Grain Update 2023

Feb 28, 2024

Foremost, without unbelievable support from you and a top-notch operations staff, it would not be possible to load 133 shuttles and dump over 62.4 million bushels over the 2023 calendar year. We were fortunate to have an early start to harvest which enabled us to fill some of the domestic and export demand before other areas of the Midwest. This in conjunction with a larger freight deck harvest allowed us to avoid filling up during the row crop harvest.
The expansions that we have completed over the past several years have paid generous returns in the form of efficiency, timely dumping and expanded marketing opportunities for growers. These investments in space and other infrastructure keep us relevant in a competitive environment. After experiencing long lines in Ulen during the 2022 harvest, we extended the road behind the scales. This reduced the backup on Highway 32 and allowed for more orderly truck lines. We also completed a solar array project in Beltrami, substantially reducing our costs for electricity and giving us the ability to sell power back to the grid when our assets aren’t being used.


On the grain marketing side, we launched a new partnership with Van Ahn & Company of Alexandria after CHS Hedging closed its branch offices. Our merchandisers are pleased to continue to offer an array of marketing tools in-house, including traditional marketing offerings, futures and options brokerage, and OTC contracts. Many of our growers have found Randy’s marketing meetings valuable to stay informed on what is affecting our markets and how it can impact their farms' bottom lines. We have also continued to work on improving growers’ experience on our phone application giving growers an avenue to place futures, basis, and cash working orders, view scales tickets, and sign contracts. If you would like to open a brokerage account, receive updates on marketing meetings, or need help getting set up on the phone application, please contact one of our merchandisers.

Randy's Marketing Meeting

The 2023 crop year provided a record corn yield of 177.3 and production of 15.3 billion bushels in the United States. Droughty conditions in the early growing season left many producers wondering what crop production could be. The market did provide many opportunities to sell corn, soybeans, and wheat at profitable levels through late June. Since that time, we have seen our commodity prices slide due to increased production, competitiveness from South America, and managed money’s willingness to put on a large short position in the futures market. These factors have pushed our markets significantly lower, creating a challenging farm marketing environment. The good news is that many of our growers experienced better-than-expected yields in 2023. Growers should continue to work on marketing plans as we typically see seasonal moves higher on basis and futures markets into Spring.
Thank you for your patronage in 2023 and we look forward to serving you in 2024!

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Patronage dividends are those distributions of profits paid by cooperatives, like West Central Ag Services (WCAS), to their members. The dividends are paid based on a portion of WCAS’ profits, and distributed back to the owner members proportionate to the volume of business they do with the coop. Below is an outline of our guidelines as defined in our by-laws. In the event of any discrepancies, our by-laws are the ruling document.