6 Tips for a Safe Planting Season

Looking out from a dimly lit garage at sunlit farm equipment ready for planting season

Spring is right around the corner, meaning planting will be top of mind for growers across the U.S. As the season changes, and excitement builds, it is important to remember these tips to ensure an effective and, most importantly, safe planting season. 

1. Perform Equipment Checks 

Ensuring all equipment is clean, safe, and ready to go for planting is an important first step. Before using any equipment, a safety check should be performed, and all technology updated. 

Safety and equipment checks should include: 

  • Ensure all lights and signals are working properly. 
  • Inspect and replace parts as needed by starting equipment and ensuring it’s running properly. 
  • Check tire pressure and tread wear, and confirm lug nuts are tightened 
  • Make sure all equipment, including nozzles, is clean issues like grease, oil, debris, and rodent nests. 
  • Check the quality and levels of fluids, including oil and fuel 

Conducting these checks helps to prevent unnecessary delays due to malfunctioning equipment or technology. 

2. Check and Follow Labels 

There is a reason companies regularly repeat the phrase, “Always read and follow the label’s instructions.” Applying products like herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, seed treatments and fertilizer incorrectly, or using an expired product, can have harmful effects not only on your crops but on your health. Before applying or handling a product, always check the label and follow it exactly. 

3. Wear the Right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)  

Before applying or handling any chemicals, it is important to check to be sure proper PPE is available, well fitted and functions properly. Do not overlook cautionary statements. Always protect your skin, eyes and lungs with proper PPE which may include long sleeves, gloves, masks and eyewear. Always have first aid available in case of accidents. 

4. Take care of your body: sleep & eat right 

Planting can be a stressful and hectic time, so it is important to ensure your body is being taken care of. While it is important to get the crop planted in a timely fashion, not getting enough sleep or eating good food can have a long-term impact on health. During planting, make sure to prioritize quality sleep and eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. 

5. Ask for help 

There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, great things can come from it! Whether it is holding a flashlight to help fix a part, lifting a heavy item or confirming a confusing detail, asking for help will almost always save time in the long run. Before planting begins, determine who is available to help at planting. Make a schedule and use it to help make sure everyone knows who and where everyone is. Have important phone numbers and contacts saved and easily accessible. 

It is also encouraged to check in on friends and family to see how planting is going for them and offering encouragement or identifying resources when needed. Planting can be stressful and showing support for friends and neighbors can mean a lot. 

6. Have a plan and communicate it 

Taking time to prepare for a safe planting season and reviewing the plan early and often with your team is a great way to maximize efficiency during planting. It’s also important to note important details that happened so you can refer to them throughout the season and when preparing for the next growing season. 

For more information or support for the upcoming growing season, contact your CHS agronomy sales representative.

CHS reports second quarter earnings

Second quarter net income of $219.0 million in fiscal 2022 reflects strong global demand

Tank Farms in Cottage Grove Minnesota staircase winding up

CHS Inc., the nation’s leading agribusiness cooperative, today released results for its second quarter ended Feb. 28, 2022. The company reported second quarter net income of $219.0 million and revenues of $10.3 billion, compared to a net loss of $38.2 million and $8.3 billion in revenues for the second quarter of fiscal year 2021. For the first six months of fiscal year 2022, the company reported net income of $671.0 million and revenues of $21.2 billion, compared to net income of $31.4 million and revenues of $17.0 billion recorded in the first half of fiscal year 2021.

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3 reasons to make grain bin safety the talk of your town

View of three grain bins against blue sky and puffy clouds

Zero lives lost: That’s the goal of Nationwide’s Grain Bin Safety Week program (Feb. 20-26) and Think Grain Bin Safety campaign. They reflect Nationwide’s passion for agriculture and leadership position as the nation’s number-one farm insurer.

Nationwide logo

With the Think Grain Bin Safety campaign and Grain Bin Safety Week program, we’re raising the bar for safety action and awareness this year. And CHS members and leaders can support the effort through financial contributions and community involvement.

“Grain bin safety is a lot more than just a campaign to us at Nationwide,” said Nationwide Agribusiness President Brad Liggett. “It’s something we’re passionate about year-round, and part of our commitment to the health, safety and success of our farm customers.”

Why grain bin safety outreach is so important

The ninth annual Grain Bin Safety Week program kicked off January 1 and runs through the end of April. It culminates with a contest in late April that awards nominated rural fire departments with grain rescue tubes and training.

Since 2007, there have been more than 475 documented grain bin entrapments in the U.S. Since its inception, the Grain Bin Safety Week program has awarded 207 rescue tubes in 31 states. The program has helped save five lives that would have been lost without the vital equipment and training.

While the distribution of rescue tubes is a key part of the program, Nationwide leads the effort to promote awareness to prevent grain bin entry and entrapments altogether.

3 reasons to lead grain bin safety efforts in your community

Grain Bin Safety Week and the Think Grain Bin Safety campaign depend on local community involvement. Beyond raising general awareness, there are three main reasons for CHS members to get involved:

  1. Avoid grain bin entry. Create a “zero lives lost” mentality by prioritizing safety whenever working in or around grain bins or preventing bin entry whenever possible.
  2. Become a grain bin safety advocate. Share critical grain bin safety information with friends, family and community members.
  3. Prepare first responders. Nominate your local fire department to receive a grain rescue tube and necessary training as part of the Grain Bin Safety Week contest.

“We don’t want to just talk about grain bin safety. We want to raise awareness about how to save lives and equip our rural communities with the tools and training they need to make it happen,” Liggett said. “Grain bin safety is so important to us at Nationwide because we recognize the extreme hazards of working in grain bins. And we want to ensure our customers and all farmers are safe and return home at the end of every day working on the farm.”

How to get started

Start raising grain bin safety awareness in your community at Thinkgrainbinsafety.com. There, you’ll find articles, videos and other tools and resources to start the conversation with customers, other farmers and members of your community.

Safety contest helps defend against grain bin deaths in rural America

View of sunset between two large grain bins

Grain Bin Safety Week is Feb. 20 – 26, 2022; Since 2014, Nationwide has supplied 207 grain rescue tubes and training to fire departments across 31 states.

For rural Americans, seeing grain bins dot the landscape is often an everyday occurrence. However, these storage structures pose very serious and threatening dangers to agriculture workers if proper health and safety procedures aren’t followed. In just 20 seconds, a farmer can sink in the quicksand-like flow of grain and become fully entrapped with little hope for survival. Such accidents have resulted in 81 deaths over the past five years.

Nationwide logo

To bring attention to the dangers and prevent these tragic accidents, the leading insurer of farms and ranches in the U.S., Nationwide, has opened its ninth annual Nominate Your Fire Department Contest in recognition of Grain Bin Safety Week. CHS is a supporting partner of Grain Bin Safety Week.

The annual advocacy campaign aims to deliver critical education and resources to agricultural professionals while also supplying life-saving rescue equipment and training to rural fire departments, who are often the first and only line of defense when an entrapment occurs. Nominations for this year’s Nominate Your Fire Department Contest are open until April 30.

”Nationwide has been deeply rooted in agriculture since the company’s founding by the Ohio Farm Bureau and our commitment to protecting America’s producers continues to fuel our work today,” said Brad Liggett, president of Agribusiness at Nationwide. “Grain Bin Safety Week is one of many efforts in place to help address the dangers they face. These accidents send shockwaves through rural communities each year, and the reality is, they are often preventable. We are proud to continue to grow Grain Bin Safety Week and bring on new partners in our mission to end this industry issue.”

This year, Grain Bin Safety Week runs from Feb. 20 – 26 and has been officially recognized by the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Since initiating its Grain Bin Safety advocacy campaign in 2014, Nationwide has supplied grain rescue tubes and training to 207 fire departments in 31 states. At least five successful rescues have taken place using the resources provided through the program, including a recent July 2021 rescue in northwest Kansas.

Injuries & Fatalities: The Startling Facts

  • Suffocation from engulfment or oxygen-deficient atmospheres is the leading cause of death in grain accidents.
  • In four seconds, an adult can sink knee-deep in flowing grain and be rendered unable to free themselves without help.
  • More than 150 grain entrapments have been recorded in the past five years. It’s estimated an additional 30% of cases go unreported.
  • In 2020, there were 35 grain entrapment cases resulting in 20 fatalities.

Sources: 2020 Summary of U.S. Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities and United Press International

To help prevent further deaths and injuries, Nationwide collaborates each year with the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) to provide safety training. NECAS instructors travel to training locations with state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulators and rescue tubes. The comprehensive training sessions include classroom education and rescue simulations using the entrapment tools, which are loaded onto 20-foot trailers and able to hold about 100 bushels of grain each.

“NECAS is proud to partner with Nationwide on its Grain Bin Safety advocacy initiative to share resources and education with farmers about the hazards of entering grain bins and employing a zero-entry mentality whenever possible,” said Dan Neenan, director at NECAS. “It’s also critically important to continue the hard work in getting rural fire departments the equipment and training they need to respond quickly in an entrapment scenario.”

For more information about the program, purpose or nomination process, visit www.grainbinsafetyweek.com or watch this video.

Co-op 101: What is a cooperative?

National Co-op Month graphic

October is National Co-op Month and a time to celebrate the cooperative model and the strength it brings to local communities.  

“CHS is proud to be part of the cooperative system and we’re driven by our purpose to create connections to empower agriculture,” says Jay Debertin, CHS president and CEO. “Our values of inclusion, integrity, cooperative spirit and safety guide us as we work together for shared success and to strengthen our communities.” 

Do you know what a co-op is? Here we break it down.  

  • What is a cooperative? A cooperative is defined by USDA as a user-owned and controlled business from which benefits are derived and distributed equitably on the basis of use or as a business owned and controlled by the people who use its services.  
  • Who determines policy? The CHS Board is made up of 17 member-owners, elected by the members.  
  • How are profits distributed? The business is operated for a profit; it’s how the profit is divided that makes a co-op unique. Unlike most corporations where the profits are distributed to stockholders, co-ops distribute profits to member-owners on a patronage basis. Patronage is a method of sharing profits among the members. It is based on how much they purchase and the profitability of the co-op.  
  • What kind of co-op system is CHS? CHS is a blended federated and centralized cooperative system. CHS is unique in that along with the federated system of member cooperatives, we also have Country Operations, made up of centralized retail locations dedicated to serve member-owners in their respective geographies. Along with member cooperatives, those member-owners of Country Operations locations vote for board members at the CHS annual meeting or are represented by delegates from their business unit at the annual meeting.  

Help us celebrate National Co-op Month by joining the conversation on social media using #CoopMonth. 

Keep your rural road safe

June is National Safety Month. CHS and Nationwide are proud to share a partnership focused on safety. The following information is provided by Nationwide, the #1 farm and ranch writer in the U.S.*

Nationwide logo

Safely navigating large agricultural equipment over rural roads to and from the fields is a challenge for even the best drivers. Nationwide reminds farmers to consider the following rules on the safe operation of equipment to help reduce the risk of motor vehicle collisions.

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Danger within: Know the risks of grain bin entry

Since 2014, Nationwide and partners including CHS, have provided 150 rescue tubes and grain bin safety training to local fire departments across 29 states to help keep farmers safe.

The interior of a grain bin is one of the most hazardous places on a farm, so the best way to resolve situations with stored grain is safely outside. If you must enter a bin, be sure to know what you might find and plan accordingly.

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Jay Debertin: Update to CHS owners

Dear CHS owners:

Corn and soybean harvest is well underway, and it’s been a good fall. We’re glad to see that progress, although this week’s weather has forced a pause in many areas. We hope you are enjoying a safe, productive season and look forward to speaking with you at the virtual 2020 CHS Annual Meeting on Dec. 3.

Thank you for your business. Please let us know how we can help you complete this season and move into 2021.

Click here to hear more from CHS President and CEO Jay Debertin.

© 2022 CHS Inc.

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