Unexpected Times

Jun 29, 2020

Agriculture often brings us the unexpected. Being in the business of agriculture has always brought additional risk for those that choose this industry. The past year has really proven that to all of us.

The cooperative had record grain receipts in December and January. This year challenged everyone to operate in conditions that normally have the equipment in the shed for the winter, not in the field harvesting. The same for the grain facilities. As we had to overcome the colder temperatures, we were consuming larger amounts of fuel to dry grain. We also converted dryers to drying beans where we could to try and get beans out of the field and into the bin. The result of the late planting and late harvesting was grain quality was one of the poorest I have ever seen. The storability of this crop is going to be problematic. Then, just as everyone thought a plan was in place, COVID-19 strikes.

I spend my time in grain and ethanol, and I can tell you it has had a devastating effect on both of these industries. Some estimate we had up to 50% of the ethanol industry idled at one point. Some of it idled, not because the plant was going to voluntarily close because of economics, but because of tanks filling up from the simple lack of demand for liquid fuels. This has impacted the grain bids across the U.S. negatively as everyone adjusts to how to deal with the loss of this market, and for how long we don’t know. Your cooperative is looking at the options every day to get through this, and it seems to change every hour. United Cooperative is fortunate to have the infrastructure that we do so we can stay flexible and adjust to these Unexpected Times.

Marketing is always key to our success and will be going forward to getting through these times.

Stay healthy. Stay safe. We will get through these Unexpected Times.

Al Jentz

Vice President - Grain

Al Jentz

Filed Under: Grain