GROWMARK and CHS today announced the formation of Cooperative Ventures, a new capital fund that will focus on creating advancements in breakthrough technologies for the agriculture industry. The fund will provide differentiated value to startups in the agricultural ecosystem by leveraging the expansive, connected networks, unparalleled access to the farmgate and proven success of the two agricultural cooperatives. Both companies will be equal partners in the $50 million fund, which will be established as its own separate legal entity.
The combined markets of the two companies cover millions of acres and thousands of farmers that will create an industry-leading test field for products and services within North America. The fund has identified three core investment areas, or “Fields of Play,” to maximize the impact of each investment: crop production, supply chain, and sustainability.
“This is a terrific opportunity to act cooperatively by working together on a venture meaningful to agriculture and our corresponding supply chains,” said GROWMARK CEO Jim Spradlin. “Both GROWMARK and CHS have trusted relationships and expertise within our networks, which will provide tremendous value for technology startups and ultimately benefit our respective customers. This is a natural evolution of GROWMARK’s AgValidity trial and testing program.”
“This partnership will help accelerate technology solutions to existing and emerging challenges in agriculture and is yet another way CHS creates connections to empower agriculture,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “Our ongoing commitment to investment in growth and innovation for the benefit of CHS owners and the cooperative system further places CHS and GROWMARK at the forefront of cutting-edge technology solutions by leveraging our deep expertise and strong connections with farmer-owners.”
GROWMARK and CHS will provide tech startups unprecedented access to robust distribution capabilities within multiple value chains, allowing for opportunities to test and refine at different scales. Having cooperative member-owners and customers within the same ecosystem will take these innovative ideas to a new level to create shareholder value and customer-focused solutions.
Special attention will be paid to the startup’s strategic fit with both GROWMARK and CHS. Other factors will be based on their drive to lead in the startup space, the ability to deliver value and quality, the experience of management, and ultimately the ability to take a product or service to market. Cooperative Ventures will be comprised of teams based out of Bloomington, Illinois, and St. Paul, Minnesota.
GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, providing agronomy, energy, facility engineering and construction, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by its member cooperatives. GROWMARK also owns and operates SEEDWAY, the largest full-line seed company in the United States. More information is available at growmark.com.
31% increase in net income over prior fiscal year; Strong global demand for grains and oilseeds drive results
CHS Inc. reported net income of $554.0 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2021, reflecting an increase of 31% or $131.5 million compared to fiscal year 2020.
Key financial drivers for fiscal year 2021 include:
Consolidated revenues of $38.4 billion for fiscal year 2021 compared to $28.4 billion for fiscal year 2020, a year-over-year increase of 35%.
Significantly improved earnings across our Ag segment compared to the prior year driven by strong global demand for grains and oilseeds which drove commodity prices higher and a full year of improved trade relations between the United States and foreign trade partners.
Equity earnings from investments, particularly from CF Nitrogen and Ventura Foods, were a significant source of earnings during fiscal year 2021.
While improved refining margins in our refined fuels business resulted in increased margins as demand shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic began to subside, the resulting margin improvements were more than offset by exceptionally high costs for renewable energy credits and less favorable pricing on heavy Canadian crude oil processed by our refineries, resulting in lower earnings.
October is National Co-op Month and a time to celebrate the cooperative model and the strength it brings to local communities.
“CHS is proud to be part of the cooperative system and we’re driven by our purpose to create connections to empower agriculture,” says Jay Debertin, CHS president and CEO. “Our values of inclusion, integrity, cooperative spirit and safety guide us as we work together for shared success and to strengthen our communities.”
Do you know what a co-op is? Here we break it down.
What is a cooperative? A cooperative is defined by USDA as a user-owned and controlled business from which benefits are derived and distributed equitably on the basis of use or as a business owned and controlled by the people who use its services.
Who determines policy? The CHS Board is made up of 17 member-owners, elected by the members.
How are profits distributed? The business is operated for a profit; it’s how the profit is divided that makes a co-op unique. Unlike most corporations where the profits are distributed to stockholders, co-ops distribute profits to member-owners on a patronage basis. Patronage is a method of sharing profits among the members. It is based on how much they purchase and the profitability of the co-op.
What kind of co-op system is CHS? CHS is a blended federated and centralized cooperative system. CHS is unique in that along with the federated system of member cooperatives, we also have Country Operations, made up of centralized retail locations dedicated to serve member-owners in their respective geographies. Along with member cooperatives, those member-owners of Country Operations locations vote for board members at the CHS annual meeting or are represented by delegates from their business unit at the annual meeting.
Help us celebrate National Co-op Month by joining the conversation on social media using #CoopMonth.
Strongest third-quarter net earnings since 2014; $50 million of additional owner equity redemptions authorized in 2021
CHS Inc. released results for its fiscal third quarter ended May 31, 2021. The company reported net income of $273.6 million compared to $97.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, an increase of 180.2%. Significant year-over-year earnings growth in all business segments — Energy, Ag and Nitrogen Production — and Corporate and Other businesses each contributed to the increase.
Reflecting strong company performance, the CHS Board of Directors has approved $50 million in additional equity redemptions to member cooperatives and individual owners since the December 2020 CHS Annual Meeting. The increase is incremental to $33 million in approved equity redemptions announced at the 2020 annual meeting, for a total of $83 million in planned owner equity redemptions in fiscal 2021. A distribution of $30 million in cash patronage was also made to owners in early calendar 2021, based on business transacted with CHS in fiscal 2020.
“Robust performance across CHS resulted in a very strong third quarter,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “Strong global demand in agricultural markets and the hard work we have been doing to gain efficiencies across our supply chain led to higher volumes in nearly every business area, significantly improving our Ag segment earnings compared to the prior year’s third quarter.
“We also are seeing increasing momentum in pandemic recovery as restrictions ease and vaccination efforts progress, which has had a favorable impact on our Energy segment results and overall performance.”
Fiscal 2021 third-quarter highlights
Revenues of $10.9 billion grew 50.9% from $7.2 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
Earnings were up by more than 40% across all business segments (and Corporate and Other businesses) compared to both the second quarter of fiscal 2021 and the third quarter of the previous fiscal year.
Energy segment results
Improved refined fuels margins resulted in fiscal 2021 third quarter margin gains, as did the absence of a $42.0 million noncash charge to reduce refined fuels inventories to their market value that impacted the prior year’s third quarter, but did not reoccur in the third quarter of fiscal 2021.
Improved margins in the company’s refined fuels business were partially offset by significantly higher prices of renewable energy credits that had a negative impact on margins of approximately $82.0 million, less favorable pricing on heavy Canadian crude oil and lower propane margins due to the reversal of hedging gains recognized during the prior year.
Overall, revenues increased by 24.2% and earnings increased by $59.6 million over the fiscal 2021 second quarter, reflecting volume and margin recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
Ag segment results
Strong global demand drove commodity prices higher, and improved trade relations between the United States and foreign trade partners led to continued higher volumes for grain and oilseed, which significantly improved Ag segment earnings compared to the prior year’s third quarter.
Higher overall margins were partially offset by mark-to-market losses for certain processing and food ingredients products, which the company expects to reverse over time.
Lower volumes of feed and farm supplies were partially offset by increased volumes for agronomy products, stemming from stronger demand due to favorable weather conditions, compared with the previous year’s third quarter.
Other focus areas
Nitrogen Production segment earnings increased in the quarter due to higher income attributed to increased sale prices of urea and urea ammonium nitrate.
Favorable market conditions for edible oils and a recovery in sales volumes compared to earlier in the pandemic drove significantly increased income through the company’s investment in Ventura Foods, LLC.
Focused cost-reduction initiatives, launched in fiscal 2021, continued to gain traction in reducing year-to-date marketing, general and administrative expenses.
The company began to bring employees back to its global offices in full or hybrid capacities as pandemic restrictions lifted. The costs of these activities are not expected to be material.
For the nine months ended May 31, 2021, CHS reported net income of $305.0 million versus $401.0 million for the same period in fiscal 2020.
“We are encouraged by overall improvements in the global economy and the positive traction we’re gaining at CHS with initiatives focused on working more efficiently and effectively throughout the enterprise,” said Debertin. “We are optimistic conditions will continue to improve over the next 12 months. The resilience of our employees and their commitment to our owners and customers has been inspiring and we look forward to the future and continued shared success.”
This document and other CHS Inc. publicly available documents contain, and CHS officers and representatives may from time to time make, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on CHS current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its businesses, financial condition and results of operations, future plans and strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of CHS control. CHS actual results and financial condition may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause CHS actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements are discussed or identified in CHS filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the “Risk Factors” discussion in Item 1A of CHS Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020, and Item 1A of Part II of CHS Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended May 31, 2021. These factors may include: changes in commodity prices; the impact of government policies, mandates, regulations and trade agreements; global and regional political, economic, legal and other risks of doing business globally; the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak or other similar outbreaks; the impact of market acceptance of alternatives to refined petroleum products; consolidation among our suppliers and customers; nonperformance by contractual counterparties; changes in federal income tax laws or our tax status; the impact of compliance or noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations; the impact of any governmental investigations; the impact of environmental liabilities; actual or perceived quality, safety or health risks associated with our products; the impact of seasonality; the effectiveness of our risk management strategies; business interruptions and casualty losses; the impact of workforce factors; our funding needs and financing sources; changes in the method of determining, or the replacement of, LIBOR; technological improvements that decrease the demand for our agronomy and energy products; our ability to complete, integrate and benefit from acquisitions, strategic alliances, joint ventures, divestitures and other nonordinary course-of-business events; security breaches or other disruptions to our information technology systems or assets; the impact of our environmental, social and governance practices; the impairment of long-lived assets; and other factors affecting our businesses generally. Any forward-looking statements made by CHS in this document are based only on information currently available to CHS and speak only as of the date on which the statement is made. CHS undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise except as required by applicable law.
June is National Safety Month. CHS and Nationwide are proud to share a partnership focused on safety. The following information is provided by Nationwide, the #1 farm and ranch writer in the U.S.*
Safely navigating large agricultural equipment over rural roads to and from the fields is a challenge for even the best drivers. Nationwide reminds farmers to consider the following rules on the safe operation of equipment to help reduce the risk of motor vehicle collisions.