Fighting Hunger in Rural America with CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign

Harvest for Hunger 2017 children help fight hunger in the CHS Harvest for Hunger drive

It’s once again time for farmers, ranchers and cooperatives to come together in a powerful campaign to knock out hunger. The CHS Harvest for Hunger food and fund drive begins March 1 and will continue through March 20 at your nearest CHS location.

“Since 2011 we have raised more than $4 million and 2.7 million pounds of food to fight hunger through CHS Harvest for Hunger,” says Lynden Johnson, executive vice president and chief operating officer, CHS Country Operations. “We are making a significant difference in the communities where we live and work, helping families across the country put food on their tables.” (more…)

Using Soil Sampling Results To Improve Your Next Crop

soil sampling


We recently discussed the importance of soil sampling and what growers learn from testing samples from their field. Now we want to look more at what the results can tell the grower and how it can help them improve their next crop.

As growers receive information regarding organic matter, soil pH, Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC), Nitrate-N and extractable macro and micro nutrients from their soil sample results, they will be able to make more informed fertility decisions, and address potential issues in advance or during the early stages of the plant’s growth cycle.

The results also provide a holistic view of the health of the soil, and can help provide growers with an indication of success for their fertility philosophy by determining if the following are needed:

  • Building nutrient levels
  • Maintaining nutrient levels
  • Reducing of specific mineral levels


Identifying Grain Bin Hazards

grain bin hazard - flowing grainGrain bin hazards aren’t limited to entrapment or engulfment. Other, equally-hazardous situations include augers, bin collapses, Power Take-Offs (PTOs), fires and explosions, toxic atmospheres, electrical components and even ladders.

Identifying and understanding bin hazards is vital to keeping you and others safe. Learn more about some of the more common and hazardous situations that can occur when working with grain bins.

Grain Bin Entrapment: What if it Happens to You?

grain bin entrapment safety trainingA man unloading a grain bin was trapped for nearly five hours when his foot became caught under the side of a sweep auger motor and he was buried in grain above his waist. Courtesy of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, this report illustrates how this type of incident could occur at other grain-handling facilities, and provides safety guidelines that could help other elevators avoid grain bin entrapment or react more positively.

Read the Full Case Study

Grain Bin Safety Week 2017

grain bin safetyInitiated by Nationwide in 2014, Grain Bin Safety Week is an annual campaign recurring the third full week of February to promote grain bin safety on farms and commercial grain-handling facilities.

A collaborative effort with industry leaders like CHS and agricultural professionals, Grain Bin Safety Week was created to raise awareness about grain bin dangers, provide education and share best safety practices. Together, we hope to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths associated with grain handling and storage.

Visit the Nationwide website to learn more about Grain Safety Week 2017.


Grain Bin Safety Week Events: February 19-25, 2017


Live and prerecorded webinars are available to help educate farmers and other grain handlers on important grain safety issues. (more…)

2 Tips to Help Growers Plant Early This Season


Lower commodity prices and compressed planting times are encouraging growers to plant their crops earlier and in uncertain weather conditions.

There are advantages to planting early if done correctly, including more time to get the crops into the ground and increased time for crops to grow to their full potential. There are also risks, including cooler air temperatures, colder soil temperatures and unpredictable weather that can often leave crops more vulnerable to potential disease and insect problems.

With these advantages and disadvantages in mind, growers are continually looking for ways to help their plants emerge quicker and stronger, even in less than ideal conditions.

The following are two tips growers should consider when planting early.

1. Nutrient Management Practices

Using effective nutrient management practices to give plants the best chances to maximize the genetic potential of their seed.

Effectively maximizing the nutrients available to plants at each stage of their growing cycle is an important way to increase overall yield and maximize profitability. It is especially critical that the appropriate essential nutrients are available to the plant at the beginning stage of their life cycle.

First, the key to ensuring a healthy level of nutrients available for uptake to the plant is to focus on the balance of all essential nutrients. In order to maximize crop production growers need to provide all key macro and micronutrients at the appropriate time.

To help achieve this goal, it’s recommended growers make sure they understand the nutrient makeup of their soil and ensure that the appropriate nutrients are available to the plant in the optimal amounts and at the appropriate time that plants need these essential nutrients.

A couple things to focus on include phosphorus management and the advanced chelate technologies that are available to growers.

  • Phosphorus is an essential macronutrient already present in the soil and is an important part of phosphorus-based fertilizers.
    • Having the appropriate amounts of phosphorus available to the plant at the optimal timing can have a huge impact on increasing a grower’s overall yield.
    • The good news — phosphorus is an important energy-producing molecule with extremely limited soil mobility, so it will not leach from the soil.
    • However, phosphorus is notorious for easily getting tied up in the soil and becoming unavailable for uptake by the plant.
  • This is where chelates can help. Chelating technologies are not new, but have made significant advances. There are also several different types of chelates.
    • West Central has been working with chelate technology for more than 14 years. They developed a superior ortho ortho EDDHA chelating agent called Levesol™ which helps unlock the nutrients it’s applied with, unlocks nutrients in the soil and keeps nutrients mobile in the plant all season long.
    • In addition to the original Levesol, West Central also offers a dry fertilizer compatible version for growers called Levesol DFC™.
    • The superior chelating agent in Levesol is also an important ingredient in their other fertilizers, including their newest addition SoyShot™ and their industry leading IDC fertilizer Soygreen®, plus their starter fertilizer Redline® and their foliar cereal fertilizer Copper-Field™

2. In-Furrow Application

In-furrow application of crop protection inputs is another great way to ensure peace of mind that the crop is protected from the beginning, and is another way growers are helping their crops have a quicker emergence and develop stronger and healthier over their entire growth cycle.

Here are the different ways in-furrow application helps protect the crops when planted early.

  • Promotes quicker seed emergence that results in a healthier yield
  • Provides insect and disease control from the beginning
  • Promotes the solubility and uptake of essential nutrients, including phosphorus when using an effective nutrient management program as discussed above
  • Ensures an increased solubility of phosphorus and other nutrients – which helps the plants grow stronger and results in increased yield

For growers, smart investments and knowledge on best practices, along with using the new or improved technologies available could make all the difference for a successful early planting season and a more profitable year.

Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central

How Growers Can Prevent Iron Deficiency Chlorosis

prevent Iron Deficiency Chlorosis


Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) is a common soil issue in some areas of the country. IDCtends to occur in soil with high pH levels, which can prevent plant roots from reducing iron to a soluble state that can be used by the plant. The problem isn’t necessarily the lack of iron in the soil, but more importantly the type of iron that’s available in the soil for plant uptake.Iron is commonly in a ferric (FE3+) state when it’s in the soil, but the plants’ roots need to reduce the ferric iron (FE3+) to ferrous iron (FE2+) to make it soluble for uptake by the plant. (more…)

4 Agriculture Apps That Will Help Growers Farm Smarter in 2017

agriculture appsGraeme Paterson

The phrase “work smarter, not harder” is popular for a reason – there’s truth behind it. For an industry that requires non-stop hard work, any break given with a more efficient strategy can make all the difference. Smart farming decisions helps growers reduce costs; increase yield and maximize profits while being extremely efficient. We have offered suggestions on agriculture apps before and thought we would start the year by suggesting a few more apps for you to consider.

Here are four apps, recently recommended by CropLife Magazine, that growers should consider implementing into their management process to help make smarter and more efficient decisions. (more…)

Overcoming Today’s Agricultural Economy with Increased Profitability

agricultural economy


As growers look for ways to survive and grow in the current agricultural economy, their efforts go hand-in-hand with trying to produce better yields and increase their profitability. Smart input decisions are a way growers can improve their operation’s efficiency to ensure a high-quality crop that results in increased yield and profitability for their overall operation.

Below are some of the inputs every grower should consider as they make smart and strategic purchase decisions for the benefit of their operation. (more…)

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