Thursday, April 25, 2013

Locations preparing for wheat harvest since December

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications

Preparing for the next wheat harvest doesn’t start in the spring.  In fact, MKC locations have been preparing for the 2013 wheat harvest since this past December.

Each winter location managers estimate the amount of grain they expect to receive at their location based on a five-year average of receipts.  In addition, estimates are determined by what is planted in their area.   

“The goal is to have enough space in the elevator for what we expect to take in during harvest,” states Christian Loganbill, Grain Manager at Lindsborg.

Loganbill noted that as bins start to empty of grain, they are cleaned and swept to spotless conditions. The bins are then treated to prevent insect infestation.   “This is a very important step to maintain the quality of grain as it comes in,” states Loganbill.

Lindsborg elevator superintendent, Jacob Duerksen,
performs maintenance and replaces buckets on the
main leg in Lindsborg.
As spring approaches, the focus changes from bin cleaning to equipment maintenance and facility upgrades.  Every piece of equipment in the elevator is checked to make sure it is in good condition.  Necessary maintenance, including greasing bearings and fixing or replacing leg buckets, is completed.   

“Preventative maintenance helps eliminate breakdowns during harvest and the upgrades improve our efficiencies,” states Loganbill.  “We want our facilities operating as efficiently and effectively as possible to insure the producer can return to his field in a timely manner.”

Planning for wheat harvest doesn’t end with the upgrades or emptying the bins and performing maintenance.   Designing a plan to fill the elevators is also part of the process.  According to Loganbill, some locations reserve empty bins for grain that is received too wet or with other quality issues.  “This allows us to better manage the quality of our grain,” states Loganbill. 

Contingency plans, traffic plans and hiring the appropriate number of staff to help with harvest are the final steps to insure a successful harvest.  

It’s for certain that wheat harvest has been on the minds of location managers since this winter. “It’s imperative that our locations have a successful winter and spring preparing facilities for wheat harvest,” states Loganbill.  “It’s part of the plan to help our producer’s succeed with their harvest.”

Friday, April 19, 2013

FFA members see agriculture in action

By Cassie Wandersee, Staff Writer

Chris Thompson, Field Marketer for MKC, explains
some of the products and services available
through the agronomy center at Groveland.
Forty students from Inman High School involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA) participated in an educational tour at the Groveland location in late February.

“I wanted my students to see that they live close to agriculture,” said Daniel Knapp, FFA advisor and Ag Instructor at Inman High School. He went on to comment that many of his students were not aware of the presence of the Groveland MKC location close to where they live.

Students were given a tour of the offices and had an opportunity to hear about each employee’s job responsibilities and their educational background.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Staying the course

By Devin Schierling, Grain Marketing Coordinator for TMA


Chaos at every corner! Webster's Dictionary describes chaos as, "A state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order".  This sums up the feelings of a vast majority of producers throughout the United States.

Producers are feeling psychological, environmental and emotional pressures that have the potential to unleash total chaos on their farms.  Whether it's the einvironmental pressures of rainfall and temperature, the psychological impact of making purchasing/selling decisions or the emotional effect of the past year's growing season, producers are looking for ways to eliminate the chaos in their life.

In times of chaos, people look for a magic solution that will cure whatever ails their operation.  The solution comes in multiple forms.  Some people will pay a marketing consultant that guarantees them their grain will be sold at the high of the market while others will choose to buy private insurance to insure against a specific peril.  These products, by themselves, have very litte impact on the bottom line of a farming operation.  However, when used in conjunction with a profit/revenue based marketing approach they can greatly improve the operation's profitablity.

It's important to remember to stay the course and not attempt to manage individual events that are out of your control.  Stay focused on the overall profitability of your farming operation.  By being mindful of your crop input expenses, using crop insurance to insure potential revenue and grain marketing programs to maximize profitability, you can stay the course and insure the profitability of your operation regardless of the chaos that is around the corner.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

MKC and members to benefit from Private Letter Ruling approval

This past fall, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) approved MKC’s Private Letter Ruling (PLR) request to change the calculation of its Domestic Production Activities Deduction for upcoming years.  The ruling, while requiring certain changes to grain purchasing processes, allows MKC to significantly enhance the value of it’s Domestic Production Activities Deduction (tax deduction) for its members and the company.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Planned redundancy

By Dave Christiansen, President & CEO

I know it may appear that many of my articles are just short of carbon copies. For some of you, it may seem as though I have droned on about the same things since my arrival at MKC. If that is your perception, I appreciate the fact that you've been listening!

I use the same theme in every article and presentation that I have the opportunity to do and in every conversation I have with growers, vendors and employees.  Don’t look for this to change.  I may bore you to tears, but you’ll never wonder what the initiative of the month is.