Foundation Yields Solid OrganizationBy Dave Stuk, CEOWe have just completed another successful year at and having employees thatHarvest Land. are truly “Committed to Our Owners’ Success!”As Dennis mentioned in his lead article, HarvestLand Cooperative turned in a strong performance, We believe that our peoplewith local earnings of $3,700,000. Even better, with are what set this coopera-our subsidiary companies, AgQuest and Northland tive apart. This includes yourCapital, Harvest Land had consolidated local earnings board of directors. You haveof $8,643,629. The vision of a financially strong, a dedicated board that take their responsibilities ofdiversified company that doesn’t rely on any one leading Harvest Land very seriously. So, to help youdivision for our success continues to be a reality. to get to know each of the directors a little better,Every division of the company, whether it was grain, we will be doing a director spotlight in the quarterlyagronomy, feed, finance, energy, or leasing, made an newsletters.important contribution this year. The first director we are featuring is our boardWe will continue to build upon the strong legacy chairman, Roger Kettner. Roger has been on thethat everyone at Harvest Land has worked so hard Harvest Land board since 1992, and I want to per-to achieve. This can only happen through building sonally thank him for his many years of support andstrong relationships that stand the test of time contribution to Harvest Land’s success. nDirector Profile - Roger KettnerWith two decades of experience as a member of Morgan. Their youngest son, Dan, recently joinedthe Harvest Land Cooperative board of directors, the farming operation. Son Alex, his wife, Kendra,Roger Kettner has been a part of tremendous change and their three-year-old daughter Ella live in Southand growth—both in the cooperative and in the ag Dakota, where Alex works in the fluid power industry.industry. A board member since 1992, Roger nowchairs the Harvest Land board. Equipped to lead The cooperative provides training opportunities“The board of for directors, and Roger says those opportunitiesdirectors of a coop- become more important as the cooperative grows.erative is unique inthat the members “These have been good times for agriculture, butare all customers and there are challenges too,” he notes. “For farmersowners and active in and for cooperatives, rising input costs and volatilethe industry we serve,” commodity markets are major concerns. TrainingRoger says. “We serve isn’t mandatory, but I believe it helps us better guideas a voice for the the cooperative into the future.”farmers we represent,and that’s important. With great challenge comes great opportunity. ForWe don’t manage the Roger, that opportunity is personal. “Dan will be thecooperative, so one of fifth generation of Kettner to farm,” he says. “I’mour primary duties is to proud of what I do, and I think the U.S. is beginninghire the best manage- to understand how important ag is to the economy.ment possible to guide We have a chance to start the next generation ofthe company. And we farmers out on the right foot. That’s exciting to me.”provide input to that management regarding theneeds of our members and try to help deliver what In his spare time, Roger enjoys hunting, fishing, andour patrons are asking for.” trail riding. “I know it’s my job, but I also consider my cattle an interest. I really get a lot of satisfactionRoger and his wife, Sandy (who works for AgQuest), from working with them.” nhave a row-crop and cow/calf operation north of Page 5
  6. 6. Don’t Wait to Renew I can’t think of a better way to Here are the items we’ll need to update or receive from start this article than by officially you for the 2013/2014 crop years: introducing Melissa Robertson. • 2012 year-end balance sheet (most important) You can read more about her • Personal and/or corporate tax returns below. As our new administra- tive assistant, she is always • 2013 cash flow available—even when Mark • Most recent crop year’s insurance coverage and I are not. In many cases, she’ll be able to answer your • Copy of driver’s license questions or track that answer • Marketing contracts down. She can also schedule appointments with either of us. Also, if your marketing plans include selling a substan-By Steve Bach We’re very excited to have her tial portion of your grain after January 31, 2013, andAgQuest senior Business on board. Melissa is located in you have a balance on your 2012 operating loan, you’llRelationship Manager the Springfield office and can be need to come and see us as soon as possible. We’ll reached at 507-723-7378. discuss some options.We’re well into the renewal process now and workingto get funding in place for 2013 and 2014. Our early Real estate toofall means you can get a jump on putting your final I know many of you think of AgQuest as your bestnumbers together. As soon as you get them, come in, source for operating loans, but we’re also very competi-and we can put your 2013 operating loan in place for all tive when it comes to real estate loans. If you’re lookingyour purchases, whether at Harvest Land or elsewhere. for a real estate loan, come talk to us and find out howAnd, with the need for forward contracting inputs, we we compare to other lenders. I think you’ll be pleasantlycan also get 2014 financing in place. surprised. nThe GatekeeperThat’s not fair, really. Gatekeepers are supposed to limit access tothe people they work for. Melissa Robertson actually strives to makeit easier to get in touch with Steve Bach and Mark Kubesh, AgQuestbusiness relationships managers.Since September 10, the outgoing Melissa has served as theconstant point of contact for Steve and Mark, who maintain a fullschedule and spend a fair amount of time on the road. “I can do justabout anything you need, from scheduling appointments with Markor Steve to answering questions,” Melissa says. “If I don’t know theanswer, I’ll find it for you.”A marketing major with a degree from St. Cloud State, Melissaworked for American Family Insurance prior to joining the AgQuestteam. “This is much different, but the job is a lot of fun,” she says.The work is constantly changing, and I love that. I love working onone thing and have something else walk in the door. And I like theteam approach and the fact that everyone is willing to help out.”Editor’s note: Melissa and her husband, Justin, reside in Springfield,where Justin is a police officer. They have two children, Jazmineand Jaxon. Both Melissa and Justin are from the area, so they spendmost of their free time with their children and extended family.Melissa’s most interesting experience: Driving in the Virgin Islands. Steve Bach, Mark“My first trip outside the U.S. was to St. Thomas. It’s hilly, they drive Kubesh, and Melissaon the wrong side of the road, and they drive fast!” n Robertson Page 6
  7. 7. Lessons From 2012 This was definitely a good year Seed treatment earned its keep again this year. Keep in to judge the agronomic char- mind that seed treatments don’t enhance yield, but offer acteristics of your hybrids. We protection that allows the seed to deliver on its full yield were pleased to see how well the potential. All SmartStax seed is treated with Poncho®/ hybrids we placed in your fields VOTiVO® and Acceleron®. We offer Apron® fungicide and stood up to the extreme growing Acceleron seed treatment, as well as Trident™ liquid and conditions many of you encoun- QuickRoots™ granular inoculants. tered this year. Characteristics like standability really had an Finally, I want to close with a plug for the Harvest Max impact on final yields. program. We added more great data to our database this year—local, relevant data that is only available to Though most of you did a good Harvest Max members. It’s the kind of information thatBy Brett Braulick andDoug Jeske job managing for Goss’s Wilt in can make a real difference in your farming operation, so 2012, we did experience some talk to your account manager about becoming part ofstruggles with Western corn rootworm. While you the Harvest Max program. nshould talk to your account manager about managingrootworm in your situation, we are suggesting the useof SmartStax® hybrids on all corn-on-corn acres in 2013.If you’re going to plant any hybrid with a single modeof action below-ground on corn-on-corn ground, werecommend you use an insecticide as well.Acres up, supplies downEverything is indicating a lot of corn acres for 2013, andthat will make drought-tightened supplies of top hybridseven tighter. The bottom line: Don’t wait. If you haven’tbeen in to see us, get your seed order in right away.There’s a good program in place with NK seed for thecoming year. If you buy either 24 or 48 units of NK corn,you’ll receive an attractive discount on Force 3G or ForceCS insecticide. It’s a chance for you to save some moneyand plant some excellent seed. Get the details from youraccount manager. Western corn rootwormOff the Road, Still Behind the WheelDriving has been a part of Bob Harazin’s a quarry, and then for a constructionlife since he was 18. Now’s he’s behind firm. Now he’s on the road again andthe wheel again, but staying closer to loving it.home. “It’s close to home, and I work withBob joined the Harvest Land staff in a great bunch of people,” Bob states.October 2011, working part-time for “I’m never bored. This is a really goodthe agronomy department. When a deal for me.”full-time opportunity to drive for thefeed department came open last winter, Editor’s note: Bob has lived in theBob made the switch, and has been Morgan area for 30+ years. He and hisenjoying his time on the road. wife, Marilyn, are empty-nesters, with sons Shane and Tory and daughter“A neighbor got me started driving over Shannon having flown the coop. Bobthe road when I was 18,” Bob recalls. keeps busy go-cart racing with some“I was a long-haul driver for several of their five grandchildren and stock caryears and saw a lot of country. But racing with Shane and Tory. “I’m thewhen you have a family, it’s hard to be money boss,” Bob says. “It keeps meon the road.” So Bob, who grew up in out of trouble most weekends.” nOlivia, worked at a rendering plant, in Page 7
  8. 8. PO Box 278Morgan, MN 56266-0278Licensed Agquest CROP INSURANCE agents AgQuest Insurance Agency is an Equal Opportunity ProviderMorgan 877-626-7453 Lynn Button, Kathy Mainer, Mark Kubesh, Cheryl Manderfeld 507-249-3196 Pat Macht, Dennis Schreier, Mark Vogel, Matt Pietig Comfrey 507-877-2441 Rick KastnerMorton 507-697-6113 Todd Beran, Keegan MammenOlivia 800-463-3616 Sheri Bakker, Amber WeberSpringfield 507-723-7350 Jim Boyle, Joel Heiling, Tim WoelfelWabasso 507-342-5184 Jon ChristensenLearning From Last YearNow that the 2012 crop season is behind us it’s Proper soil fertility, nutrientamazing to look back at all the challenges we faced placement, and hybrid placementthroughout the growing season and the yields we were are just some of the consid-able to obtain. As we enter the winter months we begin erations that should be madeto think about the past growing season. What went when looking ahead to the 2013right? What went wrong? What hybrid performed the growing season. The ability tobest? What would have I done differently? What will I match the right genetics, ondo again next year? the right soil type at the right planting population within eachOur ability to manage risk and effectively place high- individual yield environment,priced inputs is now more important than ever. With allows us to better manageHarvest Max our account managers have the tools to risk and reduce the effects thathelp you manage and track all of these things. Growers Mother Nature has on that crop. By matt pietig harvest maxthat consistently raise more bushels than their neighborsyear in and year out are the ones that are managing On December 10th we held our annual Harvest Maxrisks and decreasing yield limiting factors. meeting. Some of the topics we covered included yield by soil type, hybrid, and population, Ascend Trial information, and other lessons learned from 2012. We also introduced our 300 bushel corn club and century club for soybeans. If this is something that interests you, contact your account manager or me for details. New for this year, we dedicated the afternoon session to Tim Eyrich, Winfield’s Solutions Plant Nutritionist. Tim answered questions regarding fertility, plant nutrition, and manage- ment techniques that will help growers take yields to the next level. Look for more guest speakers at future meetings to help answer questions about achieving higher yields. n