Weed Control
By Clay Hespe, Agronomist, Dimock

At a couple post-harvest meetings, the common theme has been the weed bank that was created this year. As you go through the math on the weed seeds, it can get quite astronomical.

As a rule of thumb the general practice has been at least 2.5 herbicide modes of action for a crop year for somewhat of a clean field with optimal timing. If you have resistant weeds such as glyphosate or ALS, that mode of action doesn’t count. Just simply adding the Extend, Enlist or LLGT 27 might not be enough. The more modes of action and sites of action on the weeds you can get the next 4-5 years will really help with having a clean field. Best management practice would be to sit down with your local agronomist and go over what you have done in the past and see where you can improve control by layering residuals in your cropping rotation. I look at both corn and soybean herbicide programs together, so I am not relying on one mode of action too much. It does take some more time and it’s somewhat of a thought process to look at various options. Seems like it doesn’t take much to come up with 7-8 modes of action and 6-7 sites of action. The extra time should greatly increase some success on weed control next year and avoid some train wrecks.

Thank you for your business and have a Merry Christmas.

Winter Fuel Blends and Cold Flow Improvers
By Gerry Crawford, Energy Department Manager



Proper tank maintenance and fuel handling helps ensure your fuel supply stays clean and fresh in your storage tank — and remains that way until it reaches your fuel system. By following the tips and information in this guide, you can avoid most common cold-weather problems, and ensure reliable operation through the most challenging season of the year.

Be mindful of these key issues before cold weather strikes.

  • The true measure of your diesel fuel’s cold weather performance is measured by operability, cloud point (CP), cold filter plugging point (CFPP) and the cetane number.
  • There is a proper way to blend diesel fuels, biofuels and fuel additives.
  • Proper tank maintenance and fuel filtration is a critical step to ensure your fuel operates at optimal levels.
  • Fuel handling and tank maintenance must be done properly. You can avoid most common cold weather problems, and ensure reliable performance year-round.
  • Proper use of cold flow improvers can extend operability of fuels by:

– Changing the diesel fuel wax structure utilizing wax dispersants.

– Dispersing wax, thus keeping wax crystals from congregating in the fuel.

#1 Diesel with Cenex Premium Diesel Additive* is used to blend down your Cenex Premium Diesel tanks during transition from summer to fall/winter, helping ensure additives remain at proper levels. Ideal for blending down storage tanks.





The cloud point is the temperature at which paraffin, which is naturally present in #2 diesel fuel, begins to form cloudy wax crystals. When the fuel temperature reaches the cloud point, these wax crystals flow with the fuel, and coat the filter element. This quickly reduces the fuel flow, starving the engine.

Operability — equipment still functioning (filters not plugged).

Wax Anti-Settling Agents (WASA) — reduce settling of wax crystals in vehicle tanks and aboveground storage tanks which are known to clog filters and other fuel system components.



A primary cause of winter fuel-related problems are that tanks are not properly “blended down,” meaning fuel has a higher operability than intended.

Blending down a tank is done by adding #1 diesel fuel to #2 diesel fuel. This helps maintain cold weather flow characteristics, increasing the operability of fuel.

When blending down a tank, pay close attention to the amount of fuel in the tank — this is known as the “heel.” It is also important to know your proper treat rate and be sure to calculate it accurately.



  • If fuel in the tank is at or below its cloud point, biodiesel or cold flow additives will stratify or not blend into the fuel (causing filter plugging).
  • Make sure fuel temperature is at least 10-15 degrees above cloud point before blending down.
  • Adding 10% of #1 fuel typically reduces cloud point of fuel by 3 degrees.



Cold flow improvers are designed to extend the operability of fuel by:

  • Altering the diesel fuel wax structure utilizing wax dispersants.
  • Dispersing wax thus keeping wax crystals from congregating in the fuel.

Cold flow additives do not reduce cloud point; using #1 diesel is the only way to reduce the cloud point of the fuel.

It is important not to rely on cold flow improvers to extend operability more than 15° below the fuel’s cloud point (15 degrees delta).

Using a cold flow improver (CFI) allows for operations at lower temperatures than that of unadditized/untreated fuel.


Thank you for your business and have a safe winter.

 A Game Plan

By Jeff Moritz, Lead Grain Merchandiser



The December WASDE wasn’t met with much fanfare this week and with good reason. Typically, there aren't a lot of changes or adjustments from the USDA. There was reason to believe that maybe with the late harvest you could see the USDA make some production changes to the report. However, true to form the USDA elected to wait until the Jan 10th to make any changes to yield. (The snap numbers are shown above.) The focus will now shift to trade and South American weather.

Speaking of trade, the U.S., Mexico and Canada reached an agreement on the USMCA trade bill earlier this week. Congress is expected to ratify the agreement next week. This agreement is significant to U.S. agriculture moving forward as Mexico and Canada are the largest customers of U.S. ag products. On Thursday the positive news continued as the U.S. decided to cancel additional tariffs on Chinese goods that were set to take effect on December 15th.

From a grain marketing perspective, now is the time to be considering making plans to market the crop in the bins as well as new crop ’20. We have a variety of tools that can assist you with this task. Currently we are in the middle of our sign-up period for our Average Seasonal and ADM Advantage contract. These are great tools to be used for a disciplined approach in marketing your bushels in the overall mix of your grain marketing portfolio. We also have been active in contracting bushels on our accumulator contract programs. These contracts allow you to sell bushels at a premium level to the market over a specific pricing period. This contract is very customizable and can be utilized for old and new crop.

Contact your local CFC originator for details on these contracts as well as formulating a game plan in the months ahead. Since this will be my last newsletter for 2019, I would like to wish all of our patrons a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!