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A publication from Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC

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winter 2017

WHAT’S NEW AT MRGA A VISIT TO CF INDUSTRIES AGRONOMY ARTICLES SEED NEWS & GRAIN UPDATES DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY


IN THIS ISSUE Casselton Location (800) 568-5402 (701) 347-4465

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Manager’s Update

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MRGA Happenings

Grandin Location (701) 484-5293 Leonard Location (701) 645-2334 Lynchburg Location (701) 347-5487 Peak Location (701) 845-3975 Prosper Location (701) 282-4094

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Grain Update

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Grain Update/Grain Manager’s Minute

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Seed News

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Advertisements

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Fungicide Article

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Credit Article

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Fertilizer Volatility

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Data Driven Agriculture

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Agronomy Matters

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Advertisement

TERRY JOHNSON- CEO

HOLIDAY HOURS

DUE DATE TO DEFER

Friday, December 22nd, 2017 Open regular business hours 8-5 pm

Please be aware that the deadline to defer is December 22nd, 2017. Deferred payments will be available for pickup on January 2rd, 2018. Other January payments may not be available until January 4th, 2018.

Monday, December 25th, 2017 CLOSED Tuesday, December 26th, 2017 CLOSED Friday, December 29th, 2017 8 AM to 3 PM

MANAGEMENT TEAM MIKE FLATEN- AGRONOMY MANAGER KIM NEHRING- CFO ALEX RICHARD- GRAIN MANAGER LOCATION MANAGERS TODD AFFIELD- SHOP MANAGER JEFF BOISJOLIE- LEONARD ELEVATOR TIM DEAN- PEAK ELEVATOR JOE EBERHARDT- DISPATCH MANAGER MAC JOHNSON- CASSELTON FERTILIZER JAMIE MANN- CASSELTON ELEVATOR BRIAN NELSON- OPERATIONS MANAGER CHRISTIAN OWEN- WAREHOUSE MANAGER TIM ROSE- LYNCHBURG ELEVATOR JOHN SPIEKERMEIER- PROSPER ELEVATOR

Monday, January 1st, 2018 CLOSED

GRANDIN

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PEAK

PROSPER

LYNCHBURG


Published quarterly by: Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC. 1630 1st Ave S, Casselton, ND 58012.

www.maplerivergrain.com

FEATURED STORY

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pgs.

Digital Technology: Data Driven Agriculture

Evaluating Performance with Climate Fieldview

SALES AGRONOMISTS CHAD PRIEWE- CREDIT MANAGER CORY AASEN- GRANDIN KARL BERG- CASSELTON JON ELLINGSON- CASSELTON KEVIN LAHLUM- CASSELTON MIKE WEED- CASSELTON

TRANSPORTATION/TRUCKING DONALD ANDERSON ANDY BOYER KEVIN ERICKSON TRAVIS FORDERER CHET GARRISON ETHAN HOUSE MERLE MYERS AARON SUYDAM

CHAFFEE

ELEVATOR JOHN DUFF- CASSELTON STEVEN HORST- CASSELTON CHAD JOHNSON- LEONARD MIKE KOETZ- PROSPER STEVEN OWEN- LYNCHBURG RICHARD PETERMAN- PEAK MERCHANDISERS KIM KOETZ- CASSELTON JEREMY ROLF- CASSELTON AGRONOMY & SHOP BOB BREILAND- CASSELTON FERTILIZER MARK PUEPPKE- SHOP/WAREHOUSE CHRIS WILKE- WAREHOUSE

LEONARD

ACCOUNTING/BOOKKEEPING NANCY HAGEN- ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE CINDY JENSEN- GRAIN ACCOUNTING EMILY NEELS- ACCOUNTS PAYABLE/PATRONAGE MARILYN PROCHNOW- GRAIN ACCOUNTING/ RECEPTIONIST BOARD OF DIRECTORS LAURIE KRONE- PRESIDENT MARK BELTER- VICE PRESIDENT BRENT RUST- SECRETARY JON WATT RUSSELL RULIFFSON BRIAN MCDONALD SHANE BOCK DAVID CHRISTENSEN MIKE NELSON

CASSELTON

This publication is provided free of charge to all local crop and livestock producers. If you are not receiving this publication and would like to be added to our mailing list please provide us with your address by calling our Casselton office at 1-800-568-5402. All rights reserved. © 2017 Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC. Printed in the U.S.A. Layout and design by Candace Brekke.

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FROM THE DESK OF OUR GENERAL MANAGER

The seasons have come and gone and we are only a few short weeks away from 2018. The weather of 2017 was unpredictable as ever. The growing season started out with decent, warm temperatures but as the summer months came along, dry conditions worsened across the region. The rain and moisture came just in time to improve yield potential for harvest. Even with the lack of moisture, the crops managed to produce better than expected yields. In comparison to the outstanding yields seen last year, this harvest was considered an average crop year.

Managers Mike Flaten, Terry Johnson, and Alex Richard visit the Port Neal, IA facility.

Over the years, Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC has steadily and successfully developed a business plan and focused on investments that improve our facilities, efficiencies, and capacities for our patrons. We recently completed construction on the temporary ground storage piler just north of the corn shed in Casselton. The 320’ circle pile can hold just under 2 million bushels of grain. You may have seen us put the pile to good use this fall as we used it for soybean harvest. We also completed a corner filling system for the corn shed that allows for an additional 50,000 bushels of space in each corner of the shed. Modifications were made to the inbound Casselton scale over the summer and a new parking lot area was paved and stripped for the Casselton office. The main project currently underway is the liquid plant project, being constructed to the north of the agronomy warehouse in Casselton. The 1800 ton liquid plant 4

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will be a key addition to our agronomy department as liquid fertilizer trends continue to improve. Expected completion is set for January.With this project nearing completion, strategic partnerships for liquid storage in Casselton are being reviewed by management and the board of directors. Management recently attended an invite only open house event at CF Industries in Port Neal, Iowa. CF Industries is a North American manufacturer and distributor of agricultural fertilizers that is headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. As a global leader in nitrogen products, they look to partner and serve agricultural customers through their direct manufacturing complexes, terminals, and warehouses across the globe. We always look for ways to better serve our patrons and become more efficient, while keeping our financials strong and pricing competitive. These projects and relationships are just a few examples of how we strive to adapt and find solutions in the ever-changing environment of the agricultural industry. As we near year-end, our company continues to showcase strong balance sheet performance and efficiency across all aspects of the business. We expect that our financials for FY2017 will be very comparable to last year. In an environment where many regional cooperatives are suffering, now more than ever, is the time to focus on the cooperative system and what that means for rural America moving forward. The cooperative system footprint has greatly changed over the past few decades. Increasing farmer retirement means an entirely new generation of farmers is being introduced. Who will be our customers 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years down the road? What do they expect from their local cooperative? The success of the cooperative system really relies on the ownership, control, and benefits deemed important by its patrons. Traditional farmer needs have evolved as years have gone by. What was needed to service customers in years past has developed into businesses evolving into marketing, supply, and service cooperatives to meet growing customer demands. Technology is rapidly progressing and changes the way cooperatives and patrons respond and do business. The competitive nature of the ag industry has only increased- pricing is competitive across the region. Consumer and production needs, along with market conditions, change constantly. These are just a few factors that


Port Neal, IA urea storage facility.

have impacted the history and succession of the cooperative system and continue to do so today. There are many more! Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC is proud to be able to serve our local communities and patrons. We look to increase our footprint and invest in products, partnerships, and services that will further strengthen our organization and benefit our owners. Having strong leadership, a centralized board of directors that truly keep the owners best interests at heart, patron participation, and strong financial performance all help foster a successful cooperative environment for Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC. As the New Year approaches, I’d like to conclude by stating that change is inevitable in the industry we are in. Without change, everything would stay status quo and improvements would be few and far between. Change can be scary and uncertain, but can also lead to wonderful growth and success. With the coop system shifting, Maple River Grain and Agronomy, LLC embraces change and has strived to keep pace with the fluctuating demands in our industry and what our patrons expect from a company such as ours. As I’ve outlined in this article, our company looks to develop strategic projects and form relationships

that align with our forward-thinking plans. We truly consider strategic planning to be a key point in our continual development as a successful coop in our region. Change is going to happen whether we like it or not, so being able to prepare and align ourselves to readily accept what the future holds is key. Anticipating change and meeting it head on will allow us to better serve you, our patrons. Wishing you and yours a prosperous, safe holiday season! Sources: https://www.rd.usda.gov/files/publications/CIR-60.pdf https://www.cfindustries.com/

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CASS COUNTY 4H AUCTION

MRGA CUSTOMER APPRECIATION EVENT

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MRGA

On Wednesday, September 6th, 2017- Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC hosted its annual customer appreciation event. Attendees were invited for a 4-person scramble that started at 1 PM at the Maple River Golf Club in Mapleton, ND. Prizes were awarded for the longest putt, longest drive, closest to the pin, lowest score, and more. A steak supper followed at the club house. We appreciated our patrons who attended as we always look forward to this fun event!

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Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC attended the 2017 Cass County 4-H Livestock Premium Auction Sale and bidder appreciation luncheon during the Red River Valley Fair July 11-16th, 2017. 4-H members enrolled their livestock projects and completed their 4-H projects by offering their project animals for sale for premium. The participants received the premiums that buyers paid above the market price. The funds help pay for the project expenses, ribbons, and other livestock premiums. Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC has happily supported the 4-H youth activities and has enjoyed participating in the live auction event over the past several years. The kids learn a lot and enjoy the events and it’s a great way for us to show support of their endeavors. Kim Koetz (Grain Merchandiser) and Kevin Lahlum (Sales Agronomist) attended this year’s event. We were proud to sponsor the below individuals in their 4-H Achievement Day projects.

Ellie Swanson Blue Ribbon Market Goat Greenfields 4-H

$136.40

Kiley Kvamme Grand Champion Market Hog Kindred Sandburrs 4-H

$201.60

Colston Walsvik Blue Ribbon Market Hog Wheatland Pioneers 4-H

$190.80

Madison Kraft Blue Ribbon Market Lamb Golden Clovers 4-H

$205.95

Jack McDonald Blue Ribbon Market Lamb Kindred Sandburrs 4-H

$350.36

Faith Bjerke Blue Ribbon Market Lamb Triple C 4-H

$540.70

Total Amount of Premiums Paid $1,625.81

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Kim Koetz - Wellness Coordinator

MRGA WELLNESS Another busy harvest is behind us and the wellness group kept the weekend workers fed by delivering meals every Friday afternoon to every location that was open for the weekend. These efforts are done in hopes that we can continue with a culture of teamwork and gratitude to each other when days get long and hectic. We will be starting another challenge in January that will focus on keeping everyone active over the winter months. We have some great prizes to give out and hope that we are able to get some good participation and friendly competition started to keep everyone moving and healthy.

CENTRAL CASS AG CLASS ASSISTANCE Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC was invited to participate as a substitute teacher for the Central Cass School district as they look to fill their agricultural teacher position. Our grain merchandisers- Kim Koetz and Jeremy Rolf, attended and provided PowerPoint presentations to the class this summer/fall.

TAX REPORTING REMINDER Please note that you will receive a paper copy of the IRS PATR 1099 form for tax reporting purposes for the 2017 tax year. This form will be mailed in January 2018. As a reminder, you will need to report the total dollars earned value for the 2017 tax year. This will be indicated on the PATR tax form that will be mailed and can also be found on your patronage check stub under the $ Earned column. If there are questions, please call Emily at 701-3474465. Thanks!

WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO A NEW YEAR AND RENEWED MOTIVATION TO BE WELL!

NEW HIRES Please welcome our newest employees to the Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC team: Aaron Suydam Casselton Elevator Don Anderson Truck Driver Ethan House Truck Driver Richard Peterman Peak Elevator Chad Priewe Credit Manager

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CONCRETE WORK AT THE OFFICE

WHAT’S HAPPENING AT MRGA

This September, Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC completed a resurfacing and concrete project at the Casselton office parking lot. A cement surface was poured and parking spots were stripped in for employees and customers. The project took about a week to complete.

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MRGA FIELD DAY On Friday, September 8th, 2017Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC hosted a Field Day at the corn plot right off of Hwy 18 (South of RDO) in Casselton, ND. Guests that attended were invited for lunch and introduced to the new AG/DK and Croplan lineup and were able to discuss and ask questions with various representatives from Monsanto, Winfield, CPS, Bayer, Dow, Dupont and others.

CHECK OUT THE

app

new features ON OUR

OTHER FEATURES INCLUDE • • • • • • •

cash bids weather market commentary grain programs agronomy financing options much more!

NEW FEATURES INCLUDE: Grain balances-real time balances as we enter activity into your account Purchase contracts-see your open contracts, closed contracts, filter by delivery period Scale Tickets-access to your scale tickets as we pull them into the system Settlements-see all deferred payment contracts, warehouse receipts, price later settlements, basis fix settlements and checks as soon as they are written These features were added to our existing app, so if you already have it, simply stop in or call the office at 701.347.4465 and ask for Jeremy or Kim to get set up. If you don’t have our app, you can download it for free in the App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android. Search for Maple River Grain. If you don’t have a smart phone and want access to your records on a PC, please call the office at the number above and we can get you set up on My Farm Records.

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Jeremy Rolf - Grain Originator

GRAIN UPDATE Harvest has come and gone. Now it’s time look at marketing and things to keep in mind going forward. USDA hasn’t done any favors for the market for some time now and that will continue for the foreseeable future. The balance sheets are supply heavy and will keep prices capped. For the last couple months, corn has been ranged bound with large U.S. ending and world stocks as the main reason. Market has little incentive to rally in the near term. The U.S. is starting to build a sizable export program for corn, which has been later than anticipated. Some things to keep in mind in terms of marketing are the carries and basis appreciation. Carries right now are large and ripe for the taking. There is a theoretical max on carries; which at this time of writing, we are at right now. This is something producers should look at and lock in by selling the deferred months to lock in the carry. The only way to lock in carry is to forward sell the grain. This can be done by using a brokerage account or by hedge-to-arrive and priced contracts. With the corn crop done and put away, basis levels should strengthen and become more attractive to lock in.

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For soybeans, this is our marketing export window. It goes from September through March. Exports had a slow start, but have since picked up in pace. There continues to be steep foreign competition between South America and the U.S.; which contributed to the slow export season. Along with that, there was a relatively sizable U.S. soybean carry over from last crop year. As mentioned with corn, soybeans are at a carry, not quite as large, but still meaningful. Soybeans have more of a timing issue than corn. Carries are attractive in the May and July, but the demand for them is now through March. Basis levels for soybeans should strengthen too with harvest wrapping up and the supply in the pipeline starting to dry up. Along with corn and soybeans, wheat has a supply issue too. In the last few of months, wheat has been grinding slowly higher in price. This will most likely continue as commercial replacement will become tighter and slower. This will keep basis levels competitive going into the winter months. Exports have been weak so far, but they have been slightly better than last year. Wheat futures will be sensitive to what the U.S. dollar does, as well as the trajectory of corn.


Alex Richard - Grain Manager

GRAIN MANAGER’S MINUTE In summary, the U.S. grain balance sheet is supply heavy again, and it seems this trend will continue until new demand steps up or a meaningful crop production change occurs. In the fall newsletter, I discussed the impact of technical change/ globalization and how that will continue to be an underlying factor in pricing. Genetics seem to have surprised many with better than expected yields for as dry as it was over the summer. This technology in genetics is impressive and the market is picking up on this new reality. Even with the weather stress on crops over the summer, corn and soybeans faired pretty well across the country. To make a long story short, foreign competition has the same access to these genetics and agronomic technology that will make it challenging to estimate production. This is something to keep in mind when marketing. As the futures market struggles to be the bench mark pricing mechanism in this global complex, there will be opportunities to grab favorable prices. They will most likely be quick and fleeting. As some of you have heard in our marketing meetings, it is important to be proactive and take what the market is giving you whether it’s locking in carries or a nearby price that is profitable. The market will only give what it needs to stem supply and demand. It sounds simple, but is not that easy to execute.

DUE DATE TO DEFER Please be aware that the deadline to defer is December 22nd, 2017. Deferred payments will be available for pickup on January 2rd, 2018. Other January payments may not be available until January 4th, 2018.

Looking back on soybean harvest, the common theme was variability. Some fields averaged 55 bu/ac while others were in the 20’s. Overall, it looks like an average crop on the soybeans, which given the weather conditions was better than most expected. Corn, on the other hand, seemed to fare better than the soybeans. Most producers we talked to were pleasantly surprised by corn yields. Moistures were higher than we expected and didn’t seem to dry down as harvest progressed. Last summer I gave you an update of all the construction projects we had going on. The large project was the circle piler that was completed in late September. We started filling the pile on the 10th of October and started picking up the pile the first full week of November. As of mid-November, we are about half way done and should have the rest picked up before Thanksgiving if all goes well and trains land at the right times. The corner filling system in our corn shed is working well and has increased the storage capacity of the shed about 200,000 bushels to 4,100,000 bushels. It looks like the shed will be packed with as much as it will hold this year following corn harvest. Overall, this harvest seemed to go well. We were very busy as usual and were able to get a lot accomplished. I want to thank all of our employees for the hard work and extra hours they put in this fall. I also want to thank our customers, without you- we would not be here.

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Mike Weed - Sales Agronomist

SEED NEWS UPDATE

Another growing season has come and gone! Yields were all over the place with most soybeans in the 30 – 50 bushel range and corn 160 – 200 + on some fields that caught a little extra rain. Most would agree that corn yields were better than we thought they would be. The new corn hybrids have come a long way. In years past, we would not have seen these yields with the growing conditions we had this year. The big question is what soybean genetics do I plant next year? Most Xtend soybeans planted this year had far less dollars spent on controlling broadleaves than RR or Liberty. As you may know, the Dicamba that is in Xtend and Enginia can move around and cause injury to susceptible crops. We are quite sure there will be label changes coming in the months ahead, just not sure at this point what that will be. We will keep you informed as changes occur.

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Soybean seed treatments for 2018 may have some changes. I’m sure you all have seen the Nemastrike commercials on TV. Nemastrike will give 75 days of control of parasitic nematodes. That includes cyst nematode. BUT, as of early November, there has been a hold put on this product because of handling issues. We will see what happens between now and Spring. I was really looking forward to getting some of this out. I think there are some fields that would truly benefit from this product. We will keep you informed on any changes. We have a very good line of soybeans and corn; DeKalb, Croplan, Dynagro, and Syngenta. Also, we can get almost any wheat seed you would need. We have Croplan 3530 wheat seed in a bulk tank. It has been very strong the last few years. Supply is limited on this product so get your name on it quick. If there are any questions, please give us a call. Thanks for your business in 2017 and I look forward to a very good 2018.


This Land is Loveland, Get Growing with

Wishing you a

MERRY CHRISTMAS

and a very

HAPPY NEW YEAR From everyone at Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC

Loveland Products consistently delivers maximum performance with measurably high quality, which gives you more potential for higher yields and returns. © 2010 Loveland Products Inc. Always read and follow label directions. Accomplish and RiseR are registered trademarks of Loveland Products, Inc.

Get Growing

Make every acre your best acre.

Variety is the key to managing variability. CROPLAN® WinPak® soybean products offer exceptional stability throughout your fields with a unique combination of two varieties of seeds. WinPak® products are designed to manage variability within fields and buffer the effects of weather and soil types on diseases and other stresses. Our agronomic experts can help determine which CROPLAN® WinPak® varieties are best for your field’s unique challenges.

CROPLAN, WinField and WinPak are registered trademarks of Winfield Solutions, LLC. © 2017 Winfield Solutions, LLC.

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Kevin Lahlum, Sales Agronomist

FUNGICIDE REPORT In the past, I’ve discussed specific products for corn and soybean PRE and early POST applications. For this publication, I would like to discuss the return on investment, or the loss of income opportunity, from being late with POST applications and not using fungicides and growth regulators for plant health. Much research has been done on application timing. Most data suggests that a PRE, followed by an early POST when weeds are small is much more beneficial to your return on investment of chemical dollars than doing a POST, then another POST, and having escapes that need to be spot treated or left and dealt with later. Data also suggests that applications of fungicides at R1 in soybean and V5 in corn helps to maintain late season plant health and increase bushels enough to at least pay for the application and put a little money in your pocket. Here are two charts showing yearly averages from Iowa, compiled by the Iowa Soybean Association. I understand that Iowa is not North Dakota, but think of it this way; would you grow wheat in ND and not apply a fungicide? Why not? Those are the same reasons why they apply fungicides in Iowa on corn and soybeans. I believe that we have grown corn and soybeans in ND long enough now that those same rules apply to us. Apply a fungicide. Northern Corn Leaf Blight and Anthracnose are real and they are out there in our fields, as well as the bacterial infection Goss’s Wilt.

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Even with $2.50 corn, an application of Stratego YLD applied at V5, applied with your own rig, at a cost of $2.90/oz. is $14.53, and a profit of $5.47. Stratego YLD can be applied at V4-V7 at a rate of 2-5 oz., and at VT-R2, which is tasseling to blister at the 4-5 oz. rate. Another way to think about this yield increase is plant health and stalk quality. We all saw corn this year that was downed due to 3 ½ days of 40+ mph winds in October. Why did some corn go down and other corn not? There are many reasons, stalk quality due to genetics or fertility and drought stress all play a role. I can all but guarantee though, that healthy plants don’t go down; unless they greensnap, and that is a different issue! Those instances of downed corn were 40-60 bushels less in the fields I saw. 40-60 bushels pays for that application many times over, it even pays for a custom application to apply it, whether it be by ground or air. An application of a fungicide in corn and soybeans or a growth regulator such as Ascend at R1 in soybeans helps plants stay healthier longer. This results in greener plants but also heavier and sometimes wetter soybeans. Who doesn’t want soybeans at 12% moisture when everyone else is combining soybeans at 9 or 10% moisture? This application of Ascend at R1 at a 3.2 oz. rate will cost $4.13, or roughly 47% of a bushel of soybeans. That’s right, less than half a bushel of soybeans for an Ascend treatment. 4 oz. of Stratego YLD at R3-R4 would cost just under $12/acre, or bushel and a third by today’s market. The chart above shows 2 years in which a fungicide application would not at least pay for itself.


Chad Priewe, Credit Manager

CREDIT REPORT Another reason for fungicide treatment besides late season staying greener longer, is plant health to help prevent disease such as white mold. It seems that the last 4 years growers have really gone away from soybeans in wide rows to help fields canopy sooner to fight weed germination. While narrow rows help in the weed fight, they hurt in disease suppression since less air moves between the rows. One way to help fight white mold is fungicide application and plant health. While the preventative vs. curative discussion is one worth having, and there are as many opinions as there are people, at this time my only comment in that debate will be that a healthy plant is less susceptible to disease than a non-healthy plant. Thanks for all of your business this past year and we look forward to serving you moving forward. Please call us for any and all of your agronomic needs. We are here to help and serve you, our owners. Happy Holidays!

Hey….what are YOU doing here? That’s the comment I’ve been hearing recently during my first couple weeks here at Maple River Grain & Agronomy, LLC. As a formal introduction, I am Chad Priewe, and I grew up on a farm just west and south of Amenia. I have joined MRGA as the Credit Manager, taking the vacant seat left by Braeden Nelson. I now live right in Amenia with my wife and two daughters. For many of you, I am a familiar face, but there are many customers out there I have yet to meet and look forward to doing so. As I mentioned, I grew up on our farm near Amenia, attended Central Cass High School and graduated in 1990. I continued my education (and some more time on the football field) at the University of Minnesota – Crookston, earning an A.S. degree in Ag Business and then finished my college career, and eligibility, with a B.S. degree in Business Administration and a Finance specialization at Mayville State University. I have had a few various positions in my professional career. These have included Grain Merchandiser, Credit Analyst, Ag/Commercial/Consumer lending, Seed sales and Farm Property Management. I have first-hand experience in production agriculture raising wheat, soybeans, corn and sugar beets; to go along with my diversified professional experiences. I truly enjoy all aspects of agriculture and look forward to working with you on any of the financing programs we have available. Speaking of finance programs, we have many of the same ones you have heard of, and hopefully have used before. We will once again have 0% financing options from Winfield Secure, John Deere Financial (Farm Plan) and Rabo AgriFinance. Some of these programs do have a limit on the funding available, so it’s best to get signed up sooner rather than later. Please feel free to stop by my office – upstairs in the southwest corner amongst all those friendly salesmen – and ask any questions you may have about the programs available. You are always more than welcome to just stop by and say “hi”, or come introduce yourself if we have not had the chance to meet each other, yet.

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Jon Ellingson - Sales Agronomist

FERTILIZER VOLATILITY Yes, urea can be more volatile in sunny, warm, moist, and windy conditions when incorporation practices are not followed. There you have it, all the fertilizer volatility information you need to know, right? If only the volatility I am talking about was that easy to explain. Volatility in fertilizer pricing has been a theme in recent years and will likely continue. Today, we consider the fertilizer markets to have volatility quite similar to the grain markets; you just never know what particular piece of news will send prices racing one way or the other. World markets, major overseas purchases, order tenders and tender cancellations, plant startups and shutdowns, as well as river closures and inventories all play big roles in where pricing lands for our domestic pricing in the U.S. and here in our northern plains region. If South America needs urea and they are willing to pay more than our domestic market is priced, where do you think the product goes? When India starts purchasing more phosphate from Saudi Arabia vs U.S. because of logistical

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reasons, you would think our prices would drop because of increasing inventories. That is true up until someone decides to idle a big phosphate facility in Florida, which sends pricing the other direction. With the “have my inventory on hand� mentality of today’s fertilizer markets, when India tenders to purchase 500,000 ton of urea and later cancels that tender, how does that affect the market? These are just a few issues the fertilizer markets have had to deal with in the last month. Does this sound like a volatile marketplace to you? It certainly does to us and that is why it is so hard for us to commit to which direction these markets are going to go. Back in early August we were offering urea for about $285/T for spring use in 2018 and had very few takers. Now that number is closer to $325/T with the high near $355/T just about a month ago. To me that seems quite volatile. Where will the urea price be in December or January? No one can really tell us that at this point. MAP 11-52-0 was offered in early August at $435/T for spring use in

2018. By the middle of September that price jumped to $455/T and dropped to $440T again by the middle of October. Now in the middle of November we are back up at the $465/T number. The price swing in phosphate is not anywhere as drastic as urea, but the constant change is very hard to predict where the market is headed. These constantly fluctuating market conditions are why we are told by our suppliers (and why we tell our growers) that prices are subject to change without notice. Our advice to growers would be that if you see a number that you are comfortable with and that number works with your plans, make a purchase or lock up pricing on a portion of your needs to reduce your exposed risk. Pricing will change, it is inevitable. As I mentioned earlier, the fertilizer market volatility has become similar to the grain market volatility. Now, remember back to the last time a grain buyer held $5.00 corn for you for a week or two? Sorry Jeremy and Kim!


Karl Berg - Sales Agronomist

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY DATA DRIVEN AGRICULTURE EVALUATING PERFORMANCE WITH CLIMATE FIELDVIEW With 2017 harvest behind us and decisions about next year on the horizonnow is a great time to utilize different digital tools to help in the decision making process and boost productivity. Climate Fieldview is a digital platform that promotes data driven technology to help collect, analyze, measure, and monitor field and yield performance so that growers can make the best input decisions and farm management practices. With this data readily available from just about anywhere, data connectivity and visualization reinforce the decision making process to ensure a successful and productive season. Using digital maps created throughout the growing season to compare field data layers and determine how each agronomic input and practice impacted yield is just one useful tool that aids in farm management. Some of the easy to use features within this platform that we found to be the most useful include: Comparing side by side yield, planting, field health, application maps etc. to monitor crop performance and better understand field variability. Looking at a farm or field summary to analyze performance by hybrid, soil type, or field so we can make the best informed decisions on hybrids for the next growing season.

Region report allows you to circle a region on your field map to generate a crop performance report. This allows for better use of information to determine how different agronomic inputs affect yield. With these yield analysis features, you can use every field as a test plot and identify what inputs worked and what needs to be changed moving forward. Seed, fertility, crop protection, and agronomic decisions are much easier when you have information at your fingertips about how inputs influenced yield and how yields were affected by each management practice. To learn more about Climate Fieldview- please contact our office or visit www. climate.com. W INTER 2017

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Mike Flaten - Agronomy Manager

AGRONOMY MATTERS

Construction is underway on the Casselton liquid project.

This growing season we had some surprising yields with very little moisture, and some were not so surprising. I would like to thank our patrons for all the business this year and note that we look forward to serving you as we move forward into the New Year. With the thought of next year on our minds already, I would like our patrons to know that we will be expanding our liquid fertilizer capacities in Casselton. We are currently adding another loading bay onto our chemical warehouse on the north end of building so we can load liquid fertilizer out of either bay. On the north side of the expansion, there will be 8- 40,000 gal tanks for liquid fertilizer along with 2- 10,000 gal tanks for micronutrients. The plan for starter fertilizer is to have available 10-34-0, 6-24-6, 9-18-9 and 0-20-20; which we can inject the micronutrients into any of these starters as we are loading out. We will have 3 tanks dedicated for 28-0-0 along with one for ATS 12-0-0-26. There will be a separate pump and meter to handle the 28-0-0 that can blend 12-0-0-26 to what your needs will be. This will ensure that there will be no contamination of nitrogen going into your starters. On the dry fertilizer side, we will be updating two of our floaters to new Agco 9300 models, with both of the units capable of doing single product variable rate and one able to do two product variable rates. These floaters have more horse power and larger capacities to allow better efficiency and coverage of acres. As we near the New Year, stop in and talk with the salesmen on our excellent pricing on all ag inputs for 2018. Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

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BO T TO M LI NE


Connections

Our ag loan officers have connected with producers on farms, at kitchen tables and across desks for 110 years. Now, we’re extending those connections with advanced tools like our mobile app and online banking. From the tractor cab, tailgate or back porch, you can bank whenever and wherever it’s best for you.

Because we value what you value.

Let’s make managing your farm finances easier. W INTER 2017

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1630 1st Avenue South Casselton, ND 58012

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Bottom Line Newsletter: Winter 2017  

The Bottom Line newsletter is published quarterly by Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, North Dakota. Designed by graphic designer...

Bottom Line Newsletter: Winter 2017  

The Bottom Line newsletter is published quarterly by Maple River Grain and Agronomy in Casselton, North Dakota. Designed by graphic designer...

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