Good morning to all our fellow producers and ranchers of SWG! February is here! If you did not know it, just ask a tax accountant or your spouse, as here we are working on bookwork and digging out receipts to finish before the end of the month. As we get older, we get more excited trying to understand what all the expenses were for 2022… or should I say anxious?! Who doesn’t “love “tax” February… haha! Think of those busy bookkeepers that keep track of records to show their losses and gains.
It is also the start of longer days and nights for ranchers as calving season is upon us as well. This may be only the beginning of calving, as I write this, but the next one you get to read may be close to the end of the 2023 calving season, and everyone will be readying equipment for planting and spring fieldwork. Good luck to all those calving and we pray it will be better weather than spring 2022 was. Do not hesitate to ask SWG for their help and expertise with all your caving and vet needs as we try to have supplies on hand at all locations.
Spring is just around the corner and the planning of your input needs are getting finalized with seed and fertilizer needs, as well as chemical requirements to get the 2023 planting season off to a great start. Thankfully, fertilizer prices are moving in the right direction, helping to cut some input costs. This should help you feel a bit more excited to replenish the soil health after taking so much out in the 2022 crop year. Your SWG agronomists are here to help you decide on all your needs with the moisture we received to get the maximum yield out of your fields.
As we move closer to starting another year in agriculture, we pray Mother Nature will be kind to us! I hope I did not jinx it now by bringing up the subject… with all that fog we experienced all winter! If you follow the old wives’ tales, it would be predicting lots of moisture in 90 days. Local meteorologists say there is no truth to that, but we all know they are known to miss the mark some days. So, we wait and see if we get some significant rain or snow. I will report on that old folklore in the next article! We have been blessed with some very nice temperatures lately. These helped melt away some of that November snow, especially in SW ND. There is a lot of water running through everyone’s yards!
It was a busy fall and winter in the SWG board room. CHS was busy educating the board on proposed changes happening in the by-laws that we will vote on at the next fall annual meeting (Fall 2023). I will try to give you a short explanation. On your patronage statement you receive each year, you will see that CHS withholds 10% into unallocated reserve. This has been done for many years. The unallocated funds are used for capital improvements & for future growth of CHS. The management team & the CHS board would like to have the ability to increase the unallocated funds up to 45% to help pay on capital, as a large group of members (the baby-boomers) are nearing the age of 70 and their full patronage will be paid. Please contact your area board member or me with any questions.
In closing, I would like to thank you once again for choosing SWG for all of your farming and ranching needs. I would also like to thank Michelle Barnhart for all her years of service to the patrons of SWG and the petroleum office in Dickinson. We appreciate all of her knowledge and willingness to help everyone! We wish her all the best!
Have a safe spring with calving and planting. Stay healthy and grateful, and take care of each other!
Shane Sickler, SWG Producer Board President