Customer Appreciation
By Matt Horstman, Agronomist, Dimock
Well spring is here I guess. Mother Nature is not quite sure she wants to let winter go. As I write this article they are forecasting more than 16 inches of snow and possibly a couple inches of rain before that. After this system moves through maybe we will get more spring-like weather. Either way sometime we will get in the fields this spring and we will fertilize and plant.
Please make sure you have your farm plans in order for the upcoming spring. I have a feeling when we do get in the field it will be fast and furious. Having a well-made plan put together will help both you as the producer and CFC get things done in a timely manner. If there are any last minute seed decisions to be made talk with your agronomist and get those decisions made.

I want to thank all the producers who made it to our spring agronomy meetings we hosted at the different locations in March and early April. We had very good attendance and as always our business partners did a very nice job of updating our producers with the current agronomic issues and topics. I want to wish everyone luck on the upcoming spring. There will be challenges in every area. I am confident Central Farmers Coop can meet the challenges that are ahead of us.
Manager's Notes
By Mark Finck, CEO
With every meeting I attend or anytime I visit with another Coop Manager the first thing that comes up is employees. Unemployment rates for the counties that we operate in and border range from 2.5%-3.5%. Numbers from the latest report from the South Dakota Department of Labor showed that there were 15,726 jobs available with only 4,010 candidates looking for work in the state. A recent Purdue University study revealed that while there are 57,000 jobs for people in ag-related industry there are only 35,400 graduates. Finding both full time and seasonal employees continues and will continue to be one of the top challenges for ag related companies.
With spring season around the corner our CFC/Fremar employee team has been busy working on equipment and facilities. Over the past month we have had a team going to locations inspecting application equipment, fertilizer tenders, sprayers and facilities. This is being done to ensure that our equipment and facilities will be ready to serve our members once it dries up and you are able to get into the field. 

There has been some confusion with some people who think that the US has not been shipping any soybeans to China. Since last December we have loaded 10 shuttle trains between Lyons and Marion totaling 4.2 million bushels that ended up in the PNW and loaded on vessels for China. Additionally we currently have 6 trains (2.52 million bushels) that are sold to be loaded this June, July and August.

The Montrose Feed Mill Upgrade project is progressing. With the growth in our feed business over the past 3 years it was necessary to automate and add capacity to the Montrose Feed Mill. Upgrades to the mill include an additional 5 loadout bins (72 tons), 2 Ingredient bins (100 tons), 24 bin micro ingredient system and computer automation controls. These upgrades were approved by the CFC Board of Directors at the December board meeting. 

Thanks for your patronage. It is appreciated!
Sensitivity
By Mike Salonen, Location Manager, Tyndall
Winter storm raged across the Midwest Thursday morning with markets not too worried at that point after seeing a slow start to the 2018 growing season and 2018 corn/soybean crop size that was not significantly impacted by that slow start.

One thing different this year is last year’s April 20 snowstorm was followed by a record warm May and this year a 90 day April/May/June forecast calling for below normal temps.
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We continue to have record global grain demand placing more emphasis on the need to produce a crop which increases global production on a year-over-year basis.

Record demand increases sensitivity to any production threats in the coming months. With this Winter Storm moving through we will continue to experience wet and flooding conditions to many of the areas that have experienced those same conditions the past 30 days.

Over the next month and this cool/wet weather persisting we may see markets driven back to recent highs and if weather continues to be an issue we could go back to the late 2018/early 2019 highs.

To give you some perspective July 2019 corn futures were trading 3.70 Thursday, late 2018/19 recent high was 4.01.

Dec 2019 corn futures were trading 3.90 Thursday, late 2018/19 recent high 4.06.

July 2019 soybean futures were trading 9.10 Thursday, late 2018/19 recent high 9.65.

November 2019 soybean futures were trading 9.30 Thursday, late 2018/19 recent high 9.71.

Producers need to know their cost of production especially when pricing New Crop 19 corn/beans. Opportunities have existed in the past to lock in profits, know what that number is and get started locking in some of those bushels.

Our Oak Trading system gives you levels of profit/loss based on what cash prices are trading that moment in time. We can adjust costs to reflect your inputs. Take advantage and call your CFC Grain Originator in your area.