CHS intends to return $730 million to owners

Grain bins in the background and harvested field in the foreground, under partly cloudy sky
CHS announced its cash patronage and equity redemptions for 2023. The co-op is committed to sharing profits with owners and strengthening rural communities.

CHS has announced it intends to return $730 million in cash patronage and equity redemptions to its owners in calendar year 2024. The decision demonstrates the cooperative’s ongoing commitment to sharing profits with its owners and strengthening rural communities.


Foot Rot and Pink Eye

Heather Dykins

I am hearing a lot of issues with foot rot and pink eye this year.  I would like to talk about a couple things we have to help reduce the amount of treatment you are doing and ways we can help prevent.

  1. Ultramin Elite Mineral
    • If you have not jumped onto the Availa 4 train, IT IS TIME!
    • Availa 4 is a patented chelate of the zinc, copper, manganese, and cobalt from Zinpro Trace Minerals.  We have talked about it in past articles and here I am talking about it again, but it is that good!  With the Elite mineral you can decrease foot rot by 30% among many other benefits that comes with it.
  2. IGR – horn flies carry the viruses that cause pinkeye, so preventing them from reproducing is key to deceasing your pinkeye problems.  This has no harm on the dung beetle and there are many other benefits to it too.
    • Key to IGR working – get it out early and use it every year!

Cost Breakdown (average costs – may vary):

  • Elite Mineral – 2-3 oz feeding rate = $0.11- $0.13/hd/day (The step up Availa 4 package adds 1 penny/hd/day to mineral)
  • IGR – $0.03-0.05/hd/day and the average fly season is 210 days = $10.50/hd/season
  • Draaxin – $3/cc – 15-16 cc per cow = $44/shot.
    • Darts – $8/10cc dart.
    • Overall cost per shot = Roughly $50-$55 (that’s more than a bag of mineral, rule of thumb = one bag of mineral per cow per year)

With Payback mineral we can be very proactive, instead of being reactive.  This saves you money and time with less treating.

Remember: They must eat the mineral for it to work! Call us today if you are worried about consumption and we can help you out and make sure you are on the right mineral program 😊

As always, thank you for your business.
Always here to help!

Heather Dykins
CHS Nutrition Consultant

Harvest Begins!

Kevin Lien

Grain movement has been strong the past 2 months. Today, 8/3/2023, we filled up on spring wheat but have some room for winter wheat. We have taken in some new crop winter and spring wheat and the quality is excellent: very good test weight and average protein. We have not seen any ergot in any new crop yet so that is great news. Space is going to be very tight during harvest since we are going in full so as of now, we do not have any harvest hours set. It will depend on when we have space. Currently our text messaging service is not sending out messages to everyone. We are working on it getting it fixed but, in the meantime, check the website and/or our Facebook page. You can always give us a call for this information as well. When you swipe your card at the probe and need something changed on it just pick
up the phone in the red box and we will update it for you. At the Dickinson Terminal, we will be taking canola this harvest. We have to put new air screens in the bin floor so upon
arrival they will get put in then we can start dumping canola. We will still be taking durum too.

Scott Mink

We have a new employee at Taylor Terminal, Scott Mink. He started in mid-June and enjoys hunting and fishing. Have a great harvesting season and be safe.

Kevin Lien, Manager Boyle Terminal

Regional Manager Report – Aug 2023 Grain Mill

Delane Thom

We are in the month of August 2023 with this newsletter, and we have finalized the first three quarters of fiscal 2023 as of May 31, 2023. We made it through the spring planting season without any significant issues, unless you count the massive amount of snow we received over winter and seemed to stay forever. With the spring starting later than we expected the moisture to start with was welcome. As of this writing, we have experienced some higher temperatures but overall, we are a bit cooler than average. The recent rain has been good, although spotty in most cases. It came at the right time and was beneficial to most crops. The hail has claimed some acres in varying degrees of damage, but overall, normal. Commodity values experienced a lot of volatility with concerns around world events and some weather events.

Planted acres appear to be normal in terms of total crop planted, but with some shifting of acres due to timing and commodity prices at planting time. Our grain handle for the first three quarters of fiscal 2023 is up considerably compared to last year and it is hard to predict what grain quality and production will be considering the variable weather we are experiencing. The winter wheat harvest has progressed into the Dakotas, with reports of good yields in some areas and others that are still in drier, the same varied story as last year. Early reports on the winter wheat quality were good test weights and proteins in the 10.5 to 12.5 range. Lack of rain in the south pushed the wheat harvest along rapidly. The harvest season will be drawn out this year as the planting progress and later start. Crops in general look good.

Ethanol demand has been good, so that is friendly to corn. Soy oil for renewable fuel is in extremely high demand, which is friendly to soybeans and canola. Wheat will maintain ending stocks to use ratios again. The direction the wheat prices go will depend on how the current crop yields turnout and the outcome of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The strength of the US dollar has also had an impact to the exports of US grain to the world. There will be a period of continued volatility as the markets figure this out, as the markets always do.

At the end of May (third quarter), SWG is ahead of budget and hoping to finish the fourth quarter of the fiscal year strong. Grain volume is up, and the margins look good, but the input side of the business has had some challenges. These products are up in volume but maintain weaker margins due to the early positioning of fertilizer, and then the markets turning extremely soft into the spring planting season. We have tasked our employees to be very diligent in monitoring grain quality inbound, as there is still a wide range of carryover qualities out there. With a longer and colder winter, the energy business has felt the impact of more demand for diesel and gas and grain drying will be up in the air until we get later in the harvest season. It looks like this year will be a year to find hay as the hay crop is not as good as last year and the colder and longer winter consumed more hay than everyone thought.

The crop inputs values tend to follow the grain markets and were strong coming into the spring season but softened as the planting season progressed. Supply issues were not a problem for the 2023 planting season, although at the time it got tight. Refined energy products are still in adequate supply and demand continues to increase across the nation. Domestic travel is much higher than a year ago and that alone is a good sign that people are trying to get back to normal. This drives some near-term demand for energy products. Inflation affects all of this to some degree too.

Feed and Animal Health sales remained strong even with the better conditions of pastures and hay crop. During good times, it is still important to keep livestock herds maintained and healthy. Check with your nearest SWG Feed Sales rep and help them understand your needs and we will be happy to help. A strong mineral program and water monitoring is always a good management practice when cattle are on grass. Water quality is less of a concern this year but still needs to be considered as we get into the drier time of the year. When and if, nutrition is not the total solution, remember to get your animal health products from your nearest SWG location. If you have a prescription from your vet that needs to be filled, we can accommodate that at our locations that handle animal health Rx products. We have some knowledgeable staff and good working relationships with several of the local veterinarians that allow us to service all your animal health needs. We will fill all VFD prescriptions at all our locations and have the training in place to maintain the necessary records to comply. Let us know what you need, and we will do our best to make it available when you need it. Cattle prices remain strong but with grain being so volatile, it has some impact to the cattle prices as well.

As it relates to Safety and Compliance, we continue to update and maintain our facilities and continue with ongoing training for our employees to create a safety culture that is good for both the company and our owners. We are continually educating our staff on safety and a host of new compliance issues. It seems like when we get one thing covered, another pops up to deal with. Safety and the health of our employees and customers will be an ongoing process for some time to come as we figure out how to continue to work and remain healthy. We have a good group of local Safety Specialists that are working on safety all day, every day, with the intent of becoming more proactive. Thanks to our employees for making Safety and Compliance a part of the culture and for maintaining our level of excellence. Safety at the farm level is something that should not be taken for granted. As we approach harvest and haying season for 2023 everyone needs to pay attention to doing things the safest way possible. Taking chances never really works out well. Working safely should be talked about daily and each one of you should have a plan in place. If you do not have the time to do it right the first time, what makes you think you will have the time to do it over?

Another ongoing reminder related to equity retirement, any requests for equity retirement, either for age or estate, require a form to be filled out. You can contact our main office and we can help you with the necessary forms to get this done. Also, remember that the age requirement is currently at age 70, so please plan and get the request submitted. Talk to your relatives, friends, and neighbors who are out of the area, so they are aware of the process. They simply need to call us, and we will check on the equity balance, see if it is eligible, and send the necessary forms for the request. Age 70 retirements should be submitted as always. As CHS approaches the end of the fiscal year they will review those applications and will retire what they are able. Another question I get frequently is “do I have to request my equity to be retired when I reach age 70?” The answer is no, you can request it any time after age 70, but if you do request at age 70 and continue farming, you can then request it every 5 years thereafter. Estates still come first and remember to contact us if you have questions.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the cooperative system, and for putting your trust in our people and your company. The success of your cooperative is not about any one person or event, but a true team effort. Please feel free to contact us with any questions, suggestions, or concerns.

Remember “Do it Safe by Choice.”                       

I will leave you with this quote: “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what is not true. The other is to refuse to accept what is true”

Delane Thom
Regional Manager

CHS reports third quarter earnings

Improved soybean and canola crush margins due to strong meal and oil demand resulted in higher earnings in the CHS oilseed processing business for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023.

Strong global demand generated $547.5 million in net income for third quarter of fiscal year 2023

CHS Inc., the nation’s leading agribusiness cooperative, today released results for its third quarter ended May 31, 2023. The company reported quarterly net income of $547.5 million compared to a record third quarter net income of $576.6 million in fiscal year 2022. For the first nine months of fiscal year 2023, the company reported net income of $1.6 billion and revenues of $36.1 billion, compared to net income of $1.2 billion and revenues of $34.4 billion recorded during the same period of fiscal year 2022.


Meet Your SWG Board Members

1. Shane Sickler
District At Large
Term 2024

2. Steve Verhulst
Vice President
District C
Term 2024

3. Ben Kuhn
District A
Term 2023

4. Loren Bock
District A
Term 2025

5. Scott Gaugler
District A
Term 2024

6. Harlan Doll
District B
Term 2025

7. Mike Gerving
District B
Term 2024

8. Jeff Schroeder
District B
Term 2023

9. Rhett Peterson
District C
Term 2023

10. Joe Zorc
District C
Term 2025

11. Josh Haugen
District At Large
Term 2025

12. Tim Wegner
District At Large
Term 2023

Hello from Richardton!

Shayna Dressler

It’s finally spring, and here in Richardton we could not be more thrilled! We hope the long winter was not too hard on you. We are looking forward to enjoying the upcoming warmer months.

With the warmer weather approaching, it is time to think about fly control in your cattle. We offer a variety of Smartlic tubs and Payback mineral with IGR to help fight off those pesky horn flies. This year we are incorporating Zinpro Availa4 trace minerals into our IGR mineral package. Availa4 aids in reducing stress and immune challenges and can help increase your calves’ weaning weight by up to 28 pounds. In addition to the weaning weight benefits, Availa4 can also help reduce hoof disorders in both pasture and dry lot cattle by up to 30%. All these advantages, as well as improved eye health, increased carcass weight, and reduced mortality make switching to Zinpro Availa4 mineral an easy choice! Call Symonne with any questions at (701) 974-3831.

Agronomy season is now in full swing. We are looking forward to servicing all your planting and spraying needs. We are ready to fill fertilizer, and we have 2 spreaders available to rent for your convenience. We are stocked up on chemical, and if you’re looking for something we don’t have on hand, we are happy to do our best to get it in for you. We have plenty of bulk RT3, with shuttles available to fill. Give Sadia a call at (701) 974-3831 with any agronomy questions.

We are now offering delivery options on feed and chemical. Give us a call to find out more. We wish all our customers a prosperous spring, and we thank you for your continued business!

Shayna Dressler,
Operations Supervisor

Fly Control

Kristine Koepplin

Are blind quarters and mastitis an issue? Horn flies can cause big problems for cattle and cattle producers not only spreading pink eye, causing foot rot problems; horn flies can also have a major impact on mastitis in the beef herd and can be the primary source for the spread of this destructive disease in herds. In untreated herds, horn fly infestation can reach 4,000 flies per animal. The biting insects feed on the blood of cattle, up to 40 times per day. When flies reach a point of overwhelming numbers, cattle are forced to use high levels of energy to fend flies off; instead of putting their energy into production or growth and reproduction. Poor reproductive performance and calf development are two of the major issues. Studies show horn fly infestations can reduce weaning weights by as much as 25 pounds, reduce growth rates in replacement heifers by up to 14% and reduce daily gains in yearlings and stockers by 0.2 pounds per day. In addition, feeding and grazing patterns are also negatively affected, which can result in significant weight loss and poor cattle development.

The economic impact of the horn fly problem has been shown to cost the cattle industry estimated $1 billion per year. Horn flies tend to have a bigger impact on mastitis in heifers. Research has showed as estrogen levels increase there is a correlation in the horn fly irritation as well. The horn flies feed on the end of the teat causing irritation which scabs over. Then the bacteria (Staph aureus) that causes mastitis can grow. Horn flies feed from cow to cow, spreading the bacteria with them. The bacteria enters the teat and moves upward into the quarter, damaging the tissues that produce milk, eventually leading to blind quarters. Front quarters are more often affected as flies spend more time on the front over the rear quarters because the tail constantly swatting at them. Foot rot and pink eye are economically damaging as animals affected by one or both conditions can have negative effects on weight gain, weaning weights, reproduction, and milk production. While it is important to properly treat both conditions, it is equally imperative, if not more important to focus on prevention. There can be many causes for both foot rot and pink eye, however fly control is vital. While on summer pasture often flies are the primary problem, and foot rot or pinkeye are the result of improper fly control. We can help you to build a program using supplements with Availa 4, IGR, insecticides, and garlic to maximize the fly control for your herd.

One of the first steps is to collect samples of the water as well as the grass to check for any antagonists. Antagonists are a substance or even an excessive amount of another nutrient which blocks the actions of a vital nutrient. Depending on the results of the samples, we properly formulate supplements with optimal trace minerals using Zinpro® Performance Minerals. Zinpro® Performance Minerals are unique and not all chelated trace minerals are the same.  Zinpro® amino acid complexes deliver zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt in a form which is more available to cattle. This organic form, known as Availa® 4 of these trace minerals is able to override any antagonists in the animal’s diet when properly formulated and balanced. Zinpro® Availa®4 has research proven results when fed to cattle throughout the year at 7 g per head per day. Using Availa®4 improves health, performance and profitability and promotes breeding bull fertility and soundness.

  • 20% Improved Conception
  • 28 lbs Increased Weaning Weight
  • 50% Decreased BRD treatments
  • 30% Decrease in Foot Rot
  • 22% increase in progressive sperm motility

The best fly control is a minimum of two different fly control modes, preferably three modes. What this means is using one form through feed called Altosid® IGR to control horn flies and face flies by breaking the cycle. Female flies only leave the host (cow/calf/bull/heifer) to lay their eggs in freshly deposited cow manure.  Altosid® IGR passes through the digestive system into the manure, where it breaks the life cycle by keeping the horn fly larvae from developing. Ultimately preventing adult flies from emerging from the manure. The IGR (Insect Growth Regulator) in Altosid® IGR mimics naturally occurring insect biochemicals which are responsible for insect development to interrupt the horn fly life cycle, instead of through direct toxicity. Because of this Altosid® IGR is effective at very small concentrations, no known horn fly resistance, and has no effects on beneficial insects such as the dung beetles. Altosid® IGR is available through several supplements such as: SmartLic Altosid (IGR) tubs, Payback Ultramin Elite mineral + Altosid, Payback Liquid Feed + Altosid. The best time to start feeding Altosid® IGR in your feed supplement 30 days before overwintering flies appear in the spring, which is typically when average daily daytime temperature is 65 degrees F. In my opinion, it is never too late to start Altosid® IGR. Even though you may not see the most benefit of adding Altosid® IGR to your supplement this year, starting it will help for next year. It is important to keep feeding Altosid® IGR for 30 days after the first frost in the fall, which is usually mid to end of September. This helps to prevent horn fly larvae from overwintering giving you a jump start on the next fly season.

In addition to Altosid® IGR, it is also necessary to use a mode which kills or repels the adult flies. There are many options available such as: back rubbers and cattle oilers; dust bags; topical pour-on, VetGun capsules (VetCap) and sprays; fly tags, etc. When it comes to using these methods of fly control it is important to properly rotate between drug classes of these products. A proper rotation between drug classes for example is rotating between permethrin and organophosphates. Be careful when using a generic product as it could be the same or similar active ingredient and still be in the same drug class, which is not a true rotation and could lead to resistance problems.

The third mode available at most Southwest Grain locations is the Payback Salt with Garlic. Contact your local SWG to see if they have Cobalt salt with garlic or Trace Mineral EDDI with garlic. These two formulas can be offered in a block form or loose bag salt. It is important to remember this mode of action is not fly control and does not replace fly control such as Altosid® IGR. As the cow/calf consumes the garlic, the garlic will build in the blood system and deter the fly. Using garlic is a fly repellant. Think of garlic like us using mosquito spray to repel mosquitoes. Garlic will not kill adult flies, nor will it break the life cycle. Instead, it is best to use garlic in addition to the two modes of fly control. Also keep in mind, currently there is no proven research on the benefits and effects of garlic. There is only trials and a lot of unknowns currently regarding garlic use in livestock. Use garlic as an additional step to your fly control program, not a replacement.

If you have questions about proper rotations or fly control, contact myself or your feed and animal health consultant at the nearest Southwest Grain location. We can help you to create a plan that works for your operation using multiple methods of fly control with proper rotation. New Salem and Elgin will continue to have the SmartLic Availa®4 IGR tubs available and will be adding the Zinpro® Availa®4 to the loose Ultramin IGR mineral this summer. Those products will be Ultramin Elite 12-3+ Altosid and Ultramin Elite 12-6+ Altosid. Keep in mind fly control will never be 100% (or no flies at all) but with consistent implementation, the flies can be controlled to a minimal level that does not cause as many problems for the cattle, especially reducing the incidence of foot rot and pink eye. Maintaining a fly control program will help limit populations to less than 200 flies per animal. Always remember the 30-30 rule to start Altosid® IGR: 30 days before fly emergence and keep Altosid® IGR: 30 days after first frost. A strong fly control program is the cornerstone to keep cattle comfortable while on summer pasture. Have a safe spring!

Thank you and have a safe winter!
Kristine Koepplin
Livestock Nutrition Specialist
New Salem & Elgin

Keep Your Tanks on the Top Side!!

Jim Renke

The energy market, like many other things in the world today, is very fragile and unpredictable.  It is currently in a tug of war between supply and the economic outlook to determine the direction the market will go.

A large share of the fuel for our area originates out of the CHS Refinery at Laurel, Montana.  The refinery is currently under a very heavy maintenance schedule thru the end of May and at times has 3,100 people working on the project.  As we get further into the month, we may experience product supply issues.  So, it is prudent to keep your fuel tanks on the top side rather than wait until you are out to order.


For years now we have offered our popular summer fill max price deferred billing program. Below are the details of the program.



2023 Program Highlights
  • Deferred Billing
  • Home heat customers only
  • You will NOT be billed for your propane purchase until August
  • Propane must be delivered by July 31st to qualify for this program
  • To qualify for the Deferred Billing Program, the delivery must be a full fill. Also, your account must have an adequate credit limit and not be past due
  • Equal Payment Billing Program is available
  • Equal Payment Billing Program
    • Your yearly propane needs will be divided into twelve monthly payments
    • You must be on the Scheduled Delivery program.
    • Sign up for the program is in May and June
    • Your account needs to have an established credit limit

Be sure you are signed up for the Scheduled Delivery program.  We will take the worry of running out of propane away. If you like you can view your tank levels right from your smart phone, whether you are on your couch or on a sandy beach miles away.  Call us for more details and to sign up for this program.

For all your propane needs call any of the following locations

        Dickinson                            701-483-5157 or 1-800-289-1032

        Elgin                                    701-584-2152 or 1-800-316-2944

        New England                         701-579-4496 or 701-928-0115   

        Lemmon                                 605-374-3318 or 701-928-0115

        Hettinger                                701-567-2408 or 707-928-0115

The entire staff at Southwest Grain Petroleum remains committed to providing the products and services you need to run your operation now more than ever.  We would like to thank you for your past and current patronage and look forward to serving your needs in the future.

Thank You,
Jim Renke, Manager Energy Division

Calf Creep… Why?

Heather Dykins

It may not be the summer yet, but we need to start talking about calf creep and its benefits! Creep feed not only provides added pounds, but also has many other benefits that you might not have considered. Payback creep feed is high in fiber and very palatable. It is made from only the highest quality ingredients and never includes screenings. This formulation works well with their digestion system, complimenting the calves on pasture to keep them healthy and growing. A benefit that we might not talk about enough is saving grass. Calves on creep feed will eat 40% less grass, so for every 5-6 calves on creep you will save enough pasture for 1 cow. Increased immunity is another benefit. The highly absorbable trace minerals the calves will receive through the creep will help increase their response to vaccines and allow them to fight off illnesses faster and more efficiently. By relieving some pressure on the momma cow, she will be in better shape for re-breeding and have better body condition headed into the fall/winter. Lastly, calves fed Payback creep feed go on feed faster at weaning time which will decrease morbidity and mortality. Whether you sell off the cow or background your calves, Payback creep feed has a place in your operation. Contact myself or your SWG location to see how calf creep can help you!

Thank you for your business.

Have a safe spring and summer (It’s finally here)!!!

Heather Dykins
CHS Nutrition Consultant

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