SUMMER 2017 EDITION
SPECIAL FEATURE! Watch video highlights of our new Agronomy Hub— page 5
The Technology Accelerator
Technology and Feed Specialists
The Right Technology Choice Isn’t Simple
Brownton Plant’s Technology
P E O P L E
P R I D E
P U R P O S E
Accelerating VALUE With TECHNOLOGY
he industrial revolution took us through the heart of the 20th century. The technology revolution will accelerate us into the future. That is a bold statement. At times, we may get tired of hearing about the technology around us every day. Believe me, there are days I wish things like smartphones, email and videoconferencing didn’t exist. But the truth is technology has clearly made life better. Technology isn’t necessarily new. It has simply evolved. Throughout UFC’s 100 years of history, we’ve seen technology take many different forms, starting with the simplest of critical agricultural practices such as tilling the soil. We went from true horsepower (the use of horses to pull the plow) to today’s high-horsepower, technology-driven tractors that can literally steer themselves. In between, our ancestors saw steam power evolve into gas and then into diesel technologies that continue to benefit the tillage process. Technology in agriculture is one of the most amazing evolutions of our lifetime. It complements similar advances in
The advent of steam power
other critical areas such as health care. Not only has technology improved our farms and businesses, but our fitness and lifestyles as well. In this Fieldviews, we’ll share with you how technology will help UFC accelerate the value we bring to our members and communities while ensuring we deliver on critical needs that have not changed. We still need to feed the livestock, heat our homes and raise our crops. But we will do so more efficiently, more effectively, and in a manner that is better for our environment. All of the above will be accomplished through the disciplined approach of applying the right technology at the right time. ● Looking ahead,
Jeff Nielsen, President/CEO
Gasoline powered tractor
Technology driven tractor
FINANCE like you FARM Taking care of your financing and insurance needs has never been more convenient.
AgQuest Insurance Agency is an equal opportunity provider.
At AgQuest we work with you to make sure you have financing avaiable when you need it. Few people know and understand your business as well as the people who supply your agronomic supplies and services. Thanks to UFC’s relationship with AgQuest, you can secure insurance and financing right at UFC.
Together... We Find The Way!
Finance/Crop Insurance: Vince Sloot 507-995-9029 Admin Finance/Crop Insurance: Dawn Wickenhauser 507-647-6606 x6749 P& C Insurance: Tim Lewis 612-756-2903 or Amber Weber 320-894-0663
UFC DIRECTORY AgQuest Finance—507-647-6606 Ext. 6749 Bird Island Elevator—320-365-4012 Brownton Ag Service Center—320-328-5211 Brownton Shuttle—320-328-4002 Cologne Feed Mill—952-466-5518 Corporate Office—507-647-6600 Gaylord Ag Service Center—507-237-4203 Gaylord C-Store—507-237-2281 Gibbon C-Store—507-834-6615 Grain Marketing—507-647-6601 Green Isle C-Store—507-326-5866 Hamburg Ag Service Center—952-467-3111 Hector Ag Service Center—320-848-2296
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: The Technology Accelerator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 4 Technology and the Feed Specialists Who Use It . . . . . . . Page 7
Judson Implement Ag Service Center—507-947-3644 Klossner Elevator—507-359-4519 Klossner Livestock Service Center—507-359-2970
Choosing the Right Technology Is Not Simple . . . . . . . . . Page 8
Partnerships Drove Brownton Plant’s Technology. . . . . . Page 10
Lafayette Ag Service Center—507-228-8224
Grain Equipment Sales - NEW FACE AT UFC . . . . . . . . . Page 12
2017 Spring in Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 14
A NEW ERA Begins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 15 Investing in UFC for You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 17 Apply Fungicide to ALL Soybeans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 18
Lafayette Seed Shed—507-228-8669 LeSueur—507-665-6421 Litchfield Elevator—320-693-6040 New Auburn C-Store—320-864-2811
PGRs Keep Plants Healthier, Retain Pods. . . . . . . . . . . . Page 19
New Germany C-Store—952-353-2601
Total Protection for Expensive Equipment. . . . . . . . . . . Page 20
Norseland Ag Service Center—507-246-5300
Things That Matter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 22
UFC Farm Supply-Burnsville—952-890-5296
How Retail Fits in UFC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 23 Meet Our 2017 Interns!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 24 RALLY OPPORTUNITIES: What We Know Today. . . . . . . Page 25 40 Square Comes to Life. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 27
ON THE COVER: UFC applicator Justin Rettmann drives the new 2017 Case IH 4440 row crop sprayer, the most advanced sprayer in the commercial application market today. ©2017 United Farmers Cooperative. All Rights Reserved.
UFC Farm Supply-Maple Plain—763-479-2123 UFC Farm Supply-Waconia—952-442-2126 Waconia Energy Office—952-442-2126 Winthrop C-Store—507-647-5931 Winthrop Chemical Warehouse—507-647-6615 Winthrop Elevator—507-647-5311 Winthrop Energy Office—507-647-6602
The Technology Accelerator By Jeff Nielsen, President/CEO
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of greeting you and hundreds of your neighbors at a tour of our new fertilizer plant in Brownton. This most recent addition to UFC’s facilities is not just a marvel of concrete and steel. It is an example of the way technology can accomplish even the simplest things—like blending fertilizer.
eyond talking technology, some of the most enjoyable and humbling discussions I had that day began with questions like: “Okay, Jeff, what’s next for UFC?” This led to some very candid conversations about how we got here and about our vision for the future. Those conversations took me back 10 years to the day I pulled into an empty field to talk with the Waller and Ewald families about buying this site for our Brownton Agronomy and Grain Hub. At that time, our vision was to build a grain and agronomy facility that would not only serve you today but for
decades to come. That is exactly what we did.
What’s next for UFC? This brings me back to the principle of technology and what we need to do, not only to keep up with your traditional needs but to accelerate your progress. Another turning point for UFC happened about a decade ago when your board and leadership team was heavily engaged in long-term planning. We often ask the directors and staff to continue their education by reading books, attending seminars and doing homework so we are better prepared to
Our new 2017 Case IH Patriot® 4440 row-crop sprayer has 375 hp, a 120-foot boom and a 1,200-gallon tank. The Raven Viper® 4+ monitor combined with Aim Command FLEX™ gives the operator the ability to have individual nozzle control. With the flip of a switch, the operator can also have instant gallons per acre with the desired pressure at any speed. This state-of-the-art machine adds to UFC’s fleet of 16 row-crop sprayers.
face the future and make solid business decisions. What were we studying 10 years ago? We were all reading the best seller Good to Great by Jim Collins. Mr. Collins had studied some of the most successful businesses of the last century and pulled together common practices of those companies who were not just good but had become GREAT. These organizations had put into place the plans and disciplines necessary to remain relevant. From his studies, Mr. Collins discerned that change is inevitable and it is how we react, predict and plan for change that allows any organization to
be sustainable. Our entire board and leadership team studied the concepts in Good to Great and put them into practice. I can sum up Good to Great in a simple statement: The most successful and sustainable companies employ three basic principles centered on discipline: 1) Disciplined people. 2) Disciplined thought. 3) Disciplined action. In UFC’s case, disciplined people includes everyone from our customers to our directors and employees staying focused on what needs to be done. After disciplined thought, which
involves planning and research, strategies are put into place. Disciplined action simply means making a commitment to do what we set out to do— regardless of the challenges. This kind of commitment resulted in the construction and opening of our Brownton sites.
Apply early and often This brings me back to the theme of technology. Mr. Collin’s work suggests that the companies who really excel over time are disciplined and brave enough to apply technology early and often. He referred to it as “the technology accelerator.”
Today, we’re surrounded by technology and the rate of change will only increase. At UFC, we believe that investigating technology and applying it to our members’ farms is part of our responsibility. It is part of the value we provide. I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes, and I think this applies to the technology revolution in which we find ourselves. Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said: “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” Think about that... and thanks for your business. ●
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK at our new Brownton Agronomy Hub! Two Easy Steps: 1) Download the Live Portrait app from the App Store or Google Play to your phone. 2) Open the app and scan this corner to watch video! Complete video is also available to view on our YouTube channel:
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Robert Westman, UFC dairy tech nutritionist, works with Adam Husfeldt, dairy producer, to create healthy and palatable feed rations for Adam’s dairy cattle herd. By bringing technology on-site, ration changes can be implemented instantly to help maximize and improve milk supply and quality.
Technology and the Feed Specialists Who Use It By Kelly Powell, UFC Feed Product & Sales Manager
UFC’s Feed Division has assembled the best, most enthusiastic group of dairy, beef and swine nutrition and management specialists. Our experts not only work extremely hard to help our customers succeed, but they also stay on top of the latest nutritional, management and technology changes in the livestock industry.
ith the help of this group, UFC has identified the companies that bring the most innovative products and highest quality support personnel available. We all read about new feeds, additives and management styles, as well as new studies that prove each of these technologies works. What many of our customers do not see is the new nutritional technology that is required to make these things work. UFC has evaluated some of the newest, most up-to-date nutritional software in the industry. We selected technology that balances all feedstuffs for the optimum nutritional performance. Our former way of evaluating feedstuffs was good enough for years, but it evaluated nutrients based on a linear individual nutrient evaluation. The new Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) is a model that evaluates feedstuffs based on how the animal can utilize all the nutrients within each individual feed product. The CNCPS predicts the nutrient digestibility and how each nutrient will pass through the digestive system and be absorbed based on how all nutrients work together or simultaneously for optimum performance. With this new technology, we can more accurately balance diets.
By using the latest, most innovative nutrition formulation programs, the most efficient nutrient utilization is achieved offering producers cost-saving opportunities and providing good environmental stewardship. As an example, current nutrition ration programs for dairy formulate on amino acids in conjunction with total protein. By incorporating amino acids into the ration, the total protein content of the ration can often be decreased, sparing excess protein (nitrogen) excretion into the environment. While nutrients in manure make excellent fertilizer for crops, feeding excess nutrients to fertilize crops makes for expensive fertilizer. To effectively utilize the newest technology in ration formulation and feeding animals, our nutritionists are continuously engaged in professional development. Meetings, webinars, diagnostic groups and good old-fashioned reading are a few of the ways our nutritionists stay current on livestock industry information. At UFC, education is a high priority and having knowledgeable nutritionists means producers are getting cutting-edge, optimal nutrition services. We encourage you to utilize UFC’s talented group of dairy, beef and swine specialists. They are the leaders in our industry. ●
Choosing the Right Technology Is Not Simple By Greg Peton, Chief Marketing Officer
UFC customers who want to achieve improved efficiency and profitability on their farms continue to adopt new technologies. This pull-through demand for technological enhancements supports our directive to be your trusted and strategic technology partner.
n 2016, Silicon Valley invested over $4 billion in ag-related capital startups, software enhancements and new software systems. They’ve discovered that farmers embrace technology rapidly as they seek to improve profitability per acre. Today, several hundred companies provide solutions encompassing a dozen or more business segments ranging from seed, fertilizer and crop protection products to monitoring, data transfer, recordkeeping, operational overflow, predictive modeling and farm profit/loss. It doesn’t take long to arrive at the conclusion that the right decision can be extremely complicated. Determining what technology best suits a grower’s business model can be a daunting task—one that UFC does not take lightly. UFC utilizes our proprietary United Insight™ platform to screen and identify technology offerings to help the grower determine the best solution for their farm operation. Any company can enter data, create maps and provide algorithms that formulate contrived solutions to a predetermined outcome, based upon predictive models. We believe a trusted
field sales agronomist is also needed to evaluate and analyze the data to help the customer make the right decision. This boots-on-the ground advisor should understand the farmer’s management style and how they make intuitive decisions—a process not easily modeled. As an example, UFC’s customers experience a significant competitive edge when they manage data appropriately. Our historical data shows that growers who have invested in UFC’s United Insight platform are realizing an advantage of more than 24 bushels per acre of corn and over 8 bushels per acre of soybeans, when compared to local county averages. This spread widens every year. Being able to access grower data 24/7 is critical to the success of our growers’ farming operations. Later this summer, UFC will roll out a multiple-platform, portal-based secure website where growers will be able to access their data at any time. In developing this website, UFC will be on the leading edge—just one more example of our commitment to be your trusted and strategic technology partner. ●
©2017 The Mosaic Company. All rights reserved. MicroEssentials is a registered trademark of The Mosaic Company. 006960
LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS. With up to 60% of your yield dependent on soil fertility, invest wisely in your farm’s productivity. Trust the leader in balanced crop nutrition. With over a decade of proven results, MicroEssentials® by The Mosaic Company, increases corn yields an average of 7.2 bu/ac compared to traditional fertilizer.
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Board Chairman Todd Nelson cuts the ribbon.
Partnerships Drove Brownton Plant’s Technology By Todd Nelson, UFC Board Chairman
Thanks to everyone who attended the open house at our new Brownton Agronomy Hub. The number of patrons who showed up on that dreary April day was encouraging. It told me how important this agronomy plant is to your success.
he new Brownton Agronomy Hub was built not just for today, but for the future. The speed at which fertilizer can be blended and loaded in this plant will serve future generations well. We were able to build the best infrastructure and technology into this plant because of the partnerships we have formed with companies like CHS, Inc. and Mosaic. Our partnership with WinField drove the construction of a state-of-the-art chemical distribution center. Most importantly, 100% of these facilities are owned by the patrons of UFC. As we remember UFC’s latest achievement, let’s not forget our Winthrop fertilizer hub. We’ve upgraded that facility with a H.I.M. mixer (the same as Brownton) and it will be paid off entirely by this September. There were many patrons throughout our southern territory who depended on the Winthrop fertilizer hub to keep spreaders rolling this past spring.
Around UFC We’ve been busy across our trade territory throughout all of our business units. Here is a look at what has been happening recently. Ag Services – To our Gehl®, Bobcat®, GSI and Wil-Rich® lines, we’ve added Judson Implement with its full line of AGCO equipment including tractors, planters and tillage equipment. The addition of Judson will also strengthen our expertise in farm equipment technology.
Feed – This division has always been our most consistent performer, thanks to the loyalty of our livestock producers. We currently operate three mills. The two mills at Klossner and Le Sueur have been certified under the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program. Our Cologne mill is in the process of gaining its HACCP certification. Read Kelly Powell’s article on page 7 about selecting nutritional software that balances feedstuffs for optimum performance. Energy – We’re finalizing plans to run a natural gas line to the Jackpot Junction Casino in Morton. Farms and commercial users will be hooked up along the way. We’re also completing the first year of service to users along the natural gas loop constructed last summer. Retail – We’ve reorganized the store in Waconia to better appeal to our consumer customers there, and we’ve brought the Massey Ferguson tractor line from Judson to Waconia. Grain – It was our grain handling complex in Brownton, constructed three years ago, that paved the way for the completion of our Brownton Agronomy Hub in 2017. The loop track, designed to accommodate 110-car unit trains of grain, was already in place when we built the fertilizer plant and chemical warehouse. All of the above demonstrate the commitment of your board of directors to reinvesting in your company. We’re building these facilities for today and for future generations, so this company will be here in another 100 years. ●
THANK YOU! UFC would like to thank the businesses involved in building our state of the art Brownton Agronomy Hub Facility. The project was done on time and done with the highest quality of work. We are appreciative of all their efforts. A & B Welding | Anderson Electric | B & R Plumbing and Heating Braun Intertech | Geib Well | Kahler Automation Mathiowetz Construction | SMA | TKDA | TCW Railroad Waconia Manufacturing
Grain Equipment Sales: NEW FACE AT UFC By Leon Portner, Grain Handling Product Sales Manager and Steve Heldt, Project Manager
One of our long-time salespersons, Dean Messner, retired in March. We wish Dean well.
dam Dammann of Glencoe has been hired as a new Grain Handling Sales & Service professional out of the Gaylord Ag Service Center. Adam joined UFC in April after working as an account manager for Grainger Industrial Supply, serving northern Minnesota. A native Adam Dammann of Glencoe with a marketing degree from St. Cloud State University, Adam looks forward to getting out and meeting local farmers to better understand their needs for grain handling equipment. Adam and his wife, Megan, live in Glencoe. He is an avid outdoorsman who currently manages the Plato Blue Jays, an amateur baseball team. With the addition of Adam to the Gaylord Ag Service Center, we now look forward to serving our Waconia area customers through Gaylord. Call Steve or Adam at 507-237-4203 for all your grain handling needs.
Still time to build There is still time to schedule projects to be built in the summer of 2017, including installation of grain bins, grain legs and dryers. Discounts are still available. We also offer and build a full line of steel, post frame and hoop barns for shops, equipment storage, hay storage and livestock. From pouring the foundations to setting the dryers, building bins, air systems and grain legs, our crews can do it all. Our skilled technicians are also available to make timely repairs or updates to your existing grain handling facility.
Pre-season leg and dryer service Fall will soon be here. You should have received a letter offering pre-season service of your grain dryers or grain legs. Give us a call at Lafayette or Gaylord to schedule your grain handling system for pre-season service. In-season, weâ€™ll handle your service calls promptly and complete the work quickly. We understand the need to keep your grain system running during the busy fall season. Keep our phone numbers handy. Call Steve or Adam at Gaylord at 507-237-4203 or Leon at Lafayette at 507-228-8224. â—?
Amboy Grain, located in Rapidan, MN features 80,000-bushel, 34,000-bushel, and 19,000-bushel GSI bins with a 100 foot GSI 8,000 BPH leg and a Schlagel 8,000 BPH receiving conveyor that was sold and built by UFC.
UFC sold and installed a 70,000-bushel GSI bin and an 8-inch GSI Versaloop on the Dale Wishart farm located southeast of Mapleton.
2017 Spring in Review By Aaron Schwab, Northern Operations Manager and Chad Wilson, Southern Operations Manager
The 2017 spring season was short but productive. With most area growers putting all their crops in throughout a 10-day period, UFC was able to stay ahead of them with fertilizer and pre-emerge spraying behind the planters.
aving both the Winthrop and Brownton Agronomy Hub’s up and running was one of the keys to our success this spring. UFC had the equipment, workforce and, most importantly, the product in the bin or tank to get the job done. “We’ve gained great efficiency with having the Brownton Agronomy Hub to provide fertilizer and crop protection to our northwest territory,” says Chad Wilson. “This allowed us to keep floaters and sprayers in the fields moving, and we were able to cover a lot more acres in a day.” “Having the newest technology in blending and plant automation at our Winthrop and Brownton plants, we were able to load trucks with the highest quality blended fertilizer in a short period with ease,” mentions Aaron Schwab. We are surrounded by technology every day, from the automated systems at our plants to the high-tech machines in the
This picture was taken this Spring by Mitch Donnay, Custom Applicator for UFC. One of the perks of the long hours during Spring fertilizer season is being outside and seeing some amazing sunrises and sunsets in the heartland of American agriculture.
fields. UFC has used GPS tracking on all our application equipment and trucks for the past seven years; it has proven itself as a very useful tool in dispatching trucks and equipment in the fields. Autosteer, auto boom and coverage maps are a few examples of the technology we equip our application machines with at UFC. These technologies provide efficiency and ease of operation during the long days the operators put in. Going forward, UFC is working with multiple software companies and computer programmers to develop a one-of-a-kind dispatch program built off our current system. This dispatch program will get the grower more involved in what is going on in their field, by updates through text message or email. We hope to roll out with this program this coming fall, stay tuned. We would like to thank all our employees throughout all of UFC’s business units for helping this spring season and especially our growers for their cooperation and business. ●
A NEW ERA BEGINS
UFC patrons tour the state-of-the-art fertilizer plant at the Brownton Agronomy Hub.
By Dave Eckhoff, Vice President of Agronomy
It’s complete! The April open house of our new Brownton Agronomy Hub was a huge success, and we’re busy settling in to our new facility.
ith the volume, speed and technology built into our Brownton and Winthrop hub plants, UFC has built on its reputation of supplying high-quality agronomic inputs and unparalleled efficiency to our farmer-
customers. These two plants in central Minnesota will usher in the beginning of a new era. See “The Old UFC” and “UFC Plant Velocity – 2017” for a comparison between what was and what is today.
The Brownton and Winthrop Agronomy Hub plants have been constructed with an eye toward adapting and expanding with the shifting agricultural industry. Through these plants, we expect to be able to add value for the cooperative’s farmers-owners for many generations to come. Thank you for your business and support this season. All of us at UFC wish you a safe and bountiful 2017 growing season. ●
GRAIN ON BUGS.
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*In laboratory setting Always read and follow label directions. Centynal and Centynal with design, Diacon and Diacon with design, PBO-8 and PBO-8 with design and Pyronyl and Pyronyl with design are trademarks of Wellmark International. Central Life Sciences with design is a registered trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company. ÂŠ2017 Wellmark International.
Investing in UFC for You
By Mitch Altermatt, Chief Operating Officer
I just completed my first 100 days as your Chief Operating Officer. During this time, I’ve visited with employees at each location and met with producers to understand what they need from their cooperative partner. I’ve done more learning than talking at these meetings, and my initial observations have me excited for the future of UFC.
have worked for agricultural cooperatives my entire career. While I still have a lot to learn, I’ve accumulated a history of experiences that allow me to confidently conclude that UFC is committed to the success of its patrons. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to work here. In my first months on the job, three unique factors are continually mentioned by patrons and employees: technology, talent and transparency. Technology – Over the last decade, your cooperative has increased its focus and investment in technology. United Insight™, UFC’s in-house precision agriculture program, was created with our producers in mind. It keeps your data off the market and utilizes the collective data of our membership to make better recommendations for you, increasing your productivity and profitability. Most cooperatives struggle to offer patrons a precision product at all, let alone operate a complete in-house precision solution. UFC’s investment in technology places it at the forefront of the cooperative system. Talent – UFC can have the best facilities, rolling stock and technology on the market, but it will do nothing for our patrons if we don’t have the best talent. I’m proud to work for a company whose board of directors and management team
strongly support investing in and growing our employees. Agriculture is a commoditized industry, and it is truly the people (their experiences and expertise) that make a difference for your farming operation. Our experts are excited to come to work every day and help you do more in your operation. Transparency – As an employee of UFC, I appreciate the transparency with which the board guides our cooperative. This transparency is seen in our culture. Producers truly own and patronize this company, and their needs are met by an enthusiastic employee base who feel a sense of ownership in the company they work for. While the direct benefit of transparency is not as easy to measure as our investments in technology or talent, the positive effect it has on our culture is invaluable. UFC is in a unique position to leverage these three factors to earn your business. Look for us to increase our investments in technology, talent and dedication to transparency. And please, be transparent with us about how we can serve you better. The cooperative system is an honorable industry in which to work, and I look forward to the next 100 days working with all of you. ●
Apply a Fungicide to ALL Soybeans By Josh Edmondson, Field Sales Agronomist
With markets the way they are, the expense of adding inputs is understandably a tough decision. I can tell you, many of my growercustomers have experienced great returns on their decisions to invest in a fungicide. If you are looking for an opportunity to control your ROI on a fungicide application, I want to share some information that will tip the odds in your favor.
irst, there are many different fungicides on the market today. It’s important to be sure you are buying the product that will provide the most value. Let’s start with soybeans. There are preventative and curative modes of action and unless you have disease present the curative mode is unneeded while the preventative mode of action continues to produce positive results. More importantly, for optimizing your return on investment (ROI) we need to be sure and get the timing right. We have seen a direct correlation between timing and yield response. R3 timing is clearly the target, far better than just getting in the R2-R4 window commonly recommended. If you are still searching for the right product, I recommend BASF’s Priaxor®. This premium product is very strong at preventing disease and promoting plant health in the absence of disease pressure, setting itself apart from its’ competition every year. Over the years, we have seen very consistent results when timing is between R2 to R4 with consistent 4 to 6 bushel yield responses, and when we hit the sweet spot at R3 the response is even greater. In 2016, local growers saw a steady 10-bushel increase on treated acres (at R3) over their untreated areas. Nobody had less than a 6-bushel increase. I have seen 16 bushels on a couple different occasions, timing is everything!
As for corn... The decision to apply a fungicide on your corn can be more challenging. We have found that the curative mode of action is extremely beneficial as there are often diseases present in corn that are difficult to identify as the symptoms are not visible at early stages. Tassel timing has proven more consistent in showing a yield response, directly impacting your ROI. We have also seen a correlation with specific hybrids responding better than others to fungicides. Your cropping system makes a difference. Corn on corn continues to show
positive ROI every year. In ‘16 we saw 20+ bushels over untreated acres. There are benefits other than yield that are often overlooked when applying fungicides. If going 5 mph versus 3 mph at harvest would impact your business, a fungicide application which promotes plant health, ultimately increasing standability, can put money back in your pocket, even if the yield is statistically the same. See the chart titled Headline AMP® Fungicide for a more specific example.
To sum up... I believe every acre of beans should be treated specifically at R3 for optimum results, remember R3! If you need help, your local UFC Field Sales Agronomist would be more than happy to assist in making sure your fungicide investment produces optimum results. Don’t be afraid to purchase the best product, it’s worth the investment! Tassle timing has shown better ROI over V5 applications. There are a lot of variables when considering fungicides on corn acres. I like products like Trivapro®, Stratego YLD, or Headline AMP on corn at Tassle for best results. Hands down, my lead recommendation for beans is Priaxor. I have yet to find anything that will consistently bring the same results! ●
PGRs Keep Plants Healthier, Retain Pods By Jesse Wiant, Master Field Sales Agronomist
As soybeans push into the V5 stage and begin flower development, it becomes important to utilize data to make management decisions. Nutrition is very important for soybeans going into the reproduction stages. At this critical stage, we need a healthy plant photosynthesizing more efficiently to feed flower and pod development.
issue testing compliments soil testing. It gives us a current look at the plants’ nutrient contents. We’ve seen some increase in the use of phosphorus and potassium as a preplant application to soybeans. After two years of bumper crops, our soils may not have enough P and K to feed our beans. Tissue testing can help identify where our nutrient levels are going into the reproductive stages of our bean crop. Foliar application of micronutrients— especially manganese—can boost soybean yields. Manganese is essential for photosynthesis, and it’s very important for legume crops like soybeans. It increases nitrogen metabolism and carbohydrate
Delaying the ripening process
• Gibberellic acid, in particular, stimulates cell elongation and internode formation. • Auxins promote below-ground root growth and shoot development that relates to branching. • Kinetin works to expand the leaves and promotes efficient carbohydrate transfer to feed the flowers.
If you buy bananas, set them on your counter. Over the next couple of days, they will start to turn brown. This process is ripening, which is caused by ethylene gas production. Using a PGR (plant growth regulator) at the R2 stage in soybeans will delay this ripening process, allowing for longer pod retention and stress mitigation.
These PGRs are contained in Ascend® from WinField. When used in conjunction with a fungicide, Ascend has been proven to keep plants healthier while retaining more pods. For more information on how to manage your soybean yields, contact your UFC Field Sales Agronomist. ●
utilization. Manganese also plays a role in plant immune systems by increasing resistance and tolerance to diseases. The healthier the plant is going into the reproductive stages, the greater the potential for pod development and retention.
BOOST YOUR DICAMBA-BASED HERBICIDES. The Class Act® Ridion™ adjuvant system is a new non-AMS water conditioner plus surfactant specifically designed to enhance the performance of dicamba-based herbicides for dicamba-tolerant soybeans. The dual chelation chemistry ties up harmful water cations, while the patented CornSorb® additive drives more active ingredient into the plant through increased droplet adhesion and coverage. This leads to greater herbicide activity and faster weed control. Learn more at winfieldunitedag.com
Ridion and WinField United are trademarks and Class Act, CornSorb and WinField are registered trademarks of Winfield Solutions, LLC. © 2016 Winfield Solutions, LLC
Total Protection for Expensive Equipment By Chris Jensen, Energy Product Sales
Is the manufacturer’s warranty on your tractor expiring? Are you concerned about downtime as a result of equipment failure? Consider the Cenex® Total Protection Plan® (TPP).
he coverage you’ll have under the TPP warranty is phenomenal. You don’t need to prove anything if you break down, all warranted parts will be repaired or replaced. The only engine components not covered are block and shop supplies. Other than that, everything the oil touches is covered. There is also no deductible. In fact, if the manufacturer’s warranty is still in effect when your tractor breaks down, Cenex will pay the deductible for that warranty. You must, of course, take your tractor to be repaired by a certified equipment dealer. That’s no problem. TPP pays full shop rates. Want proof this warranty works? Gene Dorn of Nicollet covered a Case IH STX 500 Quadtrac with the TPP warranty. He had problems with fuel dilution in the oil. In February, one month before the TPP warranty expired, Gene took the tractor to Arnold’s Case IH in Mankato. Arnold’s mechanics found the injector pump was leaking into the oil and all the injectors were leaking. The pump and all the injectors had to be replaced. Cenex wrote Gene a check that
removed the financial burden of the costly repairs, no questions asked. The only thing he had to do was draw a sample of the fuel to prove he had Cenex premium diesel in the tank. By any standards, covering your high-priced power equipment under the Cenex Total Protection Plan warranty should be the easiest decision you’ll make this year. At the very least, you’ll be disciplined to sample your oil regularly and have it analyzed. And who knows, you may just identify repairs to make before you suffer costly downtime. But, if you have a breakdown, you know a check will follow. Just ask Gene.
Sign up for natural gas
We’re already serving more than 400 customers with natural gas. My goal on the pipeline loop is to sign up another 180 to 200 residential or ag customers this summer. If you haven’t signed up but you paid more than 98¢ per gallon for LP this year, you lost money. It will be worth your while to meet and go over the options. Call me at 507-479-3199, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the UFC Energy office at 507-647-6602. ●
A United Natural Gas Satisfied Customer
Besides representing Cenex fuels and lubricants, another one of my roles is sales for United Natural Gas. I meet with potential customers, go over their options and handle the paperwork to hook them up to our 36-mile natural gas pipeline loop. I show the customer the length of the line that needs to be run and the cost. If you are a resident of Lafayette or Cortland and within 250 feet of the line, it’s $100 to get hooked up. Rural hookups are different because footages and demand are different. Jeremy Fluegge, New Ulm “My farm hooked up to natural gas in November of 2016. Some of the benefits... I didn’t have to worry about running out of LP... and I didn’t have to move the snow. Then you throw in the fact that it’s more efficient and should be a cost savings. The cost to get it converted up front will easily pay for itself in the future.” —Jeremy Fluegge, New Ulm
Merle Bohlin, left, presents Gene Dorn with a check from Cenex® to cover work done on his Case IH STX 500 Quadtrac that was enrolled in the Cenex Total Protection Plan® through UFC.
EPS is pleased to welcome UFC to our Family of Builder/Dealers.
With locations in South Central Minnesota, UFC will now be able to provide high-performance ag buildings manufactured by EPS. Buildings for: Storage Shops Livestock Commodity
Engineered with: Post Frame Structural Insulated Panels
Things That Matter By Vince Sloot, AgQuest Business Relationships Manager/Crop Insurance Specialist
As we move through the 2017 crop year, here are some aspects of risk management worthy of your attention. Late planting If you’re not finished with planting, your policy still provides coverage against all perils the same as acres planted during the traditional planting period. However, the amount of coverage is reduced 1% per day for the 25 days following the final planting dates. Those dates are May 15 for wheat, May 31 for corn and beets, and June 10 for soybeans.
Replant or prevented plant Every year, some of you run into significant weather problems that may lead you to replant or, even worse, prevent you from planting. Replanting is defined as planting back to the same crop originally planted. If you choose to replant to a different crop, this is an entirely different animal involving first crop-second crop decisions.
Prevented planting, while much less common, only comes into play once you enter the late planting time frame. In the event of either, inform your agent immediately to initiate a claim and a visit by an adjuster to determine eligibility and discuss best alternatives. You must receive approval from the insurance company prior to any tillage or replanting activity.
FSA You must certify your crops by Monday, July 17. You must also complete your Acreage Report with your crop agent by this same date.
Hail/wind Do hail- and wind-related risks have you wondering if you are adequately protected? Depending on your outlook for yield potential in this current crop and/or the high level of investment made, you may have already made the
necessary changes to your existing hail policy. If not, there are some very effective hail tools that can give good coverage at a reasonable cost. Let’s talk.
Farm property and liability Some of you have added a piece or two of equipment this past winter. Two points to consider. 1) Be sure you added these items to your policy. 2) Check to see that you have proper coverage for any liability you may incur when you are on the road and/or away from your home site. Long hours are the norm in the growing season and accidents invariably can happen. If you have any questions regarding any of the items discussed here or would like a second opinion for your policy you have elsewhere, don’t hesitate to reach out to your AgQuest contacts at UFC. Best wishes for a fruitful growing season! ●
Contact UFC’s AgQuest Representatives Vince Sloot 507-995-9029 Amber Weber 320-523-5824 Tim Lewis 612-756-2903 Dawn Wickenhauser 507-647-6606, ext. 6749
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
How Retail Fits in UFC By Steve Spears, Vice President of Consumer Goods and Hardware
As I talk with UFC member-owners, I’m often asked why it makes sense for our Farm Supply locations to be a part of UFC. After all, we’re an agricultural cooperative and most Farm Supply customers are urban. In this article, I’ve answered that question for both our member-owners and our employees.
his is why UFC Farm Supply is an important part of this agricultural cooperative: 1. It expands the customer base. The rest of our business units focus on one segment of the economy, which is farming. UFC Farm Supply, with its retail emphasis, sells to homeowners, contractors, small business owners and municipalities. This customer base of non-farm entities contributes to the financial success of UFC. In addition, 60% of our business comes from non-patron revenue, which adds income to be shared across all of our patron based business.
2. Less reliance on weather. It’s a dry year and the price of corn is down. However, neither the weather nor the markets impact UFC Farm Supply because our customer base is more than farmers. Construction is booming. We have hundreds of homes being built in Waconia. This is business UFC would not have without its retail arm. We can run an ad and gain new business. That’s different than other segments of UFC. 3. Growth potential. In relation to other business units, it is comparatively inexpensive to open a new retail location. We could use an existing building, buy the inventory and fixtures, staff with good people and you have a store. It’s considerably cheaper to grow in the retail market than in, for instance, agronomy with millions of dollars needed to put up a new fertilizer plant and purchase a fleet of applicators.
4. Higher margins. At UFC Farm Supply, we take home a greater share of the sales price than other divisions when they sell fertilizer or chemicals, or market grain. Our challenges are transactions and consistency. Everybody sells at about the same margin. It’s about getting more buying customers through the doors day in and day out that determines success in a retail business. 5. Stronger buying power. Adding our retail locations to the mix, UFC is able to purchase inventory at a lower cost with national brands like Massey Ferguson. We sell these and other brands at our retail storefronts, which adds to our buying power overall and makes us more competitive. 6. Our owners buy this stuff. There is nothing at UFC Farm Supply that our member-owners wouldn’t buy, whether it is clothing, feed, pet supplies, ATVs or snowmobiles. Our retail stores give our members the opportunity to purchase things they need and want, and still receive patronage for it. UFC Farm Supply is strategically aligned with UFC. The fact that we offer high quality, brand-name products with elite service is the same strategy we offer at our other business units. In conclusion, UFC Farm Supply leverages an opportunity for UFC to grow our customer base in a market that traditionally, as a farmers cooperative, we wouldn’t be part of. ●
Meet our 2017 Interns! Ben Johnson is from St. Peter, MN, and is attending the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. He's a second-year agronomy intern with UFC. He enjoys farming and spending time at the lake with family and friends.
Jacob Broste is from Lafayette, MN, and is attending South Central College-Mankato. He plans on a degree as an agribusiness service technician. Jacob enjoys hunting, fishing and fixing old cars and trucks.
Lee Webster is from New Ulm, MN, and is attending South Central College-Mankato. He too plans to be an agribusiness service technician, and in his spare time enjoys snowmobiling, working on the farm and working with 4-H animals.
Lukas Messner is from Gaylord, MN, and is attending South Dakota State University. He is majoring in agronomy and will be going into his sophomore year this fall. He enjoys farming, working in the shop and baseball.
Mitch Johnson is from St. Peter, MN, and is attending South Central College–Mankato for ag service and management. At school, he is involved with basketball, baseball and FFA. In his spare time, he enjoys farming, hunting, fishing and being at the lake.
Logan Bruss is from Lafayette, MN and is attending South Central College-Mankato for agribusiness production. He enjoys fishing, hunting, outdoors and farming.
Cody Gilliland is from Sleepy Eye, MN, and is attending South Dakota State University. He will be starting his junior year in the fall. He is a second-year agronomy intern with UFC. He enjoys hunting, fishing, football, slow pitch and hockey.
Kaden Donnay is from Glencoe, MN, and is attending South Central College-Mankato for agribusiness service and management. He enjoys farming, hunting, lubricating oil tech, mechanical repair and principles.
Mason Latzke is from Gaylord, MN, and is attending the University of Minnesota. He is majoring in plant science and will be going into his sophomore year this fall. He is a member of Crops and Soils, Block and Bridle and Alpha Gamma Rho. In his spare time, he enjoys helping his dad and grandpa out on the farm and showing cattle.
Erin McDurmont is from Winthrop, MN, and is attending Southwest Minnesota State University. She'll graduate this December. Erin is a second-year UFC agronomy intern. AgClub, Lutheran Student Movement, Greenhouse Management, coaching high school softball in Marshall, fishing, gardening and bowling occupy her spare time.
United Farmers Cooperative’s internships are designed to give students an opportunity to complement their formal education with career-related experiences. Gaining real world experience also helps them make more informed career choices, resulting in higher job satisfaction and higher productivity. UFC starts recruiting for our 2018 Internship Program this fall. If you or someone you know is interested, please email Jenny Krohn at email@example.com or call 507-647-6600 ext. 6703, or visit our website: www.UFCmn.com. 24 www.UFCmn.com
RALLY OPPORTUNITIES: What We Know Today By Matt Rettmann and Brett Annexstad, Grain Originators
Farmers across America produced the largest crop ever in 2016. Locally, grain bins are full and prices aren’t where we need them to be. The farm economy is in a tough position with grain prices, for the most part, at or below breakeven values.
eleased at the end of March, the USDA 2017 Prospective Plantings report predicted that 90 million acres of corn would be planted and almost 90 million acres of soybeans. That is very high, especially on the bean side. Now in June, despite falling behind last year’s planting progress, we have yet to see a significant rally. However, even with the record carryout from last year, any type of weather concern will provide marketing opportunities throughout the growing season.
Making the most of an opportunity It’s important to remember 1) to know your break evens and 2) to place sell offers with us. Don’t miss out on the rallies. Let your grain marketing partners at UFC know what levels you want. Focus not only on marketing your old crop but also on selling some of your 2017 crop off the combine, if you can get a price above your break evens. If futures prices reach that level, be ready to pull the trigger. Again, the best way to accomplish that is to know what you want and to tell us.
Your UFC grain origination team—Matt Rettman, Brett Annextad and Darrell Abrahamson—can help you make the most of any opportunity. Give us your desired sell points. We’re here to help you through these tough times and create the best strategy possible for your operation. Call the UFC grain desk today at 507-647-6601, and have a safe and enjoyable summer!
Four years of rallies Each of the past four years, futures prices have rallied as traders increased weather premium connected to U.S. crop weather. ● 2013 2014 2015 2016
Dec. Dec. Dec. Dec.
corn corn corn corn
rallied rallied rallied rallied
2013 2014 2015 2016
Nov. Nov. Nov. Nov.
beans beans beans beans
65 63 92 85
rallied rallied rallied rallied
cents cents cents cents
$1.95 $1.92 $1.51 $3.18
from from from from
from from from from
May low to June peak January low to May peak June low to July peak March low to June peak
April low to June peak January low to May peak May low to July peak March low to June peak
WHEN IT COMES TO PLANT NUTRITION, YOU CAN HARVEST DATA ALL YEAR ROUND. Combined with our agronomists’ expertise, the NutriSolutions 360® system from WinField offers a comprehensive, year-round approach to plant nutrition. Our suite of industry-leading products such as Ascend® plant growth regulator, NutriSolutions® tissue analysis and MAX-IN® micronutrients can help crops get off to a strong start by monitoring ongoing nutrient levels and correcting deficiencies before yields are affected. Which means the NutriSolutions 360® system gives you the building blocks to help you be greater on every acre this season and for seasons to come. Bring it all together at winfield.com.
Ascend, MAX-IN, NutriSolutions 360, NutriSolutions and WinField are registered trademarks of Winfield Solutions, LLC. © 2016 Winfield Solutions, LLC
2017 UFC Safety Week
July 24-28 ,
www.UFCmn.com 22 www.UFCmn.com
40 Square Comes to Life In our last issue, we were excited to tell you about the legislative action that took place at the State Capitol. It allowed 40 Square Cooperative Solutions to finally move forward on its long journey to find a better alternative solution for rural health care. That legislation came as a result of over a decade of hard work and collaboration between UFC, Cooperative Network and other business partners of UFC. Over the past few months, a great deal of progress has been made in an effort to bring real solutions and more health plan options to life. It is important to point out that 40 Square will be an independent, member-owned, member-controlled cooperative. Its sole purpose will be to deliver memberdriven, value-based health care solutions to the members that it serves. This concept sprung from the success that the employees of UFC have had in building their own self-funded program at UFC. We are extremely proud that our member-driven (in this case, the employees) program has been so suc-
cessful not only in managing the costs of health care, but more importantly by delivering better value and results for participating families. In fact, as you can see below, UFC recently was recognized for making a difference in its employeesâ€™ health and lives. As this edition is going to press in early June, many of the pieces neces-
Jeff Nielsen (UFC President/CEO), Gabe Jerot (Northland Capital VP), Joe Vogel (Beacon Ag, Indiana), Bill Arthur (AgQuest), Congressman Collin Peterson, Kristin Henning (AgQuest VP of HR), Jerry Nickle (Beacon Ag Group), Naomi Stewart (AgQuest), Sadie Reiners (AgQuest CFO) and Miki Schultz (AgQuest CEO).
sary for 40 Square to happen are taking shape. Bylaws have been drafted, the board has been organized and all of the various health plan business partners needed to build a program from the ground up are being put in place. In fact, enough progress has been made that this unique approach for rural health care solutions is being noticed far beyond the borders of Minnesota. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I had the opportunity to work with other agricultural businesses to discuss rural agriculture issues. In a legislative visit with Congressman Collin Peterson, health care was discussed at length and he was very intrigued and supportive of the 40 Square concept. We need to get Minnesota going first, but perhaps an even broader opportunity may exist for farmers in an even larger area. We hope to be bringing you more information as the summer progresses and intend to officially introduce you to the program by early fall. â—?
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705 East 4th Street PO Box 461 Winthrop, MN 55396 www.UFCmn.com
UFC Customer Appreciation Event!
We look forward to seeing you at our annual pork chop dinners!
Monday, August 21 4:30-8:30 Hamburg Ag Service Center 16401 State Hwy 5/25 Hamburg, MN 55339
Tuesday, August 22 4:30-8:30 Winthrop Berdan Center 705 East 4th Street Winthrop, MN 55396