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CHS Farmers Elevator Holds Update In Circle

Circle: The regional eastern Montana CHS Farmers Elevator board of directors recently held the 2023 annual update in Circle. Congressional candidate and CHS member Ric Holden joined the meeting to elect producer board members. Holden is a farmer/rancher from Dawson County.

Senior director of operations Brandon Babb presented a slide show that highlighted last year’s progress and profitability statements. Babb explained how “Ag Partners” handles the sales of dry fertilizers and chemicals. The organization covered the spreading of fertilizer more than 74,000 acres, adding to the production of valuable grain crops in Montana.

Members that purchased fertilizer from Ag Partners realized a $60 per ton patronage dividend payback. CHS Farmers Elevator was able to issue patronage checks to members totaling $5,174,947.00.

Special guest speaker, Brian Brauch, serves as a CHS trading director. According to Brauch, the U.S. dollar is still the strongest form of currency in the world. Many countries cannot afford to purchase U.S products. United States exports are at the lowest point since 1971. The world economy is much worse than what America is experiencing. The bottom line is that the world needs to buy food and American farmers are still able to enter the market as cash trade exporters. China has made some major purchases of U.S. grain three months ago.

CHS provides 80 percent of the wheat exports sold to Taiwan. Brauch explained that CHS gets penalized by foreign buyers when the ships in port are not loaded within certain contractual deadlines. The problem with getting Montana wheat to the ocean ports lies with the railroad transportation system. When cold weather sets in the railroad tends to shut down. Contract penalties that CHS is charged are passed down to the local grain producers.

During a question-and-answer period, Holden suggested that the railroads be required to pay the penalties for not delivering the contracted grain to the seaports in time to meet oceanic shipping deadlines.

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