Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Maintain fuel tanks for cold weather performance

Before extreme cold weather strikes, take steps to ensure problem-free engine performance and protect your valuable diesel equipment. With proper tank maintenance and fuel handling, you can avoid most common cold-weather problems.

Ice formation in fuels containing water creates severe fuel line and filter plugging problems. It’s important to regularly remove water from storage tanks, vehicle fuel tanks and filter bowls, and to follow these guidelines:
  • Tilt tanks to direct water and debris away from the outlet
  • Pressurize tanks to keep vapor and air inside
  • Drain and remove all contaminants every three months
  • Install proper filtration systems on bulk tanks
  • Replace fuel filters according to manufacturer recommendations; if filters have a drain valve, periodically drain water that may accumulate from condensation
  • Clean pump screens regularly
  • Request periodic fuel sampling for quality assurance purposes
  • Have tanks cleaned annually
Another major reason for winter problems is that tanks are not properly blended down. When blending down a tank, it's imperative that you know how much fuel is left in the tank and calculate the treat rate accordingly. If you have 700 gallons of #2 diesel remaining in the tank, and need to create a 50-50 blend of #1 and #2, ordering 700 gallons of a 50-50 blend (a common mistake) would create flow problems - because it would result in a blend of 1,050 gallons (71 percent) of #2 and 35 gallons (29 percent) of #1.

Proper use of cold flow improvers can extend the operability of fuels without the use of #1 fuel. They serve two functions: 1) changing the wax structure of diesel fuel so it can pass through filters more readily, and 2) keeping wax crystals dispersed longer when fuels are stored below the "cloud point" (temperature at which paraffin in fuel begins to form cloudy wax crystals and reduce flow).

When blending fuels, biofuels and additives, the components must all be at least 10 degrees above their cloud point – otherwise the additives will not blend in and therefore may clog filters.

Let us help you with all your winter fuel needs.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Why we focus on growth

By Dave Christiansen, President and CEO

I first shared the following article in August, 2012 and felt the message to be timely and worth repeating.

I always find it interesting when I run into someone who asks the question, "Why focus on growth?". Somehow the vision the founders had for growth, from the day this company began, went from being an expectation to being assumed. Today, active growth is at times thought of with negative connotations.

At the time the co-op was organized, the passion for meeting the constantly changing needs of farmers’ expectations may not have been referred to as growth. However, I’m sure our founders had certain expectations of the co-op’s ability to meet the changing needs of the growers. At that time, they built elevators and purchased equipment that satisfied the needs of the day and new assets were surely designed with the future in mind.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Collaborate, communicate and cooperate. Celebrate National Co-op Month!

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications
Great things happen when people collaborate. Sharing ideas,resources and capital, helps individuals accomplish more together than they can on their own. Cooperatives are member-owned and -controlled businesses based on collaboration - people working together.

When people join together to form a cooperative, the business is founded on their values and needs: democratic principles; community commitment and interaction; cooperative buying power and economic advantage; people helping people. Communication—aimed at keeping members informed, educated and involved—is a key component of thriving cooperative businesses.

While investor-owned businesses have a structure that pushes them to deliver profits to shareholders, cooperatives have a structure that pushes them to meet their customers’ needs. Cooperatives put people ahead of profits. Cooperative earnings are returned to members through improved services, lower prices or refunds.

In the United States, there are 29,000 cooperatives with more than100 million members. Cooperatives operate in every industry including agriculture, energy, financial services, food retailing and distribution, health care, child care, insurance, housing, purchasing and shared services, telecommunications and others.

Cooperatives work to the benefit of their members and their communities, so join forces! Join a cooperative. 

Collaborate. Communicate. Cooperate. October is Co-op Month!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Celebrating National 4-H Week

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications

Turning ideas into action, 4-H youth are becoming everyday heroes who persevere through challenges to leave lasting, positive impacts on their communities. Through the work of caring mentors, 4-H - a positive youth development organization - is cultivating a growing number of America's youth to lead us in a Revolution of Responsibility. Their commitment challenges everyone to join the movement toward meaningful change.

This week we recognize and honor the history of 4-H as we celebrate National 4-H Week. Since its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago, 4-H has grown to become the nation’s largest youth development organization. Their idea is simple: help young people and their families gain the skills they need to be proactive forces in their communities’ and develop ideas for a more innovative economy. That idea was the catalyst to begin the 4-H movement, and those values continue today.

As one of the first youth development organizations in America, 4-H opened the door for young people to learn leadership skills and explore ways to give back. 4-H revolutionized how youth connected to practical, hands-on learning experiences while outside of the classroom.
Each year MKC makes a financial commitment to 4-H Leadership Development Funds located within its trade territory.  Funds totaling more than $57,000 have been donated to these groups over the past eight years.  
Jeff Jones (far right) presents a donation to representatives
of the Reno Co. 4-H Leadership Development group.

“We believe the leadership programs available through 4-H are outstanding programs,” states Kerry Watson, Communications Specialist for MKC.  “It’s these types of programs that are helping to develop the skills of the future leaders of our communities. We’re proud to play a role in making sure these programs continue.”

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Celebrating National Co-op Month

By Kerry Watson, Director of Communications

Each October, cooperatives throughout the country and the world take time to celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of cooperative businesses. Cooperatives are unique because they are not-for-profit, democratically controlled, member-owned enterprises.

Members of cooperatives pool their assets to meet the needs of their community in the form of food, financial services or purchasing power for family owned businesses. The cooperative spirit has been embraced by 100 million members, who are served by 29,000 cooperatives across our nation, working together to achieve community and economic advancement.

Locally owned and controlled, cooperatives play a vital role in the economic development and stability of the communities they serve, helping people improve their lives through an increase in jobs and access to goods and services that would otherwise be more expensive, lower in quality, or simply unavailable. 

This year’s Co-op Month theme,"Collaborate, Communicate, Cooperate," emphasizes how great things happen when people join forces and collaborate and how cooperatives are businesses built on collaboration. That’s as true here at MKC as it is in cooperatives across the United States. A philosophy of people helping people lies at the core of all cooperatives, and it’s an advantage that has distinguished co-ops for more than 150 years. Socially responsible business is not a fad with cooperatives; it’s just how co-ops work.

This Co-op Month, we hope everyone will join us in celebrating the cooperative difference, our proud cooperative heritage and the wonderful opportunities cooperative membership will offer in central Kansas for many years to come. Let’s collaborate, communicate and cooperate!