Yearly Archives:: 2017

Avoid Cold Weather Diesel Problems

cold weather diesel delivery

 

It’s that time of year again, cooler mornings, frosted windows, which means it’s time to winterize your stored diesel fuel. If No. 2 diesel cools during colder, overnight temperatures, it may reach “cloud point,” when wax crystals develop in the fuel. The fuel will look cloudy and crystals can plug the fuel filter, resulting in poor starts, engine hesitation, stalling and even engine damage. Use the below guidelines to winterize fuel left over from harvest.

Know When to Blend

The cloud point for No.2 diesel is approximately 14 degrees F. A good rule of thumb is to switch to a winter blend 15 degrees above cloud point. When overnight temperatures begin to dip down near 30 degrees F, it’s time to blend in No.1 diesel with additives for winter. For every 10 percent of No. 1 diesel added, the fuel cloud point will drop by 3 degrees F.

Don’t let cloud point surprise you – crystals can quickly accumulate in the fuel during a cold snap but may still run fine. Even if the fuel is blended after reaching cloud point, those crystals will remain and can clog your equipment. An engine that runs well on a chilly Friday could leave you stranded on a warm Monday. For this reason, an early-season move to winter-grade fuel is always recommended.

Factor in the Heel

When blending fuel, don’t just pour No. 1 diesel on top of stored fuel. First gauge the heel – or the total volume of No. 2 left in the tank before you begin blending winterized fuel – and reach the proper blend before bringing in the first delivery of winterized product. If No. 1 diesel is added to the storage tank without proper blending, farmers will actually dilute the winterized product and negatively impact the fuel quality.

Ask Questions

When done correctly, fuel blending will improve diesel engine performance. But since it’s a scientific process that can vary based on expected regional temperatures and your specific operation, you may have a few questions along the way. Your local Cenex® dealer can help answer your questions and help you achieve the right winter blend for your equipment. Our cold weather diesel fuel, Cenex® Wintermaster®, offers operability to minus 30 degrees F with a cold filter plugging point of minus 55 degrees F.

An early switch to a winter blend diesel fuel will help keep your operation and equipment running smoothly this winter.

Original Source: Cenexperts® Blog

CHS reports $209.2 million first quarter earnings for fiscal 2017

 

ST. PAUL, MINN. (January 12, 2017) – CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, today reported net income of $209.2 million for the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year.

Earnings for the period (Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, 2016) declined 22 percent from the same period of fiscal 2016. The decrease was primarily attributed to lower pretax earnings in the company’s Energy and Foods segments along with Corporate and Other. These declines were partially offset by increased pretax earnings in the CHS Ag segment as well as earnings from the new Nitrogen Production segment.

“We’ve been in business for nearly nine decades, so we’ve experienced these types of cycles before,” said CHS President and Chief Executive Officer Carl Casale. “Although it’s not possible to predict how long the current down cycle in the ag and energy industries will continue, we’ll navigate through this period by continuing to run our businesses efficiently and effectively, by maintaining a strong balance sheet and by ensuring we serve our owners’ and customers’ needs in all we do.”

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Three Considerations When Purchasing Used Equipment

used equipment

 

Equipment can be one of the largest investments farmers make on their operation. And with today’s lower grain prices and tighter budgets, many are considering used machinery as an alternative to buying new. However, the hours logged on a piece of machinery are not always a reliable indicator of the health of the engine. Be sure to pay extra attention to three considerations to help make a final decision and protect your equipment investment.

  1. Get an oil analysis.
    Potential buyers can look for leaks and damage when inspecting used machinery, but even if a piece of equipment looks good on the outside, it’s harder to tell the condition under the hood. That’s where an oil analysis can be a valuable tool for the buyer. It is like a blood test for a machine’s engine, transmission and hydraulic systems. The cost of an oil analysis kit ($15 to $25) is minimal considering the valuable insights it can provide on a machine that likely costs tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy.
  1. Consider the age of the engine and the fuel it’ll need.
    Most equipment found at an auction will have logged hundreds or thousands of hours. Tier 3 and Tier 4 engines require a higher-quality fuel to run at peak performance. Traditional #2 diesel fuel can leave deposits on vital engine parts, which may clog fuel filters and cause injector failure. A premium diesel fuel like Cenex® Ruby Fieldmaster® is specially formulated to protect modern engines from deposits and buildup. Investing in a premium diesel fuel is essential to protect new and used equipment and ensure your machine runs efficiently throughout the year.
  1. Enroll the equipment in a warranty program.
    There are very few quick fixes on today’s modern farm equipment. When a system fails or a critical engine or hydraulic part is damaged, repairs can cost thousands of dollars and can take days to complete. The Cenex Total Protection Plan® Warranty Program covers both used and new equipment that use Cenex premium diesel and lubricants products and conduct regular oil analysis. Used equipment can be registered for up to eight years or 8,000 hours for a one-time fee of $399 and no deductible. The warranty is also transferable for future sales.

For help with specific equipment performance issues or to purchase an oil analysis kit, contact us or a Cenex certified energy specialist. To learn more about the Cenex Total Protection Plan and Cenex products, visit www.cenex.com.

Original Source: Cenexperts® Blog

The Importance of Soil Sampling

corn soil sampling

 

Most research today supports soil sampling and testing as a best management practice. Growers should take the opportunity learn as much as possible about their soil in order to produce their best yields. This includes knowing what nutrient deficiencies exist in their soil.

The following explains the process of soil sampling, and highlights key data growers will learn from testing and analyzing their soil.

The Soil Sampling Process

The primary objective of soil sampling is to provide a representative sample of the fertility within the field.

Based on the variability throughout the field, the number of acres per sample will vary.

  • If soils are similar in texture, slope, previous crop and production practices, then the number of acres per sample can increase.
  • If soils within a field are variable, than those areas can be sampled separately to determine the needs in those specific areas.

Most research suggests that growers choose 15 to 20 random areas to be sampled within the field.

  • These individual areas should have multiple cores taken at six to eight inches deep for common soil samples.
  • The cores can be collected using any number of tools available for this purpose.

Field composite samples, normally 8 to 16 oz. of soil, can be co-mingled and then a sample of the collection is sent to the lab.

If the field is divided into different zones, repeat the process for each zone. Samples need to be labeled for tracking purposes. Field maps can help with tracking.

Once samples are collected, they can be submitted to a local university or commercial lab via their submission guidelines. Charges for the samples will vary depending upon the testing requested.

What Will We Learn From the Samples? 

The more data collected, the more information growers will have available to help them make decisions. With soil sampling, an abundance of data is available, but for growers the most valuable information will boil down to five broad groups:

  1. Organic Matter – The measurement of plant and animal residue in soil, which often serves as a reserve for nutrients.
  2. Soil pH – A measure of acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Soil pH can affect nutrient availability.
  3. Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) – measures the soil’s ability to hold cationic nutrients. CEC can also be used as an indicator of soil texture.
  4. Nitrate-N – This form of nitrogen is water-soluble and is readily available for plant uptake. This information will help growers determine nitrogen needs.
  5. Extractable Macro and Micro Nutrients – These results provide the essential nutrients that are available to the plant. Normally listed in parts per million, these results can help to determine nutrient applications needed by the crop to produce maximum economic yield.

As growers and their nutrient advisors receive more information about these five areas, they will be able to make more informed fertility decisions. They will also be able to address potential issues during the early stages to help attain their overall goal of achieving better yields.

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

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