June 19, 2019

Archives for October 2013

Palo Alto County 4-H Dues Decreased

Jody Leuer (left) and Julie Naig accept a contribution from MaxYield that will decrease the cost of 4-H membership in Palo Alto County.

Jody Leuer (left) and Julie Naig accept a contribution from MaxYield that will decrease the cost of 4-H membership in Palo Alto County.

MaxYield Cooperative presented Palo Alto County Extension and Outreach with a contribution aimed at decreasing the cost of enrollment in 4-H youth programs.

“We are continuing our support of local 4-H and our commitment to our youth,” said Chad Meyer, MaxYield Client Relations Director. “Recently, we presented a contribution for $10.00 per 4-H member in order to decrease the cost of 4-H membership.”

Meyer said the cooperative has two goals in providing the program. “First, we want to make 4-H an affordable youth program for local families, especially families that have multiple children enrolled. Secondly, by paying a portion of each 4-H member’s enrollment fee, we are able to continue our mission in supporting 4-H so that each member benefits.”

The cooperative contributed over $1600 to Dickinson County Extension and Outreach and will contribute more than $18,000 to 4-H in seven Iowa counties annually.

“We believe that 4-H is one of the cornerstones in developing youth and 4-H provides an excellent foundation to build strong families. 4-H also provides a great way for young people to learn more about agriculture and its exciting future,” commented Meyer.

MaxYield Cooperative is a local farmer-owned cooperative serving members and clients in northern Iowa, southern Minnesota and Riga, Michigan. Founded in 1915, MaxYield Cooperative is headquartered in West Bend, Iowa. More information about the cooperative can be found online at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com.

 

Ask the Grain Expert: Understanding the Basics of Hedging

Karl SetzerBy Karl Setzer, grain solutions team leader

You buy life insurance, right? You probably insure your tractors and combine, too. With any of these policies, you don’t think twice about paying the premium, even though you hope you never have to collect.

Hedging your grain is like an insurance policy. When you hedge, you’re protecting your price. You’re not trying to make money.

In other words, a true hedge is a net zero move in the market. A hedge isn’t used in place of a cash sale. It’s used to offset a cash sale. That means a true hedge needs to be tied bushel for bushel to a cash contract, be it in the spot market or the deferred market. This means it can be a new-crop sale.

There are two ways to hedge. You can either use straight futures, or you can use options. My tool of choice is the option. Many farmers balk at options, however, because they don’t understand them.

Options aren’t that hard. An option might cost you 35, 40, or 50 cents, but you know your cost up front, just like you do when you buy life insurance or property insurance. In addition, there is no margin call with options.

Marketer, beware!

However, if hedging isn’t done correctly, it’s speculating. If you’re taking a futures position but not making a cash sale, it’s speculation.

I encourage you to take a look at options as you develop your grain marketing strategies. They can offer priceless peace of mind, especially in today’s volatile markets.

For more information on options or other grain marketing tools, contact your nearest MaxYield Cooperative location.

Editor’s note: Grain Solutions Team Leader Karl Setzer will offer his insights into different grain marketing topics in each issue of My Solutions. If you have a topic you’d like Karl to address in future issues, e-mail us at cmeyer@maxyieldcooperative.com or ksetzer@maxyieldcooperative.com.

 

INSIDE MaxYield – Let’s Roll: Tim and Taylor Glawe Restore a Vintage John Deere

Tim & Taylor GlaweFor a guy like Tim Glawe, fixing things and solving challenges are second nature. These skills came in handy when Glawe, MaxYield Cooperative’s East Region shop team leader in Britt, worked with his daughter, Taylor, 17, to restore a 1959 two-cylinder John Deere 730 tractor for her FFA project.

Here are five things the Glawes discovered during the process:

1. You learn by doing. As a kid, Tim Glawe wasn’t content with just playing with toys. “I was always tearing things apart to see how they worked,” said Tim, who worked at his parents’ ag retail/fertilizer business for 15 years after graduating from Corwith-Wesley High School in 1982. These experiences proved useful when Glawe took a job with the co-op in Britt 15 years ago. They’ve also come in handy as Tim has fixed and repainted many classic tractors through the years. When he proposed the idea of working on the John Deere 730, Taylor was interested. “It seemed like a pretty cool FFA project we could do,” said Taylor, who started working with her dad in February of 2012.

2. There’s just something about old iron. The John Deere 730 has been part of the Glawe farm near Corwith for decades. Tim’s father, Cecil, purchased it used in the early 1960s. “The 730 was one of the bigger tractors of the era when it was new, but when I got a John Deere 4010 in the mid-1960s, I liked that tractor better,” said Cecil, who appreciated the 4010’s more powerful engine. The 730 never left the farm, although it was used less and less. After it had been sitting for about five years, the tractor’s motor was stuck.Tim fixed the tractor so it could run again. “I like the older stuff, because its simple to work on. Sometimes about all you need is a set of wrenches,” said Tim, who noted that computer technology has transformed farm equipment through the years.

3. Farming is all about family. The Glawes have farmed in north-central Iowa for years and enjoy working together. “My older brother, Scott, has done a lot with my dad, and I was interested in doing more, too,” said Taylor, who worked on the John Deere with Tim on nights and weekends. Sometimes farming came first, said Tim, who helps his father with the fieldwork when he has time away from MaxYield. Taylor learned a lot, said Tim, who noted that his daughter helped clean, scrape, and paint the rims and hubs for the back tires. “We were glad to get special tractor-ride tires that Titan International supplies free to FFA members,” added Tim, who has painted 150 tractors through the years.

4. Success takes a team. It took Tim and Taylor about a year and a half to restore the tractor, which they worked on at Cecil’s farm shop. “I definitely learned a lot,” said Taylor, who will be a senior this fall at West Hancock High School. “I know what .045 bigs are and how difficult it is to find these expensive pistons for a John Deere 730 gas tractor.” Teamwork is also important to get jobs done at MaxYield, where Tim works with Tracy Smith, John Weiland, and Ken Bird to maintain trucks, applicators, and other MaxYield equipment. “The four of us have worked together as long as I’ve been here,” said Tim, who also operates one of MaxYield’s applicators in the spring and the fall. “There’s never a dull moment. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s something different that comes along.”

5. Carrying on traditions is important. Not only did Taylor learn how to restore the John Deere 730, but she learned how to drive it, too. “Sixth gear goes pretty fast,” said Taylor. The 60-horsepower tractor can pull a four-bottom plow, added Tim, who noted that the Glawes bring out the 730 when their neighbor, Ivan Frey, hosts a cornstalk plowing event in the fall in his 160-acre field. “People have a lot of questions about the tractor,” added Taylor, who exhibited the John Deere at the 2013 Hancock County Fair and whose story was featured in the Garner Leader newspaper earlier this year. “I’m going to make a photo book to show this project from start to finish.”

Will Taylor tackle another tractor restoration project with her dad? It’s not out of the question, she said. “I might do a John Deere 60 or 4010 next.”

Editor’s note: In addition to her role as FFA chapter reporter, Taylor participates in cross country, track, drama, speech competitions, and National Honor Society. She is thinking about studying animal science at North Iowa Area Community College after high school graduation in May of 2014.

 

 

Yield results – near Britt, IA

Harvest yield checks show results from Channel, Croplan & DeKalb ranging from 205.1 to 242.2 bu/A.

See the results, here.

To learn why SEED should be your first decision, contact the solutions specialists at MaxYield Seed.

How Will Fuel Changes Impact You?

The 89 octane fuel you buy today will become 87 octane by this fall, due to changes in federal regulations. Chad Besch, MaxYield Cooperative’s energy team leader, explains what this means and why you’ll likely see changes in fuel prices soon.

• Currently, most Iowa fuel stations use two grades of gas: Ngrade 87 octane gas (regular unleaded) and A-Grade, which is premium gasoline. Iowa law prevents the sale of any fuel lower than an 87 octane blend.

• To provide gasohol at the pump, fuel suppliers buy 90% N-grade fuel and 10% ethanol. By mid-September, however, the pipelines will quit shipping N-grade fuel. Already, there is no N-grade fuel available in places like Chicago. In place of N-grade, the pipelines will ship V-grade gas, which is 84.5 octane.

• MaxYield will have to blend this 84.5 octane gas with another product to get the fuel up to 87 octane. We’ll use 90% V-grade gas with 10% ethanol to get 87 octane.

• Ethanol works in an array of equipment, including small engines and tractors and does not affect engine performance. Ethanol blends have to meet lubricity specifications set by the American Society for Testing and Materials, Besch noted.

• MaxYield may still have a non-ethanol graded gas available that will be 87 octane. We’ll take V-grade gas and mix it with A-grade premium gas. It will take about 60% V-grade and 40% A-grade to supply a regular unleaded fuel with no ethanol.

• The challenge, however, is that A-grade is not very well supplied right now. There are two terminals in Milford, but one doesn’t have an A-grade tank, and there are no plans to install an A-grade tank. A-grade gasoline is easier to get from primary terminals in Des Moines and Clear Lake. “It’s a chicken and egg thing,” Besch said. “Will people buy more ethanol products, or will they want more of the A-grade fuel? I don’t know. If A-grade isn’t available at the terminals, however, we won’t have any non-ethanol unleaded available.”

• These changes, which will begin to take place in September, will have a price impact. “Right now, there’s about a 10-cent price difference between gasohol and unleaded,” Besch said. “This will likely jump 30 to 40 cents per gallon at today’s price spread.”

MaxYield’s energy team will do all that they can to prepare for this transition, Besch added. “The fact that the 89 octane you buy today will soon become 87 octane is not unique to MaxYield. These changes are occurring throughout the industry and are related to the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. We’re working to make this change as seamless as possible.”

If you have any questions related to this transition, or any other fuel- and energy-related questions, contact MaxYield’s Energy Central at 866-711-7282.

MaxYield Supports Lakota Fire Project

MaxYield - Lakota Fire DeptSheryll Denney, (right) MaxYield-Lakota team leader, presents Lakota fire chief Bill Mabus with a $2500 contribution towards their new fire station project capital campaign.

MaxYield Cooperative is a local, farmer-owned agricultural cooperative, headquartered in West Bend, IA.

They annually support communities, providing funding and volunteer opportunities for their team members.

More information about the company is found online at www.MaxYieldCooperative.com and www.FromTheField.com.

Wright County Junior Fair Receives Land O’Lakes Matching Funds

MaxYield supports Wright County FairMaxYield Cooperative’s Chuck Svendsen (center) presents Wright County Junior Fair treasurer Larry Pals (left) and secretary Shorty Anderson with a contribution totaling $1000 from Land O’Lakes Foundation. The funds match an earlier contribution from MaxYield Cooperative to the fair’s recent livestock arena building project.

Land O’Lakes Foundation helps rural communities prosper and prepare for tomorrow by donating resources that develop and strengthen organizations dedicated to Hunger, Education and Community. Since 1997, the Foundation has awarded nearly $14 million in grants through a variety of giving programs.

More information about MaxYield Cooperative can be found online at www.MaxYieldCoop.com or www.FromTheField.com.

Anhydrous Safety, Behind the Scenes

MaxYield NH3With nearly 400 anhydrous tanks, MaxYield Cooperative works hard to ensure safety first, both at the cooperative and on the farm.

“Anhydrous is a very good nitrogen source, but it’s important to handle it correctly,” said Tom Winkel, MaxYield’s safety coordinator and operations assistant. “We want to keep everything safe for our clients and team members.”

This starts at MaxYield, which has a team of 14 certified cargo tank inspectors within the company. They have been trained by the U.S. Department of Transportation and are registered through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These specialists visually inspect each tank each year to check the tires, welds, and gauges.

“Just like a person gets an annual checkup at the doctor, we inspect each individual tank to make sure everything works properly,” Winkel said.

Every five years, the MaxYield team conducts a pressure test and thickness test on each tank. “This is like an ultrasound,” said Winkel, who noted that many anhydrous tanks were built in the 1960s and 1970s. “Tanks experience a lot of stress as they are pulled down the road and across the field. Any tanks that don’t make the minimum requirement are not used.”

MaxYield has donated some of its decommissioned anhydrous tanks to Iowa State University, Winkel added. ISU researchers physically cut the tanks into segments to look for Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC). They map all the cracks using both ultrasound and a complex procedure referred to as Neutron diffraction. This study (which began in December of 2008) has just recently been completed and is being reviewed by FMCSA.

This detailed testing will help the ag community better understand the life expectancy of typical anhydrous tanks. The age of the tank, type of steel, the manufacturer, and how that tank was used over the years will dictate how long the useful life of this tank will be. This scientific study will help us determine when that might be.

Stay safe

To ensure your safety on the farm, MaxYield reminds you to:

Tow nurse tanks carefully. A fully loaded nurse tank can weigh more than 17,000 pounds for a double tank and 8,000 pounds for a single tank. Consider attaching a tow bar directly to the frame of your vehicle. Inspect the pin periodically, and make sure there is a safety clip to keep the pin in place. Iowa law also requires safety chains from the nurse tank to be attached to your vehicle. The chains should be crossed under the tongue and then attached to your vehicle. Drive slowly (less than 35 miles per hour) when pulling a tank with a SMV sign, and pay particular attention on curves and downhill slopes.

Wear correct personal protective gear, including goggles, heavy rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.

Check hoses and connections. If you find a hose or connection is loose, repair it at once. The valve should be tight and not allowed to rotate due to field vibrations. On horizontal connections, we suggest having the valve at a 1-3 o’clock position to allow the weight of the valve to help keep the connection tight.

Have water supply handy. Make sure the water tank on the nurse tank is full. If you are burned by anhydrous, flush the affected area with plenty of water as quickly as possible, and continue to do so for 15 minutes or more. Seek medical attention if necessary. Winkel invites you to attend the anhydrous safety training meetings that MaxYield hosts each spring and fall for its team members. He’s also available to speak about anhydrous safety to local first responders, 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, and community organizations. For more information, call 800-383-0003 or e-mail twinkel@maxyieldcooperative.com.

 

MaxYield Hosts Belmond-Klemme FFA Lunch

Belmond Klemme FFA

Belmond-Klemme FFA at MaxYield Belmond.

We were happy to host students from Belmond-Klemme High School’s FFA last week for their annual “Farmer Lunch”.

On October 15th, the student served over 350 hamburgers at MaxYield’s Belmond location.

The next day, the FFA chapter served over 150 hamburgers during lunch at our Klemme facility.

While we are a proud supporter of this event and local 4-H and FFA chapters, we are especially grateful for the Belmond-Klemme High School’s commitment to our youth and the FFA program.

Thank you for stopping by…and making harvest great!

Belmond Klemme FFA

Belmond-Klemme FFA at MaxYield Klemme.

 

 

 

IT’S GROW TIME: Belmond Fertilizer Plant Opens for Business

MaxYield BelmondThis year’s challenging spring weather revealed how the window of opportunity to apply fertilizer can close quickly. While MaxYield Cooperative can’t control the weather, the company’s new Belmond fertilizer complex will help ensure that you have the nutrients and crop protection products you need, when you need them.

“This phenomenal facility reflects where the fertilizer industry is going,” said Keith Heim, MaxYield Cooperative’s CEO. “This was a much-needed addition to MaxYield, and we’re more than ready for the 2013 fall fertilizer season.”

The computerized facility boasts a capacity of 22,500 tons, including two 8,000-ton bins, two 3,000-ton bins, and additional bins for micronutrients. Two mixers allow the MaxYield team to blend one batch of fertilizer while another batch is loading into the tender truck. As soon as one truck is filled, another can enter the facility and start loading right away.

While it used to take 25 to 30 minutes to load one 24-ton tender truck, now the process can be completed in about five minutes, thanks to the 30-ton storage load-out tank. “There’s very little downtime,” said Cody Ostendorf, an agronomy specialist at the Belmond location. “The whole system is designed to handle fertilizer quickly so we can get it to your fields faster.”

Economies of scale keep MaxYield competitive

Other technology enhances the efficiency of the new facility, noted Jeff Marsh, MaxYield’s operations team leader. An innovative oiling system that minimizes fertilizer dust will keep the facility cleaner and will extend the life of the equipment.

Precision drives everything in the new facility. For example, from the cab of the payloader, the operator can use a remote device to change which bin the fertilizer goes to. In addition, the MaxYield team member in the control room can program the system to load exactly what is needed to be within 20 pounds of the order.

“Also, when the truck leaves the load-out driveway, the vehicle is already weighed, so the driver isn’t going back and forth to a traditional truck scale every time,” Marsh said. “This will cut down the load-out time dramatically.”

It’s a plus that the Belmond facility can receive shipments of crop nutrients via truck and rail quickly, said Andy Vaske, MaxYield’s east region agronomy operations leader. The rail-receiving capacity totals 400 tons per hour, and the facility is capable of receiving 65- to 70-car trains at a time. “These economies of scale will allow MaxYield to buy fertilizer in larger quantities, which will keep us competitive,” said Marsh, who noted that the receiving capabilities of older MaxYield fertilizer facilities are closer to 100 tons per hour.

MaxYield BelmondIt’s not just N, P, and K anymore

Before the Belmond fertilizer complex was built, MaxYield’s two closest fertilizer facilities were located at Meservey and Britt. The Meservey facility, which was built around the late 1950s/early 1960s, is too small by today’s standards. “We were having to refill it up to two to three times each season.

In today’s era of just-in-time deliveries, MaxYield’s team members conduct extensive forecasting in the spring and summer to determine how much fertilizer will be required for the fall season. “With this spacious new Belmond facility, we won’t have to worry about enough potash or other fertilizer showing up on time,” said Vaske, who has worked for MaxYield for 14 years. “We’ll be ready to roll.”

Along with urea, MAP, DAP, and other major nutrients, the Belmond fertilizer plant will supply MicroEssentials®, including sulfur and zinc. “As more growers do tissue testing through SciMax Solutions, they’re finding out they need certain micronutrients,” said Ostendorf, who helped host an open house at the Belmond fertilizer complex on July 17. “If we could only hold 15 to 20 semi loads of MicroEssentials, which are shipped on barges up the Mississippi River, we couldn’t go very far or spread very much. That won’t be a problem with the new Belmond facility.”

Thanks to the Belmond facility, Ostendorf has the opportunity to work with new clients who haven’t relied on MaxYield for their crop nutrient needs in years past. “A lot is changing, now that MaxYield has invested in agronomy at the Belmond location,” said Ostendorf, who has been building the client base south of Belmond and into the Clarion area. “I’m looking forward to serving new MaxYield clients.”

The Belmond fertilizer complex reflects MaxYield’s first step in a multi-step process to upgrade and enhance its dry fertilizer assets throughout the company, said Heim, who added that the MaxYield board toured the new facility in June.

Vaske is excited about the possibilities. “We built this Belmond facility for the future and have room to grow. I look forward to providing the best client service possible this fall.”