Mid-County Newsletter MCnewsletter-fall09

Fall 2009 • Vol. 16 www.midcountycoop.com MID-COUNTY M essenger 75 t h 1935 - 2010 ANNIVERSARY Serving You With Honesty, Integrity & Value since 1935 On Solid Ground Bill Reimers General Manager (952) 466-3721 billr@midcountycoop.com Agricultural sales are the base that keeps our company solid. Even though agricultural sales are a lesser percentage of our total sales than they used to be, it is where we start- ed back in 1935, and still carry that foundation today. As you may know, Mid-County has diversifi ed into non-agricultural businesses more and more over the last few years and has helped us through the ups and downs of business cycles. Mind you that going through the extreme defl ation we experienced on fertilizers, the last six months is something the industry hopes to never experience again. Fertilizers that were bought the fall of 2008 dropped substantially within 6 months, and being at a time when all fertilizer plants were full, it was a tough pill to swallow for many in the industry. But I will say that looking forward, it is much easier for our co-op to operate with lower fertilizer prices and fuels in the mid - $2 range than they were in the $4 range. These changes now place our accounts receivable 35% less than it was a year ago at this time. Our inventories we have to carry have dropped by 40%, leaving a lot less burden on our cash fl ow. We expect to see demand improve for fertilizers this upcoming year, but feel the energy products will take some time to get back on track. Once again agri- cultural fuels are usually very stable, it is the commercial demand that we feel will remain stagnant. Demand is down over 22% from a year ago nationwide for diesel fuels, and we are experiencing some of that locally. Quality and Safety Ask any dairy farmer that has their facility inspected and they will tell you that no matter how hard you try, inspectors will always fi nd something, and believe me, when an inspector shows up at our door, there are lots of areas for them to search. By and large we operate a very safe industry. You probably have heard of many of the agencies that we are under close scrutiny by, such as (MPCA), (EPA), (MDA), (MNDOT), (USDOT), (OSHA), along with local environmental services. Regulations continue to grow at an alarming rate. Many times two diff erent agencies will regulate the same thing. An example would be that the DOT has now shown an interest in Anhydrous tanks, which has always been under the wing of the Minnesota Department of Ag (MDA). In order to be compliant with the many agencies, in April we hired a service through our insurance company called Safety Resource Alliance. Even though many cooperatives like ours have an excellent safety record, it has gotten to the point that one fi ne will far exceed any cost of hiring a company to assist you in that area. Propane and Home Heat If you haven’t contracted propane for the upcoming fall or winter, it’s never too late, with our new fl exible program that allows you to contract any time year round. Our prices are subject to change daily and there is not a deadline as in past years. Call our offi ce anytime for current quotes. INSIDE THIS ISSUE As always I appreciate your comments and suggestions to make your co-op better. Liming, lime materials, and handling ...........2 Maximize profi t with the best seed hybrids ..2 Controlling soil acidity ...................................3 Filter your storage tank .................................4 Why should I use synthetic oils? ....................5 Flexible Propane Contracting Call Mid-County today to save money with propane service! Mid-County Energy: (952) 466-3720 • (888) 466-3700 (952) 466-3700 • 888-466-3700 • 700 West Lake Street, P.O. Box 177, Cologne H O N E S T Y • I N T E G R I T Y • V A L U E