Wednesday
Jun192019

From the Manager - June 2019

It is with mixed emotions that we, the Equity Family, say good bye to Jory Bossuyt, our grain merchandiser.  Jory will be leaving us on July 19 to be able to join his wife in the cities.  Jory’s wife, Kylie has been diligently working the last few years to be become a medical Dr.  Kylie has to be in the cities to work on completing this phase of her education.  After this phase she will be doing her residency, but at this time she is not sure where.  We wish both Jory and Kylie the best of luck as they concentrate on building their future together.  We will miss Jory, but we sincerely want to see any of our EET Family members improve themselves and pursue their dreams. 

As you are aware, we are currently in the very first stages of a unification study with Farmward Cooperative of Morgan, MN.  Since the letter came out a little over a month ago, we have been sharing information to try to establish the baseline to determine if the two companies are a good fit.  During this process, both Boards will review the facts and determine if we continue to move on to the next step.  If both Boards are in agreement with each step, as we move through the process, they will be sharing that information with you.  There will be informational meetings to not only share the information but also answer questions.  The Board’s intention is to be as open and transparent as possible with the members.  Check out the article by Les Sander, Board President, in this newsletter.  Les invites any of you to contact any of the Board Members if you have questions.  Once this process is completed, if approved by both Board of Directors, then the Equity Elevator eligible voters will vote on the proposal.  This is an over simplification of a complex and legal process.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact any of the Directors or you are welcome to come in and visit with me at any time.

As I have observed the Board during this process, I have been impressed with the way they have approached this in a very businesslike manner.  The Board went into this process with three clear goals of what they wanted any potential outcome to accomplish: (1). Protect the Members Equity, (2). Protect our current employees and (3). Protect the community of Wood Lake.  The Board’s idea of protecting the member’s equity was twofold.  Protect the patronage equity that each of you may have in EET and try to find a workable way to get this equity returned to the members in systematic, workable fashion.  Also, protect the equity of the facilities that your money has put in place over the years.  For example, the Board thought it was important to make sure that you would have a dependable place to dump grain locally long into the future.  Their concern for the future of current employees was a very admirable priority.  The reality is that in order to achieve efficiencies, we probably will not have everyone doing exactly the same thing they are currently doing, but we are trying to make sure everyone has an opportunity to contribute to the success of the new organization.  For a lot of our employees, I feel they will have a whole new set of opportunities and chances to improve themselves.  And finally, their third priority, protect the community of Wood Lake.  Equity Elevator has been an important part of the Wood Lake community for many years.  It is important to continue to support activities with in Wood Lake as well as make sure we have an office and facilities in Wood Lake for customers to come in and conduct business.  There is a lot to do before any final conclusion is reached, but I am confident that the Board of Director’s ultimate goal is to make sure Wood Lake has the products and services available to serve your needs for years to come.

JUNE IS DAIRY MONTH!!!  I would encourage everyone to offer their sincere gratitude and thanks to all of our area dairy farmers for supplying us with the best quality and very delicious dairy products throughout the entire year.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

“Together We Can Be Successful”

 Rod Winter
General Manager

Wednesday
Jun192019

From the Manager - April 2019

To say it has been a long winter, is an understatement.  Here we are half way through March and as I write this we are enjoying another 6-8 inches of snow, on top of the other 30-40 inches we already have.  In spite of the fact we have a late Easter, I am still of the opinion that in the near future this weather will change and start getting nice, and Spring is officially, just around the corner.

One of our concerns, as well as yours, is how will we get our spring work done and the crop in the ground in a timely manner.  First of all, we need to be ready and organized.  In order to serve you in a timely manner, you need to be communicating your plans and desires with our agronomy team early, in fact now is a good time to make sure you have everything lined up.  Please make sure Brooks knows what your plans are for each field, so his guys can be ready to help you as soon as it is fit.  Getting Brooks your field maps and programs early will save a lot of time when the heat is on.  Due to the fact we did not get all the work done last fall, we will be doing double duty this spring on some acres.  I am sure it will be hectic, but good communications and patience will help work through this spring work glut.

Weather and timing will dictate everything.  Case in point, nitrogen.  Due to conditions last fall, only about 50% of the NH3 in the Upper Midwest was applied.  That means that if weather does not cooperate this spring, a lot of farmers will be pushed to either urea or UAN for a nitrogen source.  If the Midwest is forced to apply more urea, I am afraid there will not be enough trucks to haul the product in a timely manner.  Keep in mind that we have equipment for nitrogen side dressing also, we are set up to apply UAN with the side dress bar on the Miller, as well as the high wheel spin spreader to go over standing corn with urea.  I think it will be important to keep your options open and work closely with Brooks to determine what your most optimal program will be.

As a retailer, we have the fertilizer shed full, along with some extra urea bought and stored nearby, but we will have challenges with transportation, river open, flooding and spring weather in general.  I do not bring all this to your attention to be negative or try to scare anyone, but rather to underscore the importance of planning and communicating with Brooks and his team, to make sure we can meet your needs in a timely manner.  I would like to thank you in advance for your business, patience and cooperation.  Above all have a safe spring!

Once you get the crop in the ground then the hard work starts.  How do you market your grain for the highest possible price and does that cover your cost of production?  I recently read an article put out by White Commercial Corporation that offers a good perspective, backed up by facts, on how to achieve prices in the top third of the market.  According to their article, in the last 22 years, 73% of the time the highest price for corn was achieved by forward selling according to a marketing plan you set up.  This was based on either forward selling or sales based on 1/3 at harvest, 1/3 January and 1/3 July.

This is not easy, but Jory can help make it easier for you.  There are emotions and risks at play when you sell ahead.  Given the chance of success, there are times to sell grain and times to not sell grain.  To reduce the risk, I would recommend these steps:

  • Target a selling level that is profitable at a conservative yield and production expense.  Chances are that your eventual yield will be higher than in your conservative calculation, making your target a winner.
  • At first offer no more than 25% of an average crop.  As you cross thresholds on the way to harvest you can raise the percentage offered or sold.  (Example:  20% before planting, moving up to 40% before pollination and moving up to 50% before the end of July)
  • Let Jory and our broker watch your offer.  Trading occurs for 17.5 hours per day and the best market fills often come at night.  Jory can check with you on a periodic basis to help you keep your target prices on track with your plan.

Selling ahead at near the high for the year has a great chance of success because the market is usually higher until the crop is made in mid to late summer.  Although it may not work every year, history tells us it did 73% of the time in the last 22 years.

For all your feed, agronomy and grain needs contact us at Equity Elevator and Trading Company in Wood Lake. Our continued success depends on your continued success and remember:

“TOGETHER WE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL”

Rod Winter
General Manager

Monday
Apr302018

From the Manager - April 2018

As I write this, spring is just around the corner, or so I tell myself. As I look out the window, it does not look like the first week in April, especially after just moving 8-10” of wet snow out of the way. However, we get the crop planted every year, sometimes it just gets done a lot faster than what we really want it to. It is important that you have discussed your spring plans with Brooks, as we will really be under the gun to help get your needs taken care of in a timely manner. Organization will be paramount in an orderly spring work plan. Please help us, help you, by having your plans and needs on Brooks’ radar.

I want to thank all of you for your sympathy and understanding over the last several weeks, with the passing of my Father. It is very much appreciated! I know that during this period I have had time to think, reflect, and truly understand what is important. I am very fortunate to have been blessed with the parents and family that I have had. My three younger brothers and I were all raised with the idea that the three most important things in our life are God, Family and “The Golden Rule”. I am proud of the fact that we have passed those same values onto our next generation, and that they are, in turn, passing it onto their children. What a legacy for a quiet, hard working farmer that lived his life without complaining, compromising his morals, or compromising his integrity for over 86 years. For as quiet as my Dad was, he was an excellent teacher. Two of the lessons I learned from him were, (1) “A person’s worth in life is not measured by how much they are able to gather, but rather by how much they sow” and, (2) “It is the right thing do”.  These are life lessons for all of us, including our family at Equity Elevator. Our mission at Equity is to help make your life better. 

We are here to be of service to you, our members, and our community. I know I have said it before, but I truly believe that “Equity Elevator is good for the Wood Lake Community and the Wood Lake Community is good for Equity Elevator”. In order to be successful, it is necessary to work together.  Equity tries hard to be a good citizen by paying taxes, donating to and supporting our local schools, churches, 4-H, FFA, fire department, first responders, and numerous other organizations, all part of our civic responsibility to be a good citizen. In fact, several of our employees are involved with different service organizations. A perfect example of “sowing” is Brooks and Reed. On Friday, March 30, both of these guys spent an early morning and part of the day fighting a wooden grain elevator fire in Hanley Falls. Not because they had to, but “It was the right thing to do”. 

As we head into spring, we want to make sure we give credit to those who are doing the job! MAY IS BEEF MONTH and we want to salute all of you that produce the best beef in the world, bar none. It is amazing that as demanding as the consuming public is, you rise to the occasion and supply us with the safest, most economical and delicious beef, steak or hamburger, in the world.

Another group that deserves our utmost respect is the dairy farmer. JUNE IS DAIRY MONTH, but the dairy farmers work 365 days a year to supply us with the safest and tastiest milk, cheese and ice cream in the world. I want everyone to personally thank a dairy producer for their dedication to supplying the products that we all enjoy every day (and we do not have to get up at 4:00 AM every day to make it happen).

It will be a hectic spring planting season. Please work safely!!!

“TOGETHER WE CAN BE SUCCESSFUL”

Rod Winter
General Manager