Bees and Wasps: Quick Tips and Reminders

It’s that time of year again when everybody’s favorite pollinators start showing up. I’m talking about the stinger-bearing insects that we start seeing in the summer: bees and wasps. Since these insects are most abundant in the warmer months, its important to be on the look out for nests and hives that may be developing in your yard. Bees and wasps tend to make theirs homes in places like trees, roof eaves, and even on equipment such as ladder or under tank valve covers.

You can remove the hives by yourself, but it is recommended that you have a professional handle these pests. If you have the proper protection, such as a hat, gloves, or ideally a bee suit if you have one, you can spray insecticide on the hive to get rid of the pests before you take it down. This isn’t a one and done application though as it may take several applications before the bees are all gone.

If you do have bees or wasps in your yard, here are some quick tips that can help you avoid getting stung:

1. Wear light-colored, smooth-finished clothing.

2. Avoid perfumed soaps, shampoos, and deodorants.

3. Wear clean clothing and bathe daily. (Sweat may anger bees.)

4. Wear clothing to cover as much of the body as possible.

5. Avoid flowering plants when possible.

6. Keep work areas clean. Social wasps thrive in places where humans discard food.

7. Remain calm and still if a single stinging insect is flying around. (Swatting at an insect may cause it to sting.)

8. If you are attacked by several stinging insects at once, run to get away from them. (Bees release a chemical when they sting, which may attract other bees.)

a. Go indoors.

b. A shaded area is better than an open area to get away from the insects.

9. If a bee comes inside your vehicle, stop the car slowly, and open all the windows.

10. Workers with a history of severe allergic reactions to insect bites or stings should consider carrying an epinephrine auto injector (EpiPen) and should wear a medical identification bracelet or necklace stating their allergy.

Summer is quickly coming to an end, but by following these tips you can make the best of the remaining summer days.

Cenex® Automated Fuel Delivery

Your new favorite fuel tool.

At a glance, Automated Fuel Delivery (AFD) offers value through:

1.) Peace of Mind

With advanced tank monitoring, you (and our delivery team) know your updated fuel levels daily. No more waiting for a fill on an empty tank during the busy season, as your tank is automatically added to the delivery list as fuel is used.

2.) Time Savings

No more calls to your fuel supplier to place an order, and no more late night worry during the busy season on the status of your fuel tank. AFD makes fuel inventory easy to manage.

3.) Average Pricing

It always seems like you get a fuel delivery the day the markets are at monthly highs, right? With AFD, your pricing is set as an average throughout the month, evening out your fuel bill.

Think the market is going to go up? You can also buy out your tank, giving you flexible options on making smart input purchases.

Our team is happy to answer questions about this program or get you enrolled. Contact us today!

Dan Revering
Certified Energy Specialist
Cell: 218-205-7796

Believing in Balanced Crop Nutrition

MicroEssentials® SZ™ Raises the Perceived Corn Yield Ceiling

With improved technology helping farmers take advantage of every inch of the field, corn yields have been increasing over the past decade. But the yield ceiling for many fields is yet to be reached, often because
key nutrients removed by high-yield systems are not being replenished to a level needed for increased yields.

The importance of balanced crop nutrition can’t be overlooked. In fact, with up to 60 percent of yield dependent on soil fertility, choosing the right fertilizer is critical. Providing corn crops complete nutrition from the moment the seed hits the ground through the entire growing season is one of the best ways to improve plant health and increase the yield of each plant.

With so much on the line, it makes sense to depend on the most advanced fertilizer product on the market to provide your corn crop the nutrition it needs. MicroEssentials® SZ™ is proven to increase corn yields by providing industry-best effectiveness and efficiency.

The Difference Is in the Research and Technology

Built on more than 10 years of agronomic research, The Mosaic Company’s line of premium fertilizer products, including MicroEssentials SZ, provides a balanced cornbinatioo of nutrients. Each granule of MicroEssentials SZ (12-40-0-10S-1Zn) contains nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and zinc together to ensure the right balance of nutrients is available to the plant. Only MicroEssentials with patented Fusion® technology combines four key nutrients into one nutritionally balanced granule, creating a single source for balanced crop nutrition.

Long-term research shows that MicroEssentials SZ outperforms MAP, providing a yield increase of 7.2 bu/ac on average and a yield increase of 8.8 bu/ac on average compared to DAP.

Four Key Benefits of Micro Essentials SZ

Uniform nutrient distribution
Each granule of MicroEssentials SZ is uniquely formulated, so when it is applied, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and zinc are all delivered at an even rate across the field to easily achieve uniform nutrient distribution. This means plant roots have more access to reach the key nutrients needed for optimal growth.

Improved nutrient uptake
The innovative Fusion technology used to develop MicroEssentials SZ also gives every granule an identical chemical makeup that promotes interaction between the different nutrients, which in turn encourages nutrient uptake. In fact, across a broad range of soil types, research has shown that MicroEssentials SZ helps plants take up as much as 28 percent more phosphorus.

Season-long sulfur availability
Today, crops need additional sulfur, and need it through the entire growng season. MicroEssentials SZ helps address this increased need. Sulfur is immobile in the corn plant, so two types of sulfur are recommended to ensure season-long availability. MicroEssentials SZ contains both sulfate, which is available immediately and used as a corn plant begins to grow, and elemental sulfur, which breaks down in soil over time and is available for the later stages of growth.

Return on investment
MicroEssentials provides a return on your investment by increasing yield and your bottom line. Develop a fertilizer plan with MicroEssentials that is customized for your yield goals and soil nutrient levels.

Get Your Head in the Dirt

As long as corn has been grown, the focus on improvement has remained above ground, with increased yields. But perhaps it’s time to look several feet lower to find additional yield potential. Providing a corn crop with balanced crop nutrition right from the start gives it the advantage it needs to yield higher. MicroEssentials SZ offers four nutrients in each balanced granule. With up to 60 percent of yield dependent on soil fertility, isn’t it time to change your perspective on what it takes to reach your yield ceiling?
Get your head in the dirt at

Battle Lake Fire Department Receives Grant from Seeds for Stewardship

HERMAN, MINNESOTA. (AUGUST 3, 2020) – Every second counts when detecting and fighting fires, and through a donation from CHS, the Battle Lake Fire Department has purchased a newer grass fire truck to fight fires quicker and keep their volunteer firefighters safer. 

The fire department received a $5,000 grant through the CHS Seeds for Stewardship grant program to purchase the new grass truck and firefighting equipment. 

“The Battle Lake Fire Department is made up of 20 volunteer firefighters and provides service to citizens of the Battle Lake area and four area townships,” says Brock Bleichner, Battle Lake Fire Dept. volunteer and CHS employee. “Their mission is to prevent fires through education, to fight fires and to preserve and protect life and property against injury and damage from fires in their coverage area. Having a new grass fire truck will make fighting grass fires quicker to protect farmland and homes. Replacing SCBA tanks and masks and having new turn out gear will keep these volunteer firefighters safer to ensure they can return home to their families.” 

CHS is committed to putting the safety of its employees, owners, customers and communities first every day and has dedicated money to fund projects in safety and ag leadership development through the CHS Seeds for Stewardship program.  

For CHS in Herman, this grant decision was an easy one to make: “Battle Lake MN is only 19 miles from our Fergus Falls location.  Not only do we have an active full-time employee that serves as a volunteer firefighter with this fire department, we have many patrons and employees living in this area,” says Jerry Kramer, CHS General Manager. 

Locally, CHS provides funding to area FFA programs, offers scholarships for first year college students, and promotes various community events such as farm, agriculture and safety-related events. 

Since 2019, CHS retail locations have awarded more than $270,000 in matching funds through the program. 

The CHS ag retail business based out of Herman, Minnesota delivers agronomy, energy, grain and feed products and services to Minnesota and South Dakota ag producers and other customers from 11 locations. It is part of CHS Inc., ( a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to creating connections to empower agriculture, helping its farmer-owners, customers and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, seed, crop protection products, grain marketing services, production and agricultural services, animal nutrition products, foods and food ingredients, and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries and pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.  

Plan Ahead to Purchase Cenex® Grease this Summer for Gift Cards

Now through August 14, 2020, end-users can earn VISA® gift cards on qualifying Cenex® grease products. End-users will receive a $15 gift card for every qualifying 4-10 pack or 35-pound pail purchased during the qualifying time frame.

Customers may also receive a $50 VISA gift card for every qualifying 120-pound keg purchased during the promotional window. Qualifying grease products include:

  • HD Moly Xtreme
  • Poly-Xtreme®
  • Maxtron® EP
  • Blue Gard 500+™
  • Molyplex 500+
  • Maxtron® FS
  • Red Protect XT™
  • ML 365®
  • Fluid Gear Grease
How it works:
  1. Provide a copy of the redemption form to the end-user to submit their claim. You can get these forms from your Certified Energy Specialist
  2. End-user completes the Summer Grease for Gift Cards redemption form, attaches required receipts, and mails it to CHS post-marked no later than September 16, 2020.

Contact your local CHS CES with any questions!

Wheat Harvest Safety Tips

As harvest season starts to draw near, it’s important to remember to keep safety in mind when moving augers and big equipment.

Here are a few tips for wheat harvest safety this season:

  • Keep careful watch for overhead power lines, especially in fields you visit regularly throughout the year, as you may habitually drive in without thinking about changes in your equipment size and height.
  • Harvest also leads to more driving on narrow roads and in low-light conditions, so be sure to practice defensive driving to protect yourself from traffic that may not remember how to share the road with large equipment.
  • Check your lights each time before you go out, ensure you have slow moving vehicle signage when needed, and plan your routes to avoid high-traffic roadways when at all possible.

From your team at CHS, we wish you a safe harvest season!

Grain Outlook Broadcast

In light of current conditions with COVID-19 and the inability to have in-person meetings they way we’d like, CHS wants to bring market information to you in a different way. At 10am CST on Tuesday, July 14, Chris Stringer (Corn) and Justin Friesz (Soybeans) will be sharing their perspective on the current markets, the July report, and more.

These sessions will be held on Skype Broadcast. Skype is a web-based meeting so it’s very user friendly for you to join in using your computer, tablet, or phone.

Please note that there is a login step for webinar participants, so please login before the webinar begins.

Corn and Beans (10 a.m. Central) : Please click here to enter your name and location information shortly before the webinar starts.

The links will become active 15 minutes prior to the start. To allow time for the registration process, we ask that you plan to register at least five minutes before the webinars start. 

Corn and Beans link:

We hope you can join us for this Grain Outlook Forecast and reach out to our CHS Grain Origination team with any questions.

Working Safety in Hot Weather

Working in the ag industry, many members of our team are frequently outside in the summer months, as are many of our farmers. The combination of heat and humidity can be a serious health threat. If you work outside you may be at increased risk for heat-related illness. So, take precautions. Here’s how: 

  • Drink small amounts of water frequently  
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing—cotton is good  
  • Take frequent short breaks in cool shade  
  • Eat smaller meals before work activity  
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol or large amounts of sugar  
  • Work in the shade  
  • Find out from your health care provider if your medications and heat don’t mix  
  • Know that equipment such as respirators or work suits can increase heat stress  

If you’re working outdoors, make sure you are protecting yourself by blocking those harmful UV rays as well:  

  • Cover up. Wear tightly-woven clothing that blocks out light. Try this test: Place your hand between a single layer of the clothing and a light source. If you can see your hand through the fabric, the garment offers little protection.  
  • Use sunscreen  
  • Wear a hat  
  • Wear UV-absorbent shades  
  • Limit exposure 

Propane Rebate Program

If you’re looking to replace any appliances, did you know Minnesota residents can get a rebate if you switch to propane for your water heater, furnace, boiler, or garage heaters? These rebates are available through Minnesota Propane Association. You must work through CHS when buying your new propane appliances for these rebates, so contact a member of our energy team to learn more before you make your next appliance purchase!

See additional information on the Minnesota Propane Rebate Program here.

Treated Seed: Great for Your Field, But Bad for Your Grain Bin

As the season moves from spring planting to fall harvest, please keep in mind that all of the elevators within CHS adhere to a zero tolerance policy for treated seed occurring in grain. With this in mind, please take time to ensure all equipment is thoroughly cleaned and inspected before using it to haul grain.

Keep these tips in mind to ensure your grain remains free of treated seed:

  • When borrowing equipment, ask questions about past use. If you plan to borrow equipment to move grain, it’s important to know what the equipment has handled in the past.  Don’t forget to do your own inspection of the equipment before use, too.
  • Remember that a visual inspection is not enough. Seeds can get stuck in the smallest of spaces, and there are a number of crevices in equipment that cannot be seen with the naked eye.  Pressure washing to ensure a thorough cleaning is recommended.
  • When in doubt, keep equipment separate. The best way to ensure no cross-contamination occurs is to keep separate the equipment that hauls seed and the equipment that hauls grain.

The team at CHS is here to ensure your farm is successful, from spring planting to fall harvest and every moment in between.  Contact a member of our grain team for additional information on our zero tolerance policy and what’s happening in the grain markets.

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