Posts By: Jennifer Chick

Join us Nov. 22 for annual meeting and grower education event

Farmers and ranchers who work with CHS SunBasin Growers are invited to attend the 2019 Annual Meeting and Grower Education event on Friday, November 22, to learn about the cooperative’s financial results and future plans while also attending a grower education series that will prepare them for the 2020 growing season.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other growers, learn more about the cooperative you own, hear the latest industry trends and earn credits for your pesticide license,” said Wayde Hudlow, board chair, CHS SunBasin Growers.

During the educational breakout sessions, industry experts will address three focus areas: dry beans and vegetables; potatoes, onions and mint; and alfalfa, corn and wheat. Producers will have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits for their Washington State Department of Agriculture pesticide license.

During the business meeting, cooperative leaders will recap fiscal year 2019 results, community investments and future plans.

The meeting will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Big Bend Community College, Moses Lake, Wash., in the Advanced Technologies Education Center located at 7611 Bolling St. NE. Lunch will be provided.

CHS Seeds for Stewardship grant supports Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show

CHS SunBasin Growers recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show. Pictured (l. to r.) are: Lauren Smith and Burl Booker, Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show; Tyson Chick, general manager, Austin Davis, agronomy sales representative, Sara Hensley, energy location manager, and Don Olson, certified energy sales representative, all of CHS SunBasin Growers.

CHS SunBasin Growers has announced a $10,000 grant to the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show. This money will be used to complete a resource and storage building on the show grounds in Connell.

“This grant will allow us to finish that project as we prepare for our show Sept. 12-14,” said Lauren Smith, a representative with the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show. “As a volunteer organization, we rely on donations like this to support our goal of developing leadership skills with the more than 320 4-H and FFA exhibitors who show with us every year.”

Since 1995, the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show has provided 4-H and FFA members from fourth grade through high school with a place to present their projects for market, fitting and showing classes, wrapping up with a livestock auction on the last day. Older youth serve as mentors for younger members, and the show gives all youth a chance to connect with adult volunteers, business leaders and ag supporters.

“CHS is honored to give back to such a strong local organization that does so much for our youth,” said Tyson Chick, general manager of CHS SunBasin Growers. “The future of our rural ag communities begins with our children, and organizations like Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show are helping to build a strong future for agriculture in Washington.”

This donation was made possible through the CHS Seeds for Stewardship program, a competitive grant program that matches funds for projects in rural communities based on three core focus areas: safety and rural healthcare, ag leadership development, and broad community engagement. In 2019, CHS retail locations have awarded more than $95,000 in matching funds through the program.

Nailing down nitrogen

Application timing and stabilizer use help maximize crop nutrient investments. 

Choosing the right genetics and seed trait package is often perceived as the most significant crop decision impacting yield. But unintended nitrogen loss can have an even greater effect on bushels harvested.

“Weather has the greatest influence on crop yield, but providing adequate nitrogen throughout the season is a close second,” says Andrew Usher, production management specialist, CHS Agronomy. “You can’t control the weather, but you can guard against nitrogen loss with good application practices and sound product decisions.”

Loss Leaders

Nitrogen loss through denitrification, leaching or volatilization can add up under common Midwestern growing conditions. In field trials conducted at Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska, researchers recorded the following sobering effects:

  • Up to 5 percent of nitrate was lost per day through nitrification in wet soils with V1 to V3 corn.
  • Nitrogen losses were as great as 70 pounds per acre due to denitrification on heavy ground when saturated soils received a simulated three-day rain event.
  • On light-textured soils, nearly all applied nitrogen was lost under extremely wet conditions.
  • Around 25 percent nitrate loss occurred when soil temperatures were 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and fields were saturated for up to 10 days. Losses increased as soil temperature increased.

The 2018 growing season presented many of these challenges with damp, cold conditions, says Usher. “The extremely wet spring weather in some areas delayed planting and increased nitrogen losses in many fields. Where fertilizer was surface-applied before planting without a stabilizer, nitrogen losses due to volatilization may have been up to 30 percent.”

Without adequate levels of available nitrogen, crops tend to emerge slowly and unevenly, he says, “and that could cost five to 10 bushels per acre. It means the plant has to work twice as hard from the V4 stage and beyond, which is harder when temperatures get really warm.”

Andrew Usher takes a closer look at nitrogen application patterns.

Increasing N Availability

Nitrogen efficiency products are an effective tool for protecting a grower’s nitrogen investment. “Denitrification inhibitors and urease inhibitors help reduce nutrient losses to the environment and increase nitrogen availability to the crop,” notes Usher.

This season CHS Agronomy has added N-Edge® 2 nitrogen stabilizer to its line of nitrogen efficiency products. With the same proven urease inhibitor (NBPT) as the original N-Edge, the new formulation contains more active ingredients, making it more cost-effective per ton while providing a wider window of protection.

“The new formulation also contains a superior solvent system to reduce blending and drying times,” says Usher. Both N-Edge products can be used to treat urea or UAN and provide up to 21 days of protection from volatilization.

“With today’s tight crop margins, growers are scrutinizing every input dollar. A $2- to $3-per-acre investment in a nitrogen stabilizer will protect against nitrogen losses of up to 30 percent, like we saw last season,” he says. “That makes it worthwhile to use on every nitrogen ton.”




  • Applied nitrogen is lost as ammonia (NH3)
  • Air temp is high
  • Soil is moist
  • Urease activity increases

Volatilization depends on time and method of application. Surface applications of urea and UAN are prone to volatilization.


  • Loss of nitrate as it moves with water past the root zone
  • Higher frequency of loss in soils with low holding capacity

Leaching is greatest in humid environments, in highly permeable soils and in soils with tile drainage.


  • Loss of nitrogen sources due to runoff
  • Often negated by application, incorporation and field work processes


  • Tie-up due to slow decomposition processes, microbe nitrate use and ammonia forms

Immobilization is greater (about 20–40 percent) in high-residue environments, but less in conventional tillage and corn-soybean rotation systems (about 10 percent).


  • Loss of nitrate when soils are saturated
  • Soils are warm
  • Nitrosomonas are actively oxidizing ammonia into nitrate

Denitrification is greatest in poorly drained soils, but only when soils are warm.

Farm Bill Supports Nutrient Stewardship

Some state organizations have proposed restrictions on crop nutrient use. Leadership efforts within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state departments of agriculture, combined with advocacy activities by industry groups including The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), have encouraged farmers to implement voluntary changes to crop management strategies and nutrient use.

“We’re seeing the needle move from early adopters to more broad-scale use of conservation practices and TFI’s 4R program,” says Jake Hamlin, director of state government affairs, CHS Government Affairs. “Many growers are implementing farm-specific practices like conservation tillage, cover crops and water retention to preserve air and water quality. Nutrient stewardship has become an integral part of conservation programs.”

He says those shifts are evident in the 2018 Farm Bill, which supports them in several key ways:

Priority on research — The bill increases support for university research and extension education surrounding 4R nutrient management promoted by TFI: using the right fertilizer
source, applied at the right rate, at the right time and in the right place.

Technical assistance — The new bill outlines a framework for providing technical assistance to help farmers adopt 4R practices to fit their operations, as well as third-party certification that involves cooperatives, other ag retailers and nonprofit organizations.

Innovation grants — The new bill provides $25 million in funding for conservation innovation grants, plus support of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which
includes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Follow-up data — Collecting information on the results of these activities will help identify best practices and guide future programs and funding.

Check out the full C magazine with this article and more.

Area producers share in local CHS SunBasin Growers patronage distribution

Eligible farmer-owners of CHS SunBasin Growers, based out of Quincy, Washington, shared in the recent distribution of cash patronage and equity based on business done with CHS.

“We’re extremely proud to share this important cooperative membership benefit with our customers,” said Tyson Chick, general manager. “Delivering an economic return to them on the business they do with CHS is one more way we help our owners grow.”

This locally based retail division of CHS Inc. allocated a total of $3,869,475.30 in patronage dividends to its eligible members based on business done Sept. 1, 2017 – Aug. 31, 2018, of which $683,735.73 is being paid out in cash.

Overall, CHS Inc. will return $150 million in cash patronage and equity redemption to its farmer-owners in 2019, part of the cooperative’s commitment to sharing profits with our owners and returning money to rural America where it can be reinvested in the community. More than 840 local cooperatives and 25,000 farmers share in this distribution of cash patronage and equity redemptions.

The percentage returned to owners is determined annually by the CHS Board of Directors and based on performance, financial strength and long-term growth opportunities.

“Returning cash to our owners enables farmers, ranchers and cooperatives to invest in their own futures,” said Dan Schurr, chairman of the CHS Board.

In the past 12 years, CHS has returned about $3.5 billion to its owners in the form of cash patronage.

Join the fight against rural hunger

People in rural communities live surrounded by growing food, but they experience hunger too. That’s why CHS is once again teaming up with local farmers to fight hunger in rural America. The CHS Harvest for Hunger food, grain and fund drive begins March 1 and continues through March 20 at your nearest CHS location.

“We might never know that the neighbor across the road or down the drive struggles to put food on the table, but through our efforts this month, we can make sure those local food shelves can anonymously help those who need it most,” says Rick Dusek, executive vice president, CHS Country Operations. “For nine years now, our CHS employees and farmer-owners have stepped up during this annual campaign to help local and regional food shelves feed those in need.”

Since 2011, CHS has raised more than $5.6 million and 3.6 million pounds of food through its Country Operations business units. CHS locations across the United States have organized ways to get farmer, ranchers, employees and community members involved in fun and interactive ways to raise food and funds to fight hunger.

Financial donations are encouraged as they give food banks additional buying power to provide nutritious food at deeply discounted rates; $1 equals 6 pounds of food for area food banks. But food and grain donations are also accepted. Every donation counts.

“All the food, money and grain raised by CHS Harvest for Hunger goes directly back to local and regional food banks to help fill their shelves,” Dusek says. “This way, we can help those in need by ensuring those organizations dedicated to fighting rural hunger have the resources they need to make a real difference in people’s lives.”  

Stop by or contact your nearest CHS location to learn how you can support CHS Harvest for Hunger.

Join us at Annual Grower Meeting Nov. 16

CHS SunBasin Growers will be holding its annual meeting on Friday, Nov. 16, in conjunction with a grower education meeting. We encourage to you attend this meeting to gain valuable insight into the 2019 growing season, participate in the governance of your cooperative and learn about the future direction of CHS SunBasin Growers.

The day will begin at 8 a.m. with the CHS SunBasin Growers annual meeting where management, your producer board and other CHS leaders will provide an operational update. The day will also include a comprehensive grower education series, including the opportunity for producers to earn continuing education credits for their Washington State Department of Agriculture pesticide license. Representatives from various industry-related and chemical companies will be speaking. The meeting will include complimentary lunch for all attendees.


CHS SunBasin Growers
Annual Meeting and Grower Education
Friday, Nov. 16, 2018
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. with lunch provided
Advanced Technologies Education Center (ATEC) Building

Big Bend Community College campus
7611 Bolling Street NE
Moses Lake, Washington

FSA provides direct payments to producers for retaliatory tariff losses

Due to the current tariff situation with China, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced a market loss payment program called the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) for growers. This program includes a payment amount of 14 cents per bushel for wheat.

You can find more information about the program here. Producers may apply for MFP from September 4, 2018, through January 15, 2019.

Growers should contact their local FSA office to find out more about this payment.

Ephrata couple gain federal policy experience

Pictured from left to right: CHS CEO Jay Debertin with producers and New Leader Program participants Joshua Stutrud, Kevin and Jessica Severson, Julie and Scott Johnson, Stephanie and Brett Robinson, and Tyler Engstrom.

Brett and Stephanie Robinson of Ephrata, Washington, returned from their summer trip to Washington D.C. with a better understanding of federal policies facing the nation’s farmers. The Robinsons grow dry beans, sweet corn, grain corn, potatoes, peas, and onion seed in Grant County.

The Robinsons joined six other young producers for the Political Advocacy with CHS Government Affairs program, an extension of the CHS New Leaders program aimed at learning skills critical for engaging effectively and making a powerful impact on issues relevant to CHS and its owners. Participants were nominated by their co-op managers because of the potential they possess for leadership within their respective co-ops and the agriculture industry in general. The Robinsons were nominated by CHS SunBasin Growers.

The event was held in conjunction with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) annual Washington conference. The New Leaders also participated in NCFC’s Political Advocacy & Leadership (PAL) program for young producers.

As part of the Political Advocacy program, these next generation leaders joined CHS directors and senior leadership in meetings with members of Congress. CHS Government Affairs team explained how the legislative process operated and the most effective methods to make their voices heard on current issues facing farmers now and in the future.

2017 annual meeting of CHS SunBasin Growers set for Feb. 22


Farmers and ranchers who do business with CHS SunBasin Growers are invited to its 2017 annual meeting on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

The annual meeting will start with dinner at 5 p.m. at the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center, 900 East Yonezawa Boulevard, Moses Lake, Washington. The business portion of the meeting will start at 6 p.m. During the meeting, hear about the 2017 fiscal year results as well as management and company updates. Please RSVP by Feb. 16 to the Quincy office of CHS SunBasin Growers at (509) 787-3511.

CHS SunBasin Growers was formed when CHS Connell Grain and CHS Sun Basin combined their business units of Sept. 7, 2017.

© 2020 CHS Inc.