Control the chaos of harvest

corn harvest

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.1

During the busy harvest season, farms and grain-handling facilities are some of the most dangerous places to work. Slips and falls from ladders, entanglements from augers and PTOs, crushing injuries from grain truck and railroad traffic, grain bin entrapment and engulfment from grain bin entry, and fires and explosions from grain dust accumulation, are just some of the hazards.

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CHS supports the Holyoke Fire Protection District through $3,000 grant

Keeping our communities, customers and employees safe is a core value at CHS. Through the CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship grant program, CHS is proud to support local organizations that focus on safety, agriculture industry leadership and supporting rural communities.

The Holyoke Fire Protection District received a $3,000 grant from CHS Grainland to purchase grain bin rescue equipment for the Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department through the CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship grant program.

“Rural communities work hard to keep people safe while building and developing tomorrow’s leaders,” says Evan Fust, general manager, CHS, “We are thankful for those who are dedicated to making sure our communities continue to be strong, safe places for our customers and employees to live and work together. Their great work helps build connections that empower agriculture and our communities.”

Since 2019, CHS ag retail locations across the U.S. have awarded more than $340,000 to local organizations through the Seeds for Stewardship program. The funds provided in 2020 are being used to help protect firefighters, engage students in ag leadership and education projects, sustain local 4-H and FFA groups, and build gathering places where 4-Hers and community members can meet.

The grain rescue equipment purchase includes a portable rescue grain auger, patient rescue stretcher, and rescue personnel harnesses. 

“Through training and a response to a grain rescue call, we had determined the need for this additional equipment.  CHS Grainland has been a great partner for the Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department over the years, and we appreciate their continued support on this project,” says Holyoke Fire Chief Stacy Rueter.

Warning signs your diesel is water-contaminated

By Chad Christiansen, Product Quality and Additives Manager in Agriculture and Farming, CHS from the Cenexperts blog

filling a tractor with diesel fuel

Farmers have enough on their plates without needing to deal with water in their diesel. Despite their best efforts, though, sometimes accidents happen. Luckily, there are ways to remove water from diesel and methods to prevent water contamination from happening again.

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Bringing live market information directly to you

CHS will be bringing market information directly to its growers in a new way on Tuesday, July 14.

In light of current conditions with COVID-19 across the United States, we will be bringing market information to you virtually, rather than in-person meetings like we’ve done in the past.

On Tuesday, July 14, there will be two different live broadcasts to talk about corn, soybeans and wheat markets.

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Liquid plant undergoes major overhaul

Big changes have taken place at the CHS liquid fertilizer plant, which is located northeast of Holyoke, CO.  Originally built in 2000, the plant and its components were becoming obsolete and challenging to repair and operate.  Thanks to countless hours from CHS employees, both local and some from South Dakota, the liquid plant underwent a complete upgrade to serve area growers in a more efficient manner.

Simply put, the liquid plant blends fertilizer for growers.  Eighty-five percent of what leaves the plant goes straight to growers’ farms.  The plant in NE Colorado serves as a hub to get product in and out.  Bulk fertilizer comes in on a rail car and leaves via truck, blended to the farmer’s specifications and delivered to their farm.  Deliveries stretch from SW Nebraska to western Logan County in Colorado, then south to Yuma County, Colorado.

The liquid plant renovation project began in December 2019, with the first load being hauled out from the new facility in April 2020.  The updated liquid plant now boasts a new, fully automated system, new bulk storage tanks, re-routed piping to increase efficiency, upgraded pumps and a building to house micro-nutrients.  Thanks to the fully automated system, farmers will be able to load fertilizer 24/7 from the plant.  Currently, CHS employees are the only ones who can load at any time of day, but it is the goal to have the system set up by this fall for growers to load their own product at any time.

In addition to increasing efficiency of the liquid plant, the improvements will make CHS more competitive in the marketplace.  Product can be sourced faster because bigger units can be taken in.  The cost savings of buying large bulk units can be passed on to the grower.  It is the goal of all involved with the project to continue growing the market in Colorado and SW Nebraska.

Freeing phosphorus: New ways to add crop nutrient availability

An innovative option makes broadcast crop nutrient applications more available.

Farmers wouldn’t be satisfied with just 20 percent weed control from a herbicide application, but that’s typically the best nutrient availability they can expect from dry phosphate fertilizer applications.

“Under the best soil conditions, only one-fifth of applied phosphorus may be available to the crop throughout the season,” says Steve Carlsen, Levesol and crop enhancement manager, CHS Agronomy. “Availability is even less when soil pH levels are too high or too low or in soils that contain too little organic matter.”

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Celebrating Five Years of the Shuttle

“Creating connections to empower agriculture.”  This is CHS’ purpose and a guiding principle for directing business operations.  CHS Grainland made a significant investment to create connections for our area growers in 2015, when the shuttle facility opened northeast of Holyoke.  Five years and 108 trains later, the shuttle gives global commodity marketing options to eastern Colorado and western Nebraska farmers.

The addition of the shuttle opened doors for different grain marketing strategies, which benefits our growers because it gives them a better basis for their crops.  Utilizing rail transportation vs. semi-trucks allows grain to move quickly and travel great distances.  One train loaded at the shuttle averages 435,000 bushels.  This is the equivalent of 375 grain trucks!  Shipping grain via rail presents a timing advantage that CHS Grainland didn’t possess prior to the shuttle.

Since the shuttle facility opened in 2015, 108 trains have been loaded as of May 13, 2020.  Corn, wheat and milo have been shipped out via rail, with each commodity destined for various locations.  Corn trains typically head into Mexico or to the Gulf of Mexico.  Occasionally corn will head to California ethanol plants or Texas feedlots.  Wheat can go to either the Pacific Northwest (PNW) or the Gulf of Mexico to be exported, or it will go to domestic mills to be made into flour.  Milo goes to the PNW or the gulf to be exported overseas.  

Loading one train takes anywhere from six and a half to eight hours.  Once the railroad delivers the train to the shuttle, CHS employees take over the controls and have 15 hours to get it loaded.  Usually a team of seven employees is used to load a train, which has an average of 115 rail cars.  One employee operates the train locomotives.  Three employees open and close the individual railcar lids and put seals on.  The seals are put in place for tracking purposes and show that the contents of the car have not been tampered with prior to arrival at the final destination.  One employee ensures bottom gates do not leak and hoists new seals up to employees on top of the car.  One employee controls the flow of grain into the railcars and coordinates the locomotive movements.  Another employee will set and release individual car brakes to assist in the movement of the train, checks the elevator facility as the grain is loaded, and takes care of any elevator issues that arise.

While the train is being loaded, small samples of grain are automatically sent down to a lab staffed by third party USDA certified grain grading individuals who ensure that the grain going into the cars meets certain specifications set forth via the buyers.  These will be the official grades used in the sales transaction of the grain.

CHS Grainland is one of four grain elevators in the region that have shuttle capacities and the ability to ship large quantities of grain out via rail.  The facility has succeeded in creating connections and opening new market opportunities for our local growers.

© 2020 CHS Inc.