COVID-19 Updates – Locations

Current COVID-19 Changes at your local CHS sites (Updated Regularly)
Last updated 3/27/2020

Overall Company Updates:

  • We are limiting access at all locations and have eliminated walk-in traffic. Our staff members are available via phone (calls and texts) and email to fully serve your needs during this time.
  • We have restricted face-to-face meetings. Our sales staff will conduct business via phone, text or email. As a company that prides itself on the relationships we have built, this will be a difficult change. However, face-to-face meetings pose a greater risk for all parties. If you need to conduct critical business that requires an in-person meeting, please call for an appointment to confirm access to the facility and availability of staff. All visitors to our office will be required to complete a questionnaire before entering our facilities.

Propane Delivery Updates:

  • If you smell gas or require a propane fill, call 877-826-5569 to contact staff out of our Clinton, MN office. If you reside nearer to our Herman office, please call 800-642-1077 or 218-739-3521 in an emergency situation or for service.

Browns Valley Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via either the office number or at their direct numbers below.
  • Some staff members are working from home, but we are still able to conduct any business that we would under normal conditions.

Chokio Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via the office phone number.

Clinton Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via either the office number or at their direct numbers below.
  • Local contacts: Office – 320-325-5221, Jared Nordly – 320-808-4224, Lee Sigler – 320-760-9868, Tony Weber – 320-760-9236, Propane orders – 800-835-8104

Fergus Falls Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via the office phone number.

Herman Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via the office phone number.
  • For anyone visiting the elevator, was ask that you stay in your trucks during loading/unloading, and paperwork is taken out to the truck. Please bring a pen for signatures!

Morris Location Updates:

  • The office is closed. Please contact Terry Johnson for your grain marketing needs in our Herman office.

Ortonville Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via the office phone number.

Sisseton Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via the office phone number.

Underwood Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via the office phone number.

Wilmot Location Updates:

  • The office is closed to walk-in traffic. Please call, text, email or call to set up an appointment if your need is not able to be taken care of at a distance. Our staff is available via either the office number or at their direct numbers below.
  • A lock box has been placed next to the front door for any checks or paperwork that needs to be dropped off.
  • Deliveries are asked to be dropped off in the shop instead of the office at this time.
  • Local contacts: Kalyn – 605-949-2388, Josh – 320-815-2024, Kevin – 605-949-0678, Elevator – 605-938-4603

COVID-19 Updates – March 17

March 17, 2020:

A message about COVID-19

With the impact of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 evolving rapidly, we want to reassure you that CHS is taking steps to protect the health and safety of our employees, our owners and customers, and the communities we serve.

CHS Inc. is developing plans with the goal of continuing to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers and owners. Specific measures include:

  • Close coordination and collaboration to ensure safety and wellbeing of employees, customers and communities
  • Cancelation of annual meetings and other meetings of large groups and limiting visits to CHS facilities
  • Additional use of voice, video and other technology to serve you, our customers and coordinate farm visits
  • Activating plans to flex employees between locations or business units to better serve you
  • New process and rigor for interactions with vendors, suppliers, contractors or other third parties to promote health and safety
  • Fully utilizing our powerful and flexible supply chain and asset base should it become necessary to deliver to or from alternate locations

Locally, we’re taking additional measures to help keep our staff safe while continuing to serve our customers.

  • We are limiting all foot traffic into offices, including from our customers. We encourage you to call, text, or email our staff for assistance.
  • If we must have customers in the office, our sales team will be setting up appointments to ensure there is time to sanitize between visits and to reduce foot traffic.
  • We’re asking all staff and visitors to adhere to the 6 foot distance recommended by the CDC to reduce virus spread.
  • Additional local updates will be shared on this page and will also be sent out via email.  To be added to our email alerts, go here and subscribe for any of the news lists that are of interest to you – all are being included in COVID-19 alert emails at this time.

As the busy spring season unfolds, we will continue to adjust as circumstances change. We don’t take this challenge lightly, but we’re committed to working through it with effective planning, communication and execution. With our talented and committed team, best-in-class assets and our values of safety and cooperative spirit, we are confident CHS will continue to deliver products and services for customers and value for owners.

Western Minnesota Farmers Already Looking to 2020 Growing Season

Seed selection is a critical part of planning

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. (Jan. 29, 2020) — It’s hard to believe, but farmers in western Minnesota are thinking about next spring, even though last year’s harvest is not far in the past.

There are a lot of decisions to be made and planning to be done and equipment to be repaired before we ever see a tractor on the road in the spring, or before a seed ever hits the ground. What new equipment will I need to purchase, what nutrients does my soil need, what is my fertilizer strategy, what insects and weeds will I need to worry about, how will I market my crops, should I diversify — these are all going through farmers’ minds and notes between now and then.

But one of the most important decisions a farmer will make is what seed to plant. There are different companies, different brands, different maturity ratings (how long it takes from the time the seed is planted to when it’s ready to harvest), and a long list of features and benefits for each one.

Andy Clauson, a CHS Key Agronomy Specialist who is also an authority on Allegiant® seed products, offers a few tips for making seed selections.

“It’s crucial to consider data beyond your last harvest before making seed selections for next year,” Clauson said.

“During last year’s harvest, pretty much anything that could go wrong, went wrong,” he continued. “Planting was delayed. We had a wet spring. We got in as much corn as we could in a very short window before it could get wet again. It was a struggle from the beginning.”

Due to these harsh weather conditions, there has been a trend of farmers wanting to switch to early-maturity corn, in hopes of having drier corn and earlier harvesting to prevent past struggles.

“By switching to early-maturity hybrids and varieties, you potentially give up yield,” added Clauson. “Farmers need to stick with what has historically been working best in their territories. If you normally plant 95-day maturity-rating corn, plant 95-day corn.  You don’t need to go down to 87-day corn.”

Clauson explained how temperature plays a strong role in corn development, and the importance of looking at multiyear data to reduce risk.

“By looking at historical heat units within your area, we can find a hybrid that will make it to black layer [an indicator of physiological maturity], to help ensure the best yields to be able to market that product at the end of the season,” said Clauson.

Most farmers are ready to put the difficulties of this year’s growing season behind them, and they have a lot to think about when planning for next year. Local co-ops, ag retailers and agronomists like Andy Clauson are great resources to help do that.

© 2020 CHS Inc. Allegiant® is a registered trademark of CHS Inc.

Learn ways to stay safe during Grain Bin Safety Week

Last fall, many bushels of grain went into storage in poor conditions. This increases the risk of bridging, crusting, and other grain storage dangers. Especially this year, please review the safety tips below to ensure you and your family remain safe while working with grain.

grain bin safety training

Grain bins can be dangerous places. Purdue University researchers report that bin-related injuries such as entrapments, equipment entanglements and asphyxia are on the rise – more than 60 incidents occurred in the U.S. in 2018. 

As part of our commitment to safety as a core value, CHS is partnering with other ag industry leaders to support Grain Bin Safety Week, Feb. 16-22. Here are the top three things you can do to promote safe practices around grain bins:

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Freeze warning

Decrease the risk of cold-weather downtime with the right diesel.

use the right premium diesel during cold weather

When temperatures drop, a farmer’s work doesn’t stop. Keeping equipment running at its peak during colder weather requires a watchful eye on what’s in your fuel tank.

Here’s the main problem that comes when temperatures drop: Diesel fuel hits its cloud point — the temperature at which wax crystals begin to appear in the fuel, also known as gelling. Cloud point is reached in #2 diesel fuel when fuel temperatures hit 4 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on where you buy your fuel, says Chad Christiansen, manager of product quality and additives for CHS.

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CHS reports $177.9 million in first quarter net income

Truck delivering propane to residential home in winter

Significant increase in fall propane demand helped balance difficult market conditions

CHS reported net income of $177.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 that ended Nov. 30, 2019. This compares to net income of $347.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 reflect:

  • Revenues of $7.6 billion compared to revenues of $8.5 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
  • Strong supply chain performance in our propane business that was a positive contributor resulting from efficient sourcing of propane during significantly increased fall demand – brought on by unseasonably early cold and wet weather during harvest – for crop drying and home heating.
  • Less advantageous market conditions in our refined fuels business compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019, during which the company experienced historically wide pricing spreads between Canadian crude oil and crude oil from the United States. CHS processes Canadian crude oil at its refineries in Laurel, Montana, and McPherson, Kansas.
  • Poor weather conditions that occurred in fiscal year 2019 and the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 continued to negatively impact our Ag segment’s operations, resulting in lower crop yields, poor grain quality in some areas and lower fall crop nutrients sales.
  • Pressure on grain volume and margins due to slow movement of grain associated with unresolved trade issues between the United States and foreign trading partners.
  • Decreased fertilizer volumes compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 due to a slow harvest in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020.

“We are not immune to the challenges of our industry, and our first quarter results reflect the difficulties brought on by fall weather and ongoing trade tensions,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “The cooperative system, however, provides CHS and its owners stability to withstand these difficult times. Our focus remains on building efficiencies in our supply chain and on operating in this challenging agricultural environment.

“During a cold and wet harvest, we leveraged our supply chain to meet the significant increase in propane needs of our owners and customers,” Debertin continued. “Our focus on meeting the needs of our owners helped deliver the successful launch of two products – Acuvant™ and Trivar™ – that will be available for spring planting.

“We know the remainder of fiscal year 2020 will continue to present challenges, and we are confident in our ability to find opportunities in those challenges, to help our owners grow their businesses and to continue to strengthen our company,” he said. “No one feels those challenges more than our owners. We remain committed to supporting communities and experts as they address the stress felt across rural America.”

First Quarter Fiscal 2020 Business Segment Results

The following segment results were reported for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 as compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Energy
Pretax earnings of $162.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to $232.5 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Significantly less advantageous market conditions, driven primarily by decreased crude oil spreads on heavy Canadian crude oil processed at our refineries and, to a lesser extent, decreased crack spreads in our refined fuels business compared to the same period during fiscal year 2019. The decreased crude oil differentials and lower crack spreads were partially offset by favorable hedging activity in refined fuels.
  • The decrease in pretax income for refined fuels was partially offset by significantly improved propane margins from a late, wet crop combined with unseasonably cold weather across much of CHS service area that led to increased fall demand for crop drying and home heating compared to the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Ag
Pretax loss of $13.9 million compared to pretax earnings of $80.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflects:

  • Poor weather conditions in fiscal year 2019 that culminated in a late and smaller fall harvest, resulting in decreased demand for farm supplies and crop nutrient products.
  • Ongoing global trade tensions between the United States and foreign trading partners continued to negatively impact grain volumes and margins.
  • Lower margins in our processing and food ingredients business.

Nitrogen Production
Pretax earnings of $16.5 million compared to pretax earnings of $23.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Lower equity income from our investment in CF Nitrogen, of which CHS has partial ownership, attributable to decreased market pricing of urea and urea ammonium nitrate, which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen.

Corporate and Other
Pretax earnings of $20.7 million compared to pretax earnings of $30.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:

  • Results primarily from lower equity income from our investments in Ardent Mills and Ventura Foods and decreased income in our financing and hedging businesses due to market-driven interest rate reductions and lower trading activity, respectively.
CHS 1st quarter balance sheet

10 Tips to Prevent Slips and Falls on Ice

  1. Evaluate the drainage of your roofs and parking lots to ensure water is being moved away from walkways.
  2. Implement an inspection process to identify areas where ice and snow accumulate. Inspections should be conducted routinely regardless of weather conditions.
  3. Ensure that adequate snow removal equipment and salt or ice-melt is kept on hand.
  4. Clear footwear of ice and snow as possible when entering buildings.
  5. Ensure that proper footwear is worn by all employees including office workers. Look into ice cleats for those individuals who spend a significant amount of time outside.
  6. Ensure floor mats are located at entrances of buildings to address water accumulation from ice and snow on footwear.
  7. Use railings when climbing or descending stairs.
  8. Maintain three points of control when mounting or dismounting vehicles and ladders.
  9. Avoid carrying tools or materials as this can affect your stability and view of what is in front of you.
  10. Ice and snow means take it slow!

2019 Annual Meeting Information

We’d like to invite all farmer-owners to our 2019 annual meeting! Join us to learn more about what happened at your cooperative during the past year.

Again this year, each district will have an update meeting highlighting company-wide information as well as local topics. Each meeting will last around two hours, including the annual meeting and financial information along with local news and an industry update. Lunch or supper provided, depending on the event start time.

Monday, February 24
9AM – Big Stone American Legion, Big Stone City SD
6PM – Shady Beach Grille, Corona SD
Wednesday, February 26
9:30AM – American Legion, Chokio MN
Thursday, February 27
9:30AM – Z103 Lounge in the Best Western, Fergus Falls MN
Friday, February 28
9:30AM – Herman Community Center, Herman MN

© 2020 CHS Inc.

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