Winter Innovation Forum: February 20, 2019

We invite you to save the date for our 2019 Winter Innovation Forum, to be held at the Wayne County Fairgrounds on Wednesday, February 20, 2019.

This full-day event brings another round of powerhouse speakers to your backyard:

  • Terry Barr, CoBank: Global Grain Outlook: Global Demand and More
  • Chuck Conner, President/CEO at National Council of Farmer Cooperatives: Legislative Update from Washington, DC and How Today’s Politics and Policies Affect Your Farm
  • Steve Dlugosz, Agronomist at Harvest Land: Hard-to-Control weeds and Controlling Residuals, and More
  • Charlie Smith, President/CEO at CountryMark: What Global Energy Market Changes Mean for Your Business
  • Todd Dysle, CHS, Inc.: Global Fertilizer Outlook

These nationally known speakers will present multiple times throughout the day, allowing you to set your own schedule. This event is free to the public and you need not be a Harvest Land member to attend. Registration will open in January 2019.

Stay tuned for more details, industry partners who will be available to answer your questions and a full agenda.

What have previous attendees said about the Winter Innovation Forum?

“Excellent program! Kudos to those that planned the event. Speakers were informative, topics were spot on with agriculture in today’s world.”

“Comprehensive, well run, organized and relevant.”

“Very well done, enjoyed the day.”

“Excellent event!”

Mark your calendar today!

Are You Listening?

I grew up on a beef farm in Wisconsin that has 2 creeks running through it. Like many things in life, most of the time they were just there. I didn’t give them much thought. For 51e61c501af2e.imagemy dad, it seemed the creeks were often a source of anxiety. A mother cow giving birth near one was perilous, and a large rain would occasionally cause them to spill out of their banks and ruin fences. These unfortunate events would tend to overshadow the fact that they constantly provided the livestock with water for free.

One of the creeks flows about 100 yards from the house. With all his complaining about them, I was surprised when my dad pointed out that he enjoyed sitting on the porch listening to the creek. “Listening to the creek?” I asked. “You can’t hear the creek from the house.” “You can if you listen,” he answered. He pointed out that if you sit quietly and listen for it, not only can you can hear the creek, but the longer you listen the louder it sounds. He was right. I had lived there for years and never listened.

This kind of scenario plays out in many arenas of life. It’s amazing what is there to be noticed for those who pay attention, and what is missed by those who don’t. It shows up time and again in grain marketing. The market is always providing a price to sell grain, but it’s easy to take it for granted. In addition, focusing on how the market can cause pain allows it to be a source of anxiety, but it can be a source of security and opportunity to those who listen and respond.Hagerstown

Harvest is winding down and many of you will have grain in storage at the elevator or in an on-farm bin. What is your plan to get it sold? Are you actively listening to the market for your opportunity to sell? Do you know what you are listening for? Too often the plan is simply to wait for higher prices. But if you don’t know what price you’re looking for it’s easy to always want more. This approach often leads to missed opportunity.

A better strategy is to have a specific goal. Crunch the numbers on your production and have a firm price you are willing to sell. Then you will know what you are listening for. With this information in hand, enter target orders to carry out your plan. Let the target orders do the listening for you!

This concept works great for all unsold grain. Avoid spending all your energy on selling last year’s crop, causing you to miss opportunity on the next crop. You need to be listening for those opportunities as well.

soybeanFarmers inherently always have grain to sell whether it be last year’s crop or the next one. Always know what you have to sell and be listening for your opportunity

Thanks to our partners at White Commercial for the insight. Our grain department would be more than happy to visit with you regarding opportunities on your operation. Please call our grain department at (765) 478-4171 or email us at grain@harvestlandcoop.com to discuss your grain merchandising needs.

HL_logo_Vert_4C copy

Farm to Table: Your Thanksgiving Plate

This time next week you’ll be wishing you owned more elastic waistband pants.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, so we thought it was a perfect time to educate eaters about the food on their heaping plate. Because, let’s face it: When you’re stuck at the table with the awkward uncle, you may need something to talk about.

We all know the star of the Thanksgiving Day show is the turkey.  Your turkey might have come from one of these top turkey-producing states: Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri. We know a lot of farmers in our trade territory who have put up turkey barns in the last ten years.

Did you know this about the big birds?:

  • Turkey is low in fat, high in protein and is a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins
  • Cartoon turkeys you normally see are actually dark feathered or wild turkeys. Farmers typically raise a different breed of turkeys which are more efficient at producing meat. These turkeys have white feathers.
  • Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.  Dismayed by news of the selection of the bald eagle, Franklin replied, “The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original of America.” It makes us wonder how our diets might be different had the turkey triumphed.

IMG_1346

Read more about turkey farming in our area.

  • Cranberries, along with blueberries and Concord grapes, are one of three cultivated fruits that are native to North America.
  • Some cranberry vines in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old.
  • Cranberries don’t actually grow in water, rather they grow on dry land and are harvested using water because cranberries float.
cran
Did you know Ocean Spray is also a farmer-owned cooperative?
  • Starting in October pumpkins start to make their way onto stoops, into coffee cups and onto plates. Pumpkin Spiced What-te?
  • Squash was part of the Three Sisters, a combination of corn, beans and squash that were planted together by Native Americans
  • The stalks of the corn supported the beans, the beans added nitrogen back to the soil and the squash spread across the ground blocking sunlight from weeds.

pumpkin-pie-fun-facts-e1507813408186

  • Sweet potatoes are a staple on most Thanksgiving Day tables.
  • You may have heard “sweet potatoes” and “yams” used interchangeably, but they are actually from different botanical families.
  • Sweet potatoes come from the morning glory family and yams come from the lily family.

sw

  • The turkey isn’t the only animal at the table.
  • Most marshmallows contain gelatin, which is a protein substance derived from collagen, a natural protein present in the tendons, ligaments, and tissues of mammals.
  • Before you consider going vegan, remember how marshmallows make the sweet potato casserole.

sweet-potato-casserole-marshmallow-topping-ck-x

We wish your family a very Happy Thanksgiving

 

HL_logo_Vert_4C copy

 

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

Changing of the Guard

In the last couple weeks, a single Harvest Land ag center has had two life-long farm couples pull their wagons across the scales for the last time. No illness has caused this finality, no financial defeat impedes, they’re simply ready to enjoy this later chapter of life doing other things.

moyer 1

_DSC0469

williamson
It was an honor, that they would choose to come in for a photo during their last load. 

 

What a realization of seeing these farewell photos on social media brought; there is a true changing of the guard amongst families in agriculture. Those in their late sixties, early seventies are choosing to put the combine away one last time and not worry about the spring.

They’re selling what’s in the bin and renting the storage to someone else.

They’re cleaning up equipment so it can go on to the next steward.

They’re closing the books on a record year.

_DSC0488

But…

They’ll still wake before dawn and check the markets while the coffee brews.

They’ll still talk about the weather at every opportunity.

They’ll still stand in awe of new machinery at a farm show or neighbor’s shop.

They’ll still prefer the smell of freshly cut hay or the inside of the milking parlor to any cologne in a bottle.

They’ll still think the next generation doesn’t know how good they have it.

They’ll still worry about safety and say a silent prayer when they hear the local volunteer fire department race through the township on an October day.

They’ll still drive around in the spring and summer scouting crops.

They’ll still wear their Harvest Land hats and jackets they’ve acquired over the years, and they’ll regularly check the rain gauge we gave them during the soggy spring of 2017.

They’ll still subscribe to Farm World, Progressive Farmer and other publications that clutter the station beside the recliner so they’re still in the know.

They’ll still proudly call themselves a life-long farmer.

We have no doubt there are others out there calling the 2018 harvest their last as they enjoy retirement, perhaps they did not post farewell photos taken at the ag center to Facebook.

And we’ll miss them.

Their insight.

Their years of experience.

Their optimism gained from years gone by.

Their tired hands that have known the struggle.

Their passion for the work and the appreciation of the industry.

But we wish them the best, and we thank them for their years of business and partnership with Harvest Land Co-op. There is always a spot for you to visit with us at the ag center counter.

_DSC0793

Benefits of Premium

As consumers we are bombarded by sexy marketing campaigns claiming bigger, better products and services that offer to simplify and improve our daily lives. Oftentimes, it is difficult to sift through the clutter as to what is factual and what is a half-truth marketing claim set out to confuse or convince us into purchasing products or services we may not necessarily need.

clutter

The reality is that some products and services are indeed worth the additional cost if you consider value and not price. From a business perspective, if you calculate that the product or service will create long-term profit for your business then ultimately the higher-priced product may be worth the upfront investment. Or perhaps, if the premium product brings added-value including an extended warranty, a product guarantee, additional service or a network of proven experts, then the added cost may be warranted. Understandably, it is human nature to be skeptical of marketing claims especially when as customers we may have been deceived in the past.

When I was a first-time mom shopping at the grocery store for infant formula, I recall wanting nothing but the best for my daughter. I quickly noticed some name brands were nearly 20 to 40 percent more expensive than the generic brands. That is a significant cost difference especially when you consider an infant drinks 24 to 30 ounces a day for most 150327114044-05-baby-formula-stock-super-169of their first year. After additional research, I determined that nearly all infant formula is the same nutritional formulation aside from a few exceptions and relative to taste preference. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), all formula marketed in the U.S. must meet the same federal nutrient requirements, which are set at levels to fulfill the needs of infants. Although infant formula manufacturers may have their own proprietary formulations, brand name and generic formula must contain at least the minimum levels of all nutrients specified in FDA regulations.
Ultimately, the choice and the responsibility to delineate value and determine preference is the customers. The buying decision is simple when the product or service demonstrates proven value and improves the bottom line. A farmer-owned cooperative in Indiana known as CountryMark refines and markets premium, high-quality gasoline, diesel fuel and lubricants. A general consumer may not be able to comprehend the difference between diesel fuel products in the marketplace. But there is a distinct semi waiting on combinedifference particularly between a standard No. 2 diesel product and a premium diesel fuel. CountryMarkrefines a unique, premium diesel fuel called Premium Dieselex-4 (PDX-4) proven to bring added-value to the marketplace for several reasons. First, the refining process begins with local, light, sweet crude oil, refined to the highest specifications at the CountryMark refinery in Mt. Vernon, Ind. Fuel quality is protected as the product travels north along a 238-mile private pipeline to one of three CountryMark-owned terminals. Meanwhile, fuel quality and cleanliness Richmond stationis comprised with other brands because their fuel is intermingled with others across the country. In addition, the term premium is quantified because of the substantial additive package in PDX-4. The number “4” in the product name stands for lubricity, detergency, cetane and stability. Added lubricity in PDX-4 minimizes the wear and tear on fuel injectors and injector pumps, which leads to less downtime and extends the life of the engine. Added detergency helps maximize combustion efficiency, minimizes maintenance costs and also eliminates downtime. Added cetane improves engine performance, improves combustion and lowers emissions. Added stability reduces the fuel deterioration process, which leads to longer fuel life and assured performance. In addition, PDX-4 winter fuel is designed to withstand the coldest winter weather conditions to prevent fuel gelling and keep diesel engines running smoothly day and night.

combine and semi unload
But if you don’t believe me, take it straight from a loyal CountryMark customer. A home-based fleet owner/operator in Bluffton, Ind., said, “In this business, I have learned that it doesn’t pay to run cheap fuel. With CountryMark’s PDX-4, we have seen a one-half to three-quarter percent increase in fuel mileage which equates to a 3 to 5.5 cent savings per mile or $4,500 to $5,000 savings every month and up to $50,000 to $60,000 a year. Premium quality fuel really makes a difference to our bottom line.”

Countrymark_Slide_2

So there you have it, there are proven benefits to a premium diesel fuel product such as CountryMark PDX-4. Still skeptical? As an educated customer, be sure to research the options, weigh the benefits and determine what works best and what creates the most value for you and your business. Your Harvest Land EnergyPro team is ready to discuss your options for maximum performance.

countrymark fuel-1395 Construction 410x90

EnergyPro_4C_SIGN