March 2021 Newsletter
Mar 23, 2021
A Message From President/CEO, Allan Zumpfe
I always look forward to the new growing season, and with the weather we have recently experienced, I am really looking forward to this one! In this part of the world, we seemingly make our averages by extremes and so far this year, we have definitely done that. From the mild December and January temperatures to the brutally cold first half of February, we have seen it all in the winter of 2020/2021.
As we reported at the annual meeting held both in-person and virtually on January 12th, your company had a very good year financially. Fiscal year 2019/2020 combined sales of $851 million were reported, generating local savings of $14.2 million. We received patronage from our regional cooperatives such as CoBank, CHS, Land O’Lakes, and AGP, of $6.592 million. Combined with taking a write down in our partnership with Fortigen of $5.591 million, that left us with net savings of $15.2 million.
Our balance sheet continues to be very strong, ending the year with $78 million of working capital, only $11.6 million of long-term debt, and a net worth position of $257 million. This was again a very solid year of financial performance for your company. It was a year in which the investments that had been made the previous 15 plus years played a large role in the success we experienced. If you would like to see more financial information, our annual report is available at your local Farmers Cooperative branch or online at myfarmerscoop.com under the ‘about’ tab labeled ‘annual report’.
Moving forward, we will look for greater efficiencies through continued investments in facilities and operations to better serve you. At this time, we have a number of projects in motion. We will be adding to our grain handling and storage facilities by constructing a 1.2 million bushel concrete tank in both Dorchester and Frankfort, a 500,000 bushel bin in Ruby, and a 250,000 bushel bin in Kramer. Dorchester will also be updating their rail loadout with a new 70,000 bushel-per-hour bulk loadout system over the next five months.
Our transportation fleet will be expanding with seven additional new power units and grain trailers, as well as three additional anhydrous ammonia transports. A new lubricants warehouse is being built along Highway 77 near Cortland, as well as an addition to the seed facility in Plymouth. The feed division is adding storage and loadout capacity at both the Beatrice South and Firth feedmills. Finally, new agronomy application and tender equipment, a lubricants truck, another tire service truck, and a couple of feed trucks are also being added to update our fleet in those divisions.
As you can see, we are focused on our mission - investing in our owners’ success; delivering service and solutions to exceed customer expectations. We are doing this by spending dollars on assets that will better serve you today and in the future with equipment and quality employees that will do it in the way you want and need to be served.
Thank you for your business and continued support of your cooperative. I appreciate it!READ MUCH MORE >
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Fiscal year 21/22 proved to be one for the record books for your company. Record volumes of grain were handled as a result of the largest harvest handle to date during the fall of 2021. Along with extreme volatility for all commodities, this provided many opportunities for your company. Record prices for both grain and inputs were also experienced in 2022 as the Russia/Ukraine war shifted demand around the world for grains and fertilizers. As the war progressed and sanctions were put on by both sides, Euro Gas jumped to nearly $100/MMBtu, forcing nitrogen manufacturing facilities in Europe to shut down, allowing U.S. nitrogen producers to export to Europe keeping domestic prices in the U.S. firm. Thankfully Europe has had a mild winter this year with only five days having recorded temperatures below freezing so far, bringing gas prices back down, thus causing fertilizer prices to soften as most European nitrogen manufacturers are again producing products.