Harvest Land Cooperative October Newsletter


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Harvest Land Cooperative October Newsletter

  1. 1. 109 years Strong Comfrey • Morgan • Morton • Springfield • Wabasso www.HarvestLand.com Vol. 15 No. 3 • October 2013 Our goal in the Harvest Land feed division is to help our customers build viable and prof- itable livestock enterprises. The livestock industry continues to change, and to better meet the changing needs of our producers, we’ve changed as well. We’re taking a team approach, with a collection of specialists, each with a different area of expertise. Together, we have decades of experience in swine and beef nutrition, commodity and ingredi- ent pricing and sourcing, and feed manufacturing. Our delivery team is also very experienced and well versed in HAACP procedures. As agriculture becomes more and more technical, it becomes more difficult to be a jack of all trades. That’s why we have someone specializing in every step of the process, from sourcing through delivery. Structured to compete We have turned an unfortunate situation—a fire that destroyed our feedmill in 2008—into a competitive advantage. We now have a new mill with the capacity to grow and the ability to manufacture feed to very precise specifications. Our computerized equipment ensures uniform, high- quality feed. We have the ability to precisely customize mixes. If you have all PIC or other genetics, we can tailor the feed to meet the particular source. The same holds true if you have a particular feeding situation unique to your operation. Cost-plus pricing allows us to take markets and ingre- dient availability into account and remain extremely competitive. We offer grain bank, as well as contracts for corn and soybean meal to help with your risk man- agement strategy. Your need, our mission The Harvest Land feed division has a lot to offer. Whether you are trying to expand to bring in the next generation, looking for contract barns, or considering independent ownership, we can connect you with industry resources that can make it happen. That’s what our Production Alliance Services are all about. Many of the management services we offer are unique to our area. For example: • If you need expert guidance on facilities, genetics, veterinary issues, or marketing, we have industry con- nections that can provide these specialized services. • If you want to make adjustments in your marketing, buying, or even change packers, we provide on-farm production consultations. • We can help with changing feed ingredients, diets, and feed budgeting. Sometimes the biggest feed cost you have results from missing your budget. We’ll help you determine the check points at which you can switch to a different, more cost-effective diet. • We offer different risk management options and can source weaned and feeder pigs. • If you’re considering a new facility we can offer consul- tation to help you walk through the different quotes. We don’t sell equipment, but are familiar with area builders. • Finally, if your facilities are getting tired, we can advise you where to spend your money to get the biggest bang for your buck. Harvest Land wants to help livestock producers make their business even better. If you’re interested in giving us a try or learning more about any of our services, please give me a call at 507-720-5561. n Feed Division Sharpens Service Focus BY KEVIN LANGEMO SWINE SPECIALIST
  2. 2. Prepare for Harvest Safety The harvest season is a busy time of year for farmers and their families. Working against Mother Nature while trying to meet a tight deadline can cause stress and fatigue for everyone involved in the harvesting process. During harvest, it can be tempting to bypass some basic safety pro- cedures—one reason why the season is a peak time for agricul- tural-related injuries and deaths. In order to help prevent this type of tragedy, safety should be a top priority for everyone on the farm. One of the first and most important safety steps is preparation. You should make sure that your machinery is in good working condition, which includes checking the lights, tires, brakes, shields/ guards, etc. You should also be in good physical condition, which means getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and taking breaks during longer work days. To help prevent injuries, keep these recommended safe work practices in mind as you head out to the field: • Equip tractors with a rollover protective structure (ROPS) and a seatbelt. Always wear the seatbelt with a ROPS. • Always follow the “No seat, no rider” rule. • Make sure a clean and reflective slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign is located on the rear of any tractor and on every piece of towed equipment that is used for roadway travel. If your SMV sign is dull, it does little to no good in preventing accidents and should be replaced with a new one. • Place an ABC fire extinguisher (minimum of 5 pounds) in all tractors, combines, and trucks. Make sure each fire extinguisher is in good working condition and fully charged. • Make sure to have a fully stocked first aid kit available at all times. • Make sure everyone who operates equipment has been adequately trained. • Never bypass start a tractor, combine, or truck. Always follow the correct starting procedure. • Make sure all protective guards and shields are in place at all times. • Check for clearance from overhead power lines when moving augers and other tall equipment. • Lock brake pedals together before traveling on the road. • Never lean or step over a power takeoff (PTO) while it is in operation. • Keep combines as clean as possible while harvesting. Large accumulations of dust and other trash can easily be ignited­—causing a deadly fire. • When possible, make sure all equipment being serviced is shut down and/or locked out. • Keep all younger kids away from machinery during operating hours. Kids, in general, can be very curious and often will try to get a closer look at equipment while it is running. Making sure kids are supervised at all times and a safe distance away will ensure their safety. Remember, if you can’t do a job safely, then it should not be done at all. Please keep these tips in mind while har- vesting this year’s crop. Please have a safe and productive harvest. n PAGE 2 ©2010 Harvest Land Cooperative. All Rights Reserved. Published in partnership with VistaComm® (www.VistaComm.com).PAGE 2 ©2013 Harvest Land Cooperative. All Rights Reserved. Published in partnership with VistaComm® (www.VistaComm.com). BY AARON GUGGISBERG SAFETY DIRECTOR Expanding Nutritional Support We are excited to announce the addition of a Ruminant Specialist to our HLC team. Jeff Berdan has worked in the cooperative system for 25 years, holding a variety of feed sales positions dealing with all species and even working as a floater operator. He’s spent the past 15 years with Land O’Lakes, serving in both the feed and agronomy divisions as a forage harvest specialist. In that role, he supported cooperative businesses through- out the U.S., working with all sizes of dairies, feedlots, and commercial cropping operations. As a forage harvest specialist Jeff’s role was to present opportunities to improve forage yield and quality, which is ultimately reflected in ration costs and cattle performance. He worked hand in hand with the retail nutrition and agronomy teams on hybrid selection, trouble- shooting, and managing the harvest to build better rations and extend forage inventories. Jeff resides in New Ulm with his wife, Jill, who works at Southpoint Federal Credit Union in Sleepy Eye, and boys, Elias (EJ), 15, and Ian, 13. He enjoys fishing, attending school activities, and volun- teering at church and school. n BY JEFF BERDAN, RUMINANT SPECIALIST
  3. 3. Seed Outlook Brighter for 2014 In sharp contrast to last year, the seed production outlook is very positive for 2014. We’ll have good supplies of several new hybrids that have performed very well in plots this year. The corn crop looks very nice throughout our territory. Some corn on lighter soils took a hit early in the season, but our heavy soils handled the lack of moisture well. It looks like an average to a bit below average year for area soybean yields. Homegrown results Looking ahead to 2014, we’re excited about how well our products are performing this year. A lot of that success has to do with seed placement. Our testing program for both old and new hybrids is heavily integrated into our Harvest Max platform, allowing us to really find out where each one will perform the best for you. We have taken notes throughout 2013 on our product field trials, and we’re excited to use that data when we put your order together for 2014. If you have any questions about this platform, please contact your account manager. We have a couple of soybean early order incentive programs available from seed companies for orders placed in early October. Talk to your account manager to take advantage of these programs. n BY BRETT BRAULICK SEED DIVISION MANAGER PAGE 3 Harvest Time is Financing Update Time Once the Great Minnesota Get-Together has come and gone, vacations have been taken, and schools are back in session, the natural progression for rural Minnesota is to begin thinking about the fall harvest. This time of year also signals the beginning of the transi- tion from the current crop year to the upcoming crop years for the Harvest Land/AgQuest Team. With our focus on making sure our AgQuest customers have two years of operating funds in place at all times, now is the time of year we begin to look at your input and financing needs for the 2014 and 2015 crop years. We call this our Plus Loan Review Process. We’ll review your operating loan needs through the current year and begin to put into place the necessary funds to secure your Harvest Land-provided inputs for the 2014 crop year. This two-year approach allows you the comfort of knowing you can take advantage of any and all Harvest Land early booking programs, while still maintaining individual year-specific records. Once harvest is complete we can begin to finalize the 2014 operating loan while initializing the 2015 operating loan. Important dates to remember: Jan. 15, 2014 – the maturity date for 2013 Direct and Direct Max notes. Jan. 31, 2014 – the 2013 Companion Secured operating loans’ maturity date. If we don’t have a copy of your driver’s license or your driver’s license has been renewed, please get us a copy for your file. When your fall harvest work is completed and you would like to get your 2014 and 2015 operating loans in place, please feel free to call Melissa to schedule an appointment on your farm or at any one of our office locations with Steve or Mark. n Steve: 507-430-7748 Mark: 507-995-4394 Melissa: 507-723-7378 BY STEVE BACH AGQUEST SENIOR BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
  4. 4. PAGE 4 Focusing on the future while keeping the interests of patrons first and foremost is just one of the challenges facing those who serve on the Harvest Land board of directors. Board member Terry Flesner believes that the cooperative has been successful because it has been able to do that. “To be an organization that truly puts a priority on service, you have to maintain a committed focus and perspective to set our natural self-interests and agenda aside and keep the customer/patron our first priority. Harvest Land has the right values and the integrity to do that.” Terry partners with another producer in the Walnut Grove - Tracy area, raising corn and soybeans. A three- year board veteran, he views board service as a serious responsibility. “When asked to serve I knew the role of a director was an important responsibility,” he says. “I’m committed to doing the best that I can in fulfilling that role. “To do this well takes an understanding of the company and the business,” he continues. “Knowing what the mission of this cooperative is, you work to instill the principles that make it a solid, integral business while also being sensitive to the changes taking place within the industry.” Challenges of capital, consolidation While the past few years have been a time of prosperity for agriculture, Terry sees challenges ahead for younger farmers. “The difficulty of a younger generation partici- pating in a consolidating industry is steadily increasing,” he notes. “A lack of opportunity and the high demand for capital is, in my opinion, the biggest challenge and perhaps the most disheartening part of rural America. I’m glad that Harvest Land is sensitive to this priority and is doing what they can to help in this challenging time.” “There are opportu- nities for individuals who are aggressive- ly working to find a niche where they can play a role,” Terry continues. “It will take an entre- preneurial spirit to accomplish that goal. Hard work and integrity are the foundation for building a successful outcome, but a variety of building blocks are needed. Hopefully, Harvest Land can provide some of the building materials.” Terry and his wife, Carol, have two married children, Matthew and Melissa, who live with their families in the Twin Cities metro area. Terry’s non-farming activities focus on music, as he plays bass guitar and sings in his church worship team. “We’d like to spend more time in the warm weather during the winter,” Terry adds. “That warm time will have to be shared with family needs and community commitments.” n In each newsletter, we feature a member of the Harvest Land and AgQuest board of directors. This month the spotlight is on Terry Flesner. As I have stated in previous articles, Harvest Land and AgQuest are fortunate to have a great group of directors who take their roles very seriously. That certainly describes Terry. Terry joined the board in 2010, and as you can tell from his profile, Terry believes it is important that a director thoroughly understand the company and the business it serves. Terry also knows and supports the mission of Harvest Land, which is the importance of delivering strong performance today while at the same time con- tinuing to build a foundation that will help Harvest Land and its owners be successful in the future. We all want to thank Terry for being a part of this great organization, and we will continue to benefit from the insight and wisdom he brings to Harvest Land! n Board Profile: Terry Flesner Serious About Serving BY DAVE STUK, CEO
  5. 5. We’ve just finished placing the conveyor for the second 750,000- bushel bin in Morton, and our new additions are ready to take grain this fall. The project was completed right on schedule, and we are more than pleased with the quality of the work. As we anticipated, the additional storage and new high-capacity pit and leg system will be true assets to area farmers. Have a safe fall. n PAGE 5 Anytime Access to Account Information Harvest Land customers will soon have easy, convenient, and secure online access to your most important account information. The My Farm Records application allows you to log in and take a look at invoices, scale tickets, contracts, statements, and purchases by product category, such as petroleum or agronomy. You can also sort records using a number of different variables. My Farm Records is now available. Watch for a more detailed explanation in your next billing statement along with instructions on how to sign up. You can also contact your account manager at any time for more information on My Farm Records. n BY KEVIN DEBERG GRAIN MERCHANDISER BY ROGER VASKE SPRINGFIELD LOCATION MANAGER Morton Upgrade on Track Pull the Trigger on Soil Sampling With fall here, there are a few items that I want to touch on. The first is fall soil sampling. If you have any fields that are due to be sampled, contact your account manager to get these acres lined up. Turnaround from the time we get the samples to the lab until we receive results in the fall is typically 3-4 days. This doesn’t seem very long but when we need to make fertilizer recom- mendations and applications, it doesn’t give us a very big window to get things done. Looking back on the 2013 growing season, our crop has gone through a lot of ups and downs. We began with a cool, wet, late start, experienced below-average temps through July, and finished with record temperatures to close out August. Your ability to manage these risks by fertilizing adequately, placing the right genetics on the right acres, and managing drainage will give your crop the best chance to produce high yields. Each year within Harvest Max, the growers that are doing these things are at the top of our yield rankings. Finally, I want to remind Harvest Max growers to turn in their yield monitor cards right after harvest so we can make any yield adjustments and create your yield reports. n BY MATT PIETIG HARVEST MAX MANAGER
  6. 6. The past few years have taught us that too much of a good thing can turn bad. Driving around the country- side this summer, I could see more and more unwanted guests rising above some soybean fields like they owned the place. An over-reliance on a singular defense strategy is the primary cause. Relying on one mode of action for many years will promote resistance in any plant or organism. In this case, the poster child is waterhemp, while the defense was centered mostly around glyphosate. Why is the practice of using products with different modes of action effective in slowing resistance? Because there is a limited number of modes of action available, and each mode attacks a different part of the plant. So, putting modes of action to work in our fields and alternating them will affect the plant in different ways and will not let those weeds get comfortable with any single mode of action. For example… Those growers who put on a pre-emerge herbicide may say that they had better control of waterhemp in their soybean fields this year. They had better control in those fields because they were hitting the weeds with two different modes of action. When looking at different pre-emerge, soil-applied soybean herbicides, we have four different groups with activity on waterhemp to choose from. There are the seedling shoot growth inhibitors (Zidua® , Boundary® , Outlook® , and Warrant® ), PPO inhibitors (Authority® , Sharpen® , and Valor® ), photosynthesis inhibitors (Boundary® and Sencor® ), and seedling root growth inhibitors (Prowl® and Treflan® ). Note that Boundary appears in two groups because it’s a premix of Dual® and Sencor. Here’s where it can get tricky, and why we need to really think through our herbicide plan for the year. Our post- emerge “burner” types of herbicides are PPO inhibitors. If a PPO inhibitor is applied pre-emerge and also post- emerge as a burner (Flexstar® , Marvel® , Cobra® ), that weed is getting hit with the same mode of action twice in the same year. Those weeds are going to get comfort- able with that mode of action. We are not saying that an Authority brand or Valor cannot be used if you are planning on spraying Cobra post-emerge. It depends on the situation. If, for example, Authority or Valor was applied on a particular field in 2012, then a product like Boundary (different mode of action) should be alternated in its place in 2014. Another way to change mode of action is to use different modes in corn. For example, Harness® and Laudis® or Callisto® give you two different modes of action the following year, breaking the cycle. But if Verdict (which contains Sharpen) instead of Harness is used, then you could be using a PPO three applications in a row. Another way to get a second mode of action out there is to use two different soil-applied modes of action. We can use a PPO inhibitor pre-emerge or pre-plant incor- porated followed by an early post soil-applied product (Warrant, for example) approximately 21-28 days after planting. The idea here (provided we get rainfall to activate the chemical) is instead of allowing the weed to germinate, then applying Flexstar or Cobra, we attempt to extend soil activity from the first application with a second soil treatment and hopefully prevent the vast majority of waterhemp from emerging. In the event of an extended dry period, we still would have the opportunity to use a post product like Cobra. For some of you, the effects of the post-emerge applica- tions (speckling, browning) are a little tough to swallow. This would be an attempt to avoid that effect. Please keep in mind these products are not foolproof. Even with adequate and timely precipitation, 90% control with a single application is a realistic expectation. We need to be stewards of the land and take control of the weeds in our fields. We need to start strategically choosing different modes of action when creating our herbicide plan for the next year. Let your agronomist help you distinguish which herbicides exhibit what mode of action if you are not completely comfortable making the selections. The better approach we take to weed control management in the next couple years, the more options we will have available in 5 to 10 years. This is another reason to take time with your account manager and develop a crop plan for 2014. n BY JUSTIN PROKOSCH HARVEST MAX/ AGRONOMIST PAGE 6 Don’t Let Weeds Get Comfortable
  7. 7. We would like to remind you to pay particular attention to a few items that will help us at AgQuest Insurance provide you with the best possible service. First, call your AgQuest agent before you chop corn for silage or destroy any crops. This appraisal will be crucial in the event you have a claim this fall. If prices remain low, this could result in a revenue-based claim despite having a respectable yield. Call us immediately if you intend to store 2012 crop in 2013. We need to verify bushels so there is no confusion in the event of a claim. The RMA requires that a notice of loss be turned in within 72 hours of completion of harvesting. Please do not wait until harvest is complete. Instead, call us as soon as possible and we can turn in your loss notification. Revenue losses If you have a revenue policy, the spring prices are $5.65 for corn, $12.87 for soybeans, and $8.44 for wheat. The fall price for corn and beans will be determined in the month of October based on December corn and November soybean futures. The fall price for wheat has already been set at $7.33. A revenue loss will be triggered if the fall price falls below the spring prices. Keep in mind that if you insured your coverage as optional units, you will need to keep production separate. If you insured as an enterprise unit, the loss will be based on the accumulated total, but we recommend keeping track of each unit in the event you wish to go back to optional unit coverage. This is also critical if you have a produc- tion plan hail policy. For record keeping, you will need to document farm/field ID or unit numbers on scale tickets. One unit per bin or structure is acceptable, or the unit may be weighed across an elevator scale before it goes into a bin with another unit. Commingled production When commingling production from two or more units, keep a ledger or notebook, and please record as many of these guide- lines as possible: 1. The number of loads of grain from each unit # or farm/field ID 2. Estimated bushels on each load 3. Bin or structure the loads were put in 4. Identification of the wagon or truck used 5. Date of harvest 6. Combine monitor yields for the unit # or farm/field ID 7. Grain cart loads with estimated bushels by unit # or farm/field ID 8. Any weights from scale equipped implements by unit # or farm/field ID 9. Mark outside of bin between units, date, and note unit # or farm ID Following these guidelines and keeping necessary records will allow you to commingle production from two or more units. The records will aid the adjuster in accounting for all the grain in the bin. One final note: MPCI premiums that were not post- marked on or before Sept. 30 will have interest of 1.25% added for the month of October. To avoid additional interest for November, have your premium payments postmarked on or before Oct. 31. Hail premiums are due by Nov. 1. If you have any questions, contact your insurance team or call 866-259-3666. n AgQuest Insurance is an equal opportunity provider. Details Make a Difference Where Claims Are Concerned BY KATHY MAINER AGQUEST INSURANCE OFFICE MANAGER PAGE 7 Energy Addition Our newest propane technician has made the switch from fixing fenders to setting propane tanks. Prior to joining Harvest Land, Springfield native Travis Wendt worked as an auto body technician for four years. A graduate of Minnesota West Community & Technical College in Granite Falls, Travis is enjoying the move from autos to energy. “It’s nice to be out every day, meeting new people and learning about the energy business and the cooperative,” he says. “I work with some good guys too.” In addition to setting tanks, you’ll likely see Travis trenching lines, performing leak checks, and handling any other pro- pane-related task. Travis spends most of his spare time riding or working on motorcycles. n
  8. 8. PO Box 278 Morgan, MN 56266-0278 LICENSED AGQUEST CROP INSURANCE AGENTS MORGAN 877-626-7453 Lynn Button, Kathy Mainer, Mark Kubesh, Cheryl Manderfeld, Steve Bach 507-249-3196 Pat Macht, Mark Vogel, Matt Pietig COMFREY 507-877-2441 Rick Kastner MORTON 507-697-6113 Todd Beran, Keegan Mammen OLIVIA 800-463-3616 Sheri Bakker, Amber Weber SPRINGFIELD 507-723-7350 Jim Boyle, Joel Heiling, Tim Woelfel WABASSO 507-342-5184 AgQuest Insurance Agency is an Equal Opportunity Provider. Supplies of certain crop protec- tion products that have become hard to come by the past couple of years look to tighten even further for the coming season. Some supply issues are driven by high demand and some by decreasing production as suppliers plan for significant new product introductions. Chemical manufacturers and distributors are trying to minimize invento- ries of proven chemical technol- ogies, which may be impacted by these new introductions. Understandably, they don’t want to get caught with excess inventory. As a result, we will experience very tight supplies of some products. Corn and soybean herbicides that will be most affected include Laudis,® Calisto,® Status,® Boundary,® Fierce,® Outlook,® Zidua,® Liberty,® Banvel® (dicamba), and the Authority® brands. Also tight will be at-planting corn insecticides, including Force® brands and Capture® LFR® , to name a few. With this fact in mind, it will be extremely important to get together, put a plan in place, and determine your needs to ensure we can secure an adequate (but not burdensome) supply of product. Most of these products will become much more difficult to obtain or, in some cases, will be sold out after the first of the year. Unfortunately, this situation will also begin to affect our ability to return products. Even during the past two seasons, distribution has begun to limit the quantity that can be returned and, in some cases, banned certain product returns completely. Your help is needed As our staff begins to plan with you for 2014 and beyond, words and phrases such as allocated, limited, and non-returnable will become more commonplace. This is one more reason to put together an accurate crop plan. The better we do in planning together next year, the less restrictive we will have to be in the future. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call me or talk to your account manager. Thanks again for your continued support. n Tight Supplies to Require Prompt and Accurate Planning BY TIM WOELFEL CROP PROTECTION MANAGER