Know Your Input Costs
By Cody Plamp, Agronomist, Dimock

With January over and a new year started spring will be here before we know it. With that being said, I think it is very crucial that we focus on what worked from last year and what did not.

The main concern I would have is with different chemical options. When booking chemical for 2023 I think it is critical to look at the different programs being offered from different chemical companies along with financing options being offered. Many of these financing options are going to be a cheaper interest rate than your traditional local bank so it is a good way to save some money. There are many chemical pair-up programs that offer money back per acre to the grower which can help the bottom line when doing input costs, and need to be figured in when comparing prices to generic chemicals.

Another item to focus on is spring fertilizer. Spring is right around the corner and with not as many fall acres covered as years past, spring 2023 will be very busy. To ensure a timely fertilizer application and provide our growers with the best service, I think it is very important to sit down with your agronomist to organize for spring fertilizer and chemical application. This will help reduce left over tons after fertilizer has been applied next spring.

Having a plan, being organized and knowing our input costs will all play a major role in our success as agronomists and as growers. If you have any questions regarding seed and chemical programs make sure to contact your local agronomist as these programs all have deadlines. I hope everyone has a safe and warm “warmer” February than January.  

Broilers and Layers
By Tyler McCoy, Feed Department Manager

Although winter is currently in full swing, Easter is right around the corner which means that it is time to prepare for broiler season. The CFC feed department provides starter, grower, and finisher diets for broilers and included below is a chart of our recommendations on how long each product should be fed. All products will be available within the next month and please feel free to call or stop in so that we can discuss which option(s) will be best for your birds.

I have been reading a lot of forums and have noticed a trend of people having issues with their older pullets/hens not laying. I know a lot of people believe that they may not be laying due to the cold temperature outside or due to the hens being too old, but that is simply not true.  One thing that we do this time of year is to increase the protein in layer feed to 18%. Two other easy tricks that will help is to first put your lights on timers to allow only six hours of darkness each night and secondly to pull all the feed at night. Those little tricks will help get those gals back on track. If you have any questions at all, please call me and I would be happy to help find answers to all your flock questions. Aside from broiler and layer feed, we also sell a gamebird product line that can be fed to turkeys, quail, ducks and chuckers. As always thanks for making CFC your feed destination.

Wintertime Blues
By Matt Morog, Grain Department Manager

As January ended the soybean business off the PNW dried up quickly. Brazil’s crop is slow to come off the field due to wet weather, but now the expectation is that ports will be jammed full of beans looking to move. Brazilian soybean offers to China went down 10c per bushel equivalent to the US this week. That is not good for us guys in the upper Midwest. It’s going to come down to the soybean processor demand and the random cargo of business to China to fill in the gaps. I expect bean basis to continue to weaken and shuttles get shipped out and no replacement sales to be had. As I have said before I’m not overly bullish bean futures either. We’ll need to see a US weather story in the next 60-90 days to really get things going again. World bean demand is flat and they have plenty of Brazilian beans to get through.

The corn story in our area continues to be a local ethanol demand. There’s not really any chance today this area of SD sells a corn shuttle unless absolutely necessary. PNW bids for corn are awful and will continue to remain that way until there is business from China. I don’t expect that to happen anytime too soon though as they are already buying summer cargos from Brazil. So, we continue to try and feed local ethanol plants. My gameplan as a producer would be to sell corn at $7.00 or better in increments you need cash flow. I’m still bullish futures, but I think basis will remain relatively flat until we get into summer and supplies really start drying up. Commercial elevators have a lot to sell in the meantime.