Grain Marketing Goals in 2017

The activity within our businesses is all very different right now:

Agronomy: Harvest is clearly over, seed for the 2017 planting season is purchased but we still have a few months before it goes into the ground.

Energy: Our propane and fuel oil trucks are burning up (no pun intended) the roads
throughout our trade area to ensure homes are _dsc0726being heated during this roller coaster winter weather.

Feed: Our grind and mix services and Kalmbach Feeds of Indiana joint venture remain strong as livestock haven’t lost their appetite during cold winter days.

Grain: This business is in full affect year-around, and our grain marketing department continues to offer expert consultation to our farmer-members.

We found this information from White Commercial Corporation quite valuable, and as a service to our farmer-members, wanted to pass it on to you.


January:  A Time For Setting Goals

The end of harvest and the end of a calendar year provide opportunities to relax and reflect. It’s also a time of year that includes that most necessary of evils, income tax preparation.

Since participation isn’t voluntary, is there a way to find some good in the process? There might be. Farming is filled with unknowns, but going through the numbers brings some knowns to light, and with them a chance to think about what might be changed to improve future outcomes.

Regarding Old Crop (2016 Harvest):_dsc0067

Here are some things you know or can figure out:

1. Cost of production per acre

2. Actual yield per acre

3. Amount received (or to be received) for the 2016 crop that you have sold so far

4. Amount of bushels that you have left to sell

Calculate the value of your 2016 crop as of today by adding what you have sold to what you would receive if you sold the rest of the crop today. Then ask yourself, “Where does that put me in terms of profit?”

If you like what you see, then your plan is simple – take it off the table by selling. If nothing else, ask yourself whether you’re willing to put that at risk by waiting any longer to sell. If you are not satisfied with what you see, then it’s time determine the results you want and translate those into a target price on the remaining bushels that will make it happen.

soybeanThere is also a middle road – you can use Minimum Price Contracts. These give you a guaranteed price floor while leaving the upside open to capture a higher price if the market should rally. You get the minimum price upon delivery and may get more if the market rallies. You can also enter a target contract to automatically execute pricing if the market rallies your desired amount.

Regarding the 2017 Crop:

Take a good look at what you already know for sure. Have you pre-paid all or part of your fertilizer, seed and/or chemical bills? What do you expect your cost per acre to be for 2017 vs what you cost was in 2016? How many acres of the respective crops do you plan to have along with the yield you would expect to raise on those acres?

Once you have this information, it’s important to take the next step and determine what kind of profit you would like to receive by adding an expected profit per acre for each crop to the cost and determine how much revenue you will need to generate per acre. Divide that number by the expected yield and you have your target price you will need to achieve for 2017.

Some other things that you may wish to consider in your plan:

1. Am I willing to sell prior to the spring insurance prices being set?

2. How much do I need to sell at harvest and how much will I be keeping on the farm for post-harvest delivery?

3. What do I anticipate my cash flow needs to be, i.e. when am I going to need cash?

4. How much am I willing to contract prior to harvest?

In Summary:

There are a lot of very important decisions to be made in the coming months, the better informed you are about your own operation the better position you are in to be decisive when opportunity arises. Given the volatility in the markets and critical nature of these decisions, we would suggest that you talk through the numbers with your business partners, spouse, and any other key people, then set some pricing targets that will allow to you reach your goals._dsc0768

Next, stop in or schedule a time to visit with us about contracting options that will help you get the job done for 2016 and 2017 crops. Your continued success is crucial to ours, so we are here to help.

Grain Marketing Manager, Ron Smith, is located at our Kalmbach Feeds of Indiana office in Pershing and would be happy to answer your questions as set your marketing goals. Ron can be reached at 1-888-855-1727.

Doing What’s Right

While there is certainly something to be said for sticking to a routine, that plan doesn’t always work in our line of business. Constant customer interactions, changing weather and moving parts seem to guide our daily work into various directions.

We’ve learned that as long as you do what is right, things usually work out. Time and history will tell you that our best employees go where they’re needed, when they’re needed and do the things that need to be done.

Late last week’s events are a perfect example of that.

Last Thursday afternoon our Monroe, Indiana office received a phone call asking for urgent help. The out-of-state caller was reporting a leak in their relative’s fuel oil tank, used to heat their home. The office noted the name of the relative, only to realize that they were not a current customer of our’s; we learned quickly that they bought their fuel oil from a competitor. Processing the situation, we asked why they didn’t contact their fuel provider to report the problem, only to learn that they had. The relative’s energy provider had denied them service.


This – of course – shocked us, and though we weren’t exactly sure what was about to unfold, we knew that we couldn’t leave this stranger in a potentially dangerous situation. Remembering our commitment to always do what is right, the wheels were soon kicked into motion and our Harvest Land employees got to work.


Our Risk Management Team: Their services were utilized to evaluate the risk of getting involved in a fuel-leak situation when Harvest Land was not the company that set the fuel tank, maintained it or filled it. Since they weren’t a customer, Julie on our Risk Management team had no record of prior trouble. We also needed to identify how much fuel had leaked at this point: was there a hazardous material risk? It was later determined that there was no haz-mat danger at this point.


Our Administrative Team: Our Administrative team jumped into gear trying to find a prior history with this person that we may already have their contact information and home address on file. No such history was found by Teri, Katie and Shelly; this individual had never done business with Harvest Land.


Our Energy Team: Our energy team traveled to the individual’s home and assessed the situation. They inspected the tank, surrounding area and evaluated any maintenance issues. They determined that an entirely new tank needed to be set and of course, filled. Dana, Charlie and Joe all worked together to get this tank set within hours of receiving the urgent call for help and also filling it with product to keep the home warm in these winter months.


Before close of business Friday – a mere 24 hours after the initial call for help – , we received the following email from the individual’s daughter. You see, the person with the tank leak was an elderly woman, living hundreds of miles and a state away from her family.


If you rely on the evening news to capture a glimpse of what’s going on around us, it is easy to became quite frightened of the world we’re living in. But if you live day-to-day committed to doing what’s right, you’ll find yourself surrounded by good people and encouraging stories in the everyday.

Harvest Land is committed to doing what’s right and we’re proud to take care of neighbors in need throughout the small communities in which we live and work.


Forum Speaker Line-Up

The 6:00 news.

Text alerts on our cell phones.

Social media notifications.

Weather warnings coming across the radio.

The newspapers piling up on the end table.

Periodicals. Audio Books. Journals. Podcasts.

You don’t have to look far to find endless resources for constant feeds of information. In fact, it can quickly become overwhelming if you’re not effectively weeding out where and how you acquire your information.

Is the source reliable?

Is the information accurate?

Is it timely?

How does this affect me?

As sure as the constant drip of facts and figures continues, so does time pass by.

We understand that your time is important, that’s why the Winter Innovation Forum on February 22 is a can’t-miss event. In one day we’ve brought the nation’s best presenters to advise you on the industries that matter for your business.

We thought today may be a great time to introduce you to the eight individuals who will lead the discussions throughout the day on February 22.


Terry Barr

Senior Director, Knowledge Exchange Division,

CoBank, ACB

Terry Barr, a nationally recognized economist, is senior director for CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division, an information-and-knowledge-sharing initiative created in 2009. The division draws upon the expertise and insights of experts inside CoBank as well as those of its customers and other third-party experts and professionals in the industries it serves.

Previously, Dr. Barr served as chief economist for the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives in Washington, DC from 1985 to 2009. Prior to joining NCFC, Terry held several positions during a 14-year tenure at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He served as chairman of the World Agricultural Outlook Board, which is responsible for coordinating USDA’s commodity forecasts and for publishing its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. He also served in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture as director of economic analysis. Terry holds a doctorate in economics from Washington State University.

Missy Bauer, Crop Consultant, B&M Crop Consultingmissybauer_cropped

Missy Bauer is an independent crop consultant with B&M Crop Consulting out of Coldwater, MI. She acts as the Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist and coordinates the Farm Journal Test Plots in the eastern Corn Belt.

Missy also is an agronomist for AgDay Farm Journal College TV. Missy has hosted Corn College and Soybean College in addition to helping Ken Ferrie with Corn College in Heyworth, IL. Previously, Missy had been a field agronomist with The Andersons for eight years. She coordinated agronomy research farms in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio which were used to educate customers on agronomic practices, test new products and systems, and to evaluate current products.

Bauer holds a B.S. degree from Michigan State University where she majored in Crop and Soil Science and an M.S. degree in Agronomy from Purdue University under Dr. Tony Vyn. Her M.S. research and thesis work studied “The Feasibility of Fall Strip Tillage for Corn Production in Indiana”. She completed her Masters degree and graduated from Purdue University with a 4.0 GPA in April of 2001. Missy is also an active certified crop advisor (CCA).

Bauer is originally from Grant, MI where she grew up on a cash crop and cattle farm along with her five older brothers and four sisters. Missy resides in Coldwater, MI with her husband who is also an independent crop consultant with B&M Crop Consulting and their three children; Kathryn, William, and Anna.

Chuck Conner
President and CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Charles F. (Chuck) Conner became president & CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) on January 22, 2009. As president of NCFC, Conner will oversee the organization’s work to promote and protect the business and public policy interests of America’s farmer-owned cooperatives. He will also provide the strategic vision for the trade association as it continues to seek new ways in which to add value for its membership.

Prior to joining NCFC, Conner had served as the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture since mid-2005. In this capacity, he was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) overseeing day-to-day operations of the department. Conner interacted directly with President George W. Bush and his senior staff to formulate domestic and international food, trade, security and energy policy. He led development of the Bush Administration’s $300 billion Farm Bill proposal and the strategy to educate and inform industry, constituents and Congress.

From August 2007 to January 2008, Conner served as both USDA Secretary and Deputy Secretary. He played a key role in developing the Administration’s immigration policy including important changes to the H2A program.

Conner’s experience also includes the assignment of Special Assistant to the President, Executive Office of the President, from October 2001 to May 2005, working on the 2001/2 Farm Bill to develop the strategy behind the transfer of several USDA agency functions to the newly formed Department of Homeland Security.

From May 1997 to October 2001 Conner served as President of the Corn Refiners Association. He also served for 17 years as an advisor to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana.

Conner is a graduate of Purdue University, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree and is the recipient of Purdue’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He and his wife Dru have four children.

14-dlugosz-headshotSteve Dlugosz, CCA, Agronomist, Harvest Land Co-op

Steve Dlugosz received a BS in Agronomy from Purdue University in 1980, and a MS in Entomology from Purdue University in 1991. He started his career as an Area IPM Extension specialist for Purdue, and worked an eleven county area of southwest Indiana. In 1985, he went to work for Indiana Farm Bureau Cooperative Inc. He has held various agronomic positions within the Cooperative system over the years of industry consolidation, and is currently the Lead Agronomist for Harvest Land Co-op.

Steve has been heavily involved in the CCA program since its inception, and has served in a number of leadership roles including Chairman of the International CCA Board in 2006. Steve has also served on a number of agricultural and industry boards and committees over the years. In 1997 he was appointed by the Governor of Indiana to serve on the Indiana Pesticide Review Board and currently serves today. He testified before two different Congressional Committees on Agriculture in 2005 and again in 2010

dysleTodd Dysle, UAN Products Manager, CHS

Todd Dysle has had a 31-year career in the Crop Nutrient industry, working for a retail/wholesale fertilizer distributor. He has spent more than 10 years with two international trading companies. Dysle joined CHS in 2008 as the Product Manager for UAN (Nitrogen Solutions) and has since handled all crop nutrients at one time or another. Today he manages the UAN and the Ammonia books

It with great fondness that Dysle shares his fertilizer business experience with you today. He has witnessed many industry changes over the years and very much enjoys sharing that information with farmers.

Todd Dysle was raised on an Ohio dairy farm where his passion for agriculture was ignited. He went on to serve as a State FFA Officer and then received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from The Ohio State University. Dysle went on to be a Farm Broadcaster for 10 years and also a part time grain farmer.

Dysle has lived with his wife Paula in the Tampa, FL area the past 18 years. In his spare time he enjoys travel, golf, and his two granddaughters who reside in Ohio.

capture1Adam Ringo, Manager, Refined Products Supply, CountryMark

Adam Ringo joined CountryMark in July 2012 and currently oversees refined product supply. Adam is responsible for purchasing and reselling refined products by barge, pipeline, and over the rack to maintain a balanced supply system. He also uses fundamental and technical analysis of the energy markets to properly execute strategies within CountryMark’s risk management program. Moreover, time is spent outside the office at member forums educating CountryMark’s customer base on the Risk Management options provided to them through the cooperative system. Prior to CountryMark, Adam acted as an advisor for a natural gas midstream investment company that specialized in midstream processing plants located in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. Adam was also with Summit Energy based out of Louisville, KY where he worked as a natural gas Sourcing Analyst.

Adam has a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics and a minor in Finance from the University of Louisville – Louisville, KY.

smith-charlie-091504Charlie Smith,
President/CEO, CountryMark

Charlie Smith is President and CEO of CountryMark Cooperative Holding Corp. (CountryMark). CountryMark’s operations encompass oil exploration and production, refining, and distribution-refined products to its branded retailers. Charlie began his career with the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) where he held a number of petroleum-related assignments in Houston, Anchorage and Dallas. In 1991, he joined a leading international petroleum consulting firm where he became Vice President and Director, managing the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice. Charlie joined CountryMark in his current capacity in January 2003. Charlie holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University and is a graduate of the Hoosier Fellows program at Indiana University’s Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence. He also is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. Charlie served eight years on the Advisory Board of the new Indiana State Department of Agriculture for which he received the Partner in Progress Award from Lt. Governor Becky Skillman. He currently serves on the Board of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Advisors for Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business (Indianapolis), the Board of the Michigan Oil and Gas Association, and the Industry Advisory Council for Purdue University’s School of Chemical Engineering. Charlie recently received the 2015 Purdue University School of Chemical Engineering’s Outstanding Chemical Engineer Award.

bio-picture-annAnn McLay Taylor
Director of Talent Acquisition
Land O’Lakes

Ann McLay Taylor is Director of Talent Acquisition, and in this role leads recruitment for the organization as well as oversight to College Relations of Ag Business Recruitment for member coops. She contributes to the broader talent management initiatives for the Land O’Lakes enterprise, and has recently acted as an advisor for the Learning and Development Council and for the Emerging Leaders programs at Land O’Lakes. Prior to her current position, she held the role of Human Resources Director for Dairy Foods, Purina Business to Business, and the Corporate Centers for Land O’Lakes, Inc.

In addition to spending more than 15 years in her career at Land O’Lakes and through various roles within the HR organization, she previously held roles as Division Director for Robert Half, International and in Corporate Human Resources for Merrill Corporation. Ann holds a College of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.

If you attend one meeting this winter, make it this one.
All the experts, in one place, on one day.

Registration will open on January 23.

Visit our website to learn more.

2017 Scholarships Available

It’s already January. Can you believe it?


The school year is half over; kindergartners are almost to first grade and sixth graders are almost to the middle school and seniors are almost finished with locker combinations and mandatory gym class. Time really flies, doesn’t it?

The students in our trade territory aren’t just the local teens or FFA members, they’re part of our Harvest Land family. We’ve seen some of them learn how to drive by picking up feed at our Ag Centers, we’ve visited with them at the counter about their 4-H projects, and we’ve even gotten the real story about how the dent in their dad’s farm truck really came to be. We’ll be honest: We kind of miss the local kids when they grow up and go to school.


So, we try to help them out a little if we can.

Harvest Land proud to offer twelve $1000 agricultural scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year to seniors graduating high school in 2017.

To be eligible for this scholarship, the student must:

  • be a high school senior entering a post-high school agricultural program
  • be involved in agriculture in their local community
  • and live or attend school in Harvest Land Co-op’s market area.


These scholarships will focus on need and leadership potential of future contributors to the agricultural industry. You can access the scholarship application here.

Applications are due MARCH 1, 2017 and can be emailed to  or mailed to the following address:

Harvest Land Co-op

Youth Development Committee

ATTN: Lindsay Sankey

P.O. Box 516

Richmond, IN 47375

Questions can be directed to Lindsay Sankey at 765.962.1527.

We invite you to share this information with a graduating senior who plans on studying agriculture after high school. The future of our agriculture industry is exciting, and we want to help the youth in our communities get there.
Hagerstown FFA Officer Team