Freeing phosphorus: New ways to add crop nutrient availability

An innovative option makes broadcast crop nutrient applications more available.

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

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

The remaining 80 percent of unused phosphorus doesn’t help fuel yield and can be susceptible to loss through runoff or soil erosion, he says. Effects have been documented in lower Chesapeake Bay tributaries on the East Coast and in the Lake Erie watershed, which includes portions of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan.

In many of those areas, phosphorus application regulations and management strategies have been adopted or are being discussed and other states may join the list, says Carlsen.

Better Broadcast

“The good news is that growers have a new tool to help maximize phosphorus efficiency in their fields,” says Carlsen. “Trivar™ fertilizer additive was developed specifically for use on dry phosphate fertilizers for broadcast applications.”

Carlsen says broadcast application of phosphates is used on about 10 times more acres than in-furrow phosphorus applications are used. “CHS Agronomy created Trivar to be applied to dry phosphate forms used for fall or spring applications, including DAP, MAP, triple superphosphate and other sources.”

Soil pH, organic matter levels and cation exchange capacity are the three main factors that impact phosphorus availability, he says. “Those soil characteristics aren’t easily changed.”

Until now, three short-term solutions have been most effective for maximizing phosphorus availability to the crop while committing to improved fertility practices:

  • In-furrow applications that place fertilizer close to the seed and developing roots
  • Prescriptive applications that tailor rates to soil needs and yield potential
  • Applications based on the 4Rs: right source, right rate, right time and right place

“Using Trivar means one small change in the handling process at the retailer before application can significantly improve phosphorus efficiency,” Carlsen says.

Three-Way Action

Trivar uses three key modes of action to improve phosphorus availability for better plant nutrition.

1. The Levesol chelate prevents micronutrients from binding with phosphorus in the soil, making key micronutrients and phosphorus more available for plant uptake. It is an ortho-ortho EDDHA chelate known as one of the strongest and most effective chelating agents available. The chelate works with a wide range of soil pH levels, organic matter levels and cation exchange capacity levels, says Carlsen. “This allows Trivar to be effective across a wide variety of soil types and conditions.”

“Levesol is a proven technology that’s been used as an in-furrow application for more than 18 years,” he adds. “With Trivar, we are able to make its benefits available for more growers using broadcast applications.”

2. A nutrient-focused enzyme (phosphatase) converts plant-unavailable organic phosphorus to a readily plant-available inorganic form. The enzyme starts working immediately to free up unavailable phosphorus in the soil.

3. Zinc and boron in Trivar improve use of important micronutrients to boost overall plant nutrition. Zinc drives critical plant growth and development, while boron promotes root growth and helps regulate calcium, magnesium and potassium in the plants, Carlsen explains.

Trivar Gains Industry Recognition

Trivar™ fertilizer additive from CHS Agronomy is getting attention, including being named runner-up in the AgPro 2019 New Product of the Year award program.

Each year, AgPro readers — retailers, agronomists and crop consultants — vote for the product they think will have the most positive impact on agriculture.

“Response to Trivar has been positive. Most growers quickly recognize its agronomic and economic potential,” says Steve Carlsen, Levesol and crop enhancement manager, CHS Agronomy.

Compared to the great strides plant breeding and equipment technology have made in recent decades, changes in crop fertilization practices seem modest, he adds, but “Trivar represents a major advancement in improving phosphorus efficiency that is simple to use and affordable for growers.”

Bigger Yields

“Any yield increase beyond a few bushels per acre provided a positive return on investment, and most growers saw yield bumps well above that,” he says.

In northeast Nebraska, Jared Jessen, agronomy sales manager for CHS Wausa, reports growers using Trivar for the first time saw average yield increases of 6 bushels per acre, with some fields adding as much as 8 bushels per acre, depending on pH and other contributing factors.

Last season’s challenging growing conditions allowed the value of Trivar to shine, says Carlsen. In third-party and university replicated corn trials in Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota and Arkansas fields, when phosphate fertilizer treated with Trivar was broadcast before planting, yield increased by an average of 6 bushels per acre over fields that received the same phosphate application without Trivar.

corn yield increase with Trivar use graph

Jessen says there were other benefits as well. “Plants had deeper color throughout the growing season, which is typically a sign of good plant health, and we saw improved stalk strength at harvest.”

Wausa, Neb., farmer Neal Seagren used Trivar-treated MAP on all his corn acres in 2019 and saw a 5- to 6-bushels-per-acre yield increase. “We had noticeably better root development compared to plants of the same hybrid from a neighboring field that didn’t use Trivar.

“I think that was especially important in late-planted corn,” he adds. “Our last corn acres were planted the first week of June, but still yielded around 230 bushels per acre dryland.”

This season Seagren plans to use Trivar on his soybean acres, as well. “With current crop prices and tight margins, every bushel counts.”

Jessen recommends adding Trivar first for cornfields with the greatest variability. “I think at least 80 percent of acres where MAP is applied would see a good payback.”

Environmental benefits are definitely on growers’ minds, too, Jessen says. “There’s already a lot of scrutiny of nitrogen use, and phosphate use will be next here. This is a great tool for helping to reduce runoff, as well as making a farmer’s fertilizer investment more efficient.”

LEARN MORE: Get details at trivarfertilizer.com.

Check out the full C magazine with this article and more.

Micronutrients 101: Going Back to Basics

This article first appeared in the LIFT newsletter, a publication of CHS Agronomy. Read the entire article.

As growers finalize planting preparations and plan in-season fertilizer and sidedress applications, they may be looking for solutions for micronutrients deficiencies identified by soil or tissue sampling on their most productive acres. What are the most essential micronutrients and what products can help with yield and profitability?

The essential micronutrients include Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo) and Manganese (Mn).

  • They are considered micros because they are needed in smaller amounts compared to macronutrients by the plant.
  • Many micronutrients hold the key to how well the other nutrients are used; attribute to how well the plant develops and effects the total yield it will produce come harvest.
  • They also help feed the microorganisms in the soil to perform important steps in various nutrient cycles of the growing process.

(more…)

CHS Q2 2020 FY Net Income

Click here for a *.PDF version for printing

 

For further information:
Contact: Rebecca Lentz
651.355.4579
rebecca.lentz@chsinc.com

CHS Reports $125.4 Million in Second Quarter Net Income

St. Paul, Minnesota (April 8, 2020) – CHS Inc., the nation’s leading agribusiness cooperative, today reported net income of $125.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 that ended Feb. 29, 2020. This compares to net income of $248.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The company reported revenues of $6.6 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to revenues of $6.5 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. In the first six months of fiscal year 2020, CHS reported net income of $303.3 million compared to net income of $596.3 million in the first six months of fiscal year 2019.

“Today our top focus is on our core value of safety—including the health and safety of our employees, farmers, our owners, our customers, our local cooperatives and the communities where we live and work around the world—as we all navigate the impact of COVID-19,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “The investments we’ve made in our infrastructure connect farmers and local cooperatives to the inputs and services they need during this busy spring season. This crop needs to get planted. Farmers will get this crop planted. And we will be there to be part of it as we support them and our communities.”

 

Second Quarter Fiscal 2020 Business Segment Results

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

 

Energy

Pretax earnings of $138.9 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to $306.6 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:
  •  Less advantageous market conditions in our refined fuels business that drove lower margins, due to a combination of lower crack spreads and decreased crude oil differentials on heavy Canadian crude oil, which is processed by our refineries.
  •  Recognition of a gain contingency credit during the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 that did not recur during fiscal year 2020.

 

Ag

Pretax loss of $20.8 million in second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to pretax loss of $62.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflects:
  •  A strong wheat crop and improved weather conditions that contributed to improved results.
  • Poor weather conditions in fiscal year 2019 and ongoing global trade tensions that continued to negatively impact volumes and margins within agricultural markets.

 

Nitrogen Production

Pretax earnings of $5.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to pretax earnings of $10.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:
  •  Lower equity income from our investment in CF Nitrogen due to decreased market pricing of urea and urea ammonium nitrate, which are produced and sold by CF Nitrogen, of which CHS has partial ownership.

 

Corporate and Other

Pretax earnings of $4.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to pretax earnings of $7.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 reflect:
  •  Non-operating gains recognized during the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 that did not recur in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020.
  •  Decreased income from our financing and hedging business due to lower interest rates and lower commissions, respectively.

 

CHS Inc. Earnings*
by Segment
(in thousands $)

  Three Months Ended   Six Months Ended
  February 29, 2020   February 28, 2019   February 29, 2020   February 28, 2019
Energy $    138,921   $    306,585   $    301,074   $    539,046
Ag (20,845)   (62,398)   (34,707)   17,920
Nitrogen Production 5,741   10,712   22,191   34,391
Corporate and Other 4,007   6,956   24,667   37,730
Income before income taxes 127,824   261,855   313,225   629,087
Income tax expense 2,130   13,551   8,794   33,668
Net income 125,694   248,304   304,431   595,419
Net income (loss) attributable to non-controlling interests 247   (462)   1,102   (851)
Net income attributable to CHS Inc. $    125,447   $   248,766   $   303,329   $   596,270

 

*Earnings is defined as income (loss) before income taxes.

 

CHS Inc. (chsinc.com) is 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.

This document contains and other CHS Inc. publicly available documents contain, and CHS officers and representatives may from time to time make, “forward–looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Report Act of 1995. Forward–looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Forward–looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on CHS current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its businesses, future plans and strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward–looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of CHS control. CHS actual results and financial condition may differ materially from those indicated in the forward–looking statements. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on any of these forward–looking statements. Important factors that could cause CHS actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward–looking statements are discussed or identified in CHS filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the “Risk Factors” discussion in Item 1A of CHS Annual Report on Form 10–K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2019, and Part II, Item IA of CHS Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended February 29, 2020. Any forward–looking statements made by CHS in this document are based only on information currently available to CHS and speak only as of the date on which the statement is made. CHS undertakes no obligation to update any forward–looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise except as required by applicable law.

CHS reports $125.4 million in second quarter net income

Sunset over a farm

April 8, 2020

Dear Owners:

We are pleased to share our second quarter results for fiscal year 2020. We reported net income of $125.4 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, which ended Feb. 29, 2020. This compares to net income of $248.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.

The company reported revenues of $6.6 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 compared to revenues of $6.5 billion for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. In the first six months of fiscal year 2020, CHS reported net income of $303.3 million compared to net income of $596.3 million in the first six months of fiscal year 2019.

(more…)

Update on COVID-19 from Jay Debertin

Dear valued customers and owners:

As our essential businesses work to meet spring season demands amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to focus on the health and safety of every person and community connected to CHS and the cooperative system.

We want you to know that CHS remains fully operational and committed to providing the essential products and services you need. Our supply chain is prepared and moving into action as spring fieldwork begins. Grain is moving and the spring shipping season has begun. We are grateful for those positive signs.

Thank you for your business. Please let us know how we can help you navigate through the days and weeks ahead.

Sincerely,

Jay D. Debertin
President and CEO

Ag is essential infrastructure. CHS locations continue to operate.

Dave Jeppesen, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, has issued an order to self-isolate related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order will be in effect through 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2020. Consistent with guidance from the United States Department of Homeland Security, the order exempts certain essential infrastructure and services, including agriculture and food. After a full review of the order, CHS has determined that its operations fit within this exemption and we will continue to operate to provide essential products and services so cooperatives, retailers and farmers can plant and grow crops, raise livestock and bring the food they produce to market.

Below is a note from CHS to our customers in Idaho. Clicking the image will open in another tab in your browser. You can print or save it from there.

Click this link for more information on the latest Idaho COVID-19 News

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.

We are 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

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.

Learn ways to stay safe during Grain Bin Safety Week

grain bin safety trainingGrain 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: (more…)

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. (more…)

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

© 2020 CHS Inc.