From the Manager's Desk

Oct 06, 2022


October Update

As we move into the fall months, in a typical year we start to see the prices consumers pay at the pumps move lower from the peak driving season. However, in recent weeks gas prices have begun to climb again after dropping to $3.40 per gallon from their summer highs of nearly $5. If you live in or near Westby, Black Earth, Richland Center, or Mount Horeb, get a patron card at to get cash back for your purchases at any of our five Cenex gas stations. As a cooperative we return our profits to our members and using your patron card is how you get your share of these profits. 

While the fall harvest has started in some parts of our trade area, we are maybe a week or two behind the pace of last year for seeing grain flowing into our facilities. By most early reports from our agronomists, this year is looking like a potential record crop across much of the area we serve. Our grain plants located in Mazomanie, Mineral Point, Richland Center, and Westby are anxiously awaiting this year’s crop. A few weeks ago, the Premier grain team spent the day reviewing safety and operational procedures to better prepare to serve our members’ needs over the next several weeks. Whether you need help hauling this year’s crop to the elevator, or still looking to finalize your grain marketing plan, give us call. Our knowledgeable staff is looking forward to working with you this year to make this year’s harvest as safe and smooth as possible. Our team will do their best to meet your needs and your help with good, early communication for trucking needs and when you plan to start, or finish harvest is always helpful. Thanks for your support and please be safe this harvest season.

About the time harvest gets into full swing, your company also ramps up for another one of our seasonal rushes, the winter heating season. While I don’t know that anyone can accurately predict when the cold temperatures will arrive, we all know that it will get cold, and it will snow. Thank you to those of you that contract your propane needs for the upcoming season and remain on our route delivery service. This allows us to make sure as much inventory is out in the country as possible before supply sees its first challenges of the year. For those of you that call in your propane orders, please consider getting your tank filled well ahead of winter. Including increased demand due to normal cold weather, this part of the country could also be looking at greater crop drying demand (propane and natural gas) compared to the last couple of years due to the potential record crop and delayed planting in the spring of 2022. With over 800,000 gallons of propane supply capacity, Premier is one of the largest propane providers in the state. Still, the infrastructure for the propane industry in the Midwest relies greatly on the amount of supply capacity with the end user…the tanks at our members’ homes, businesses, and farms. Thank you for making sure your propane supply is full and ready for the season.

By the time you receive this we will have closed another fiscal year and are now starting the cooperative’s 130th year, more than any other farm and consumer supply cooperative in the United States. While our current year-end results will not be completed until after our mid-November audit, I feel comfortable sharing that we look forward to reporting on another great year for your cooperative. Total sales will be up over last year, as well as bottom line performance. Thank you all for the support that helped make this happen. At Premier, we have never looked at sales or profit at your company as the top metrics whether we had a successful year. More important than those two is determining whether we exceeded our members’ expectations throughout the year, provided a safe and positive work environment for our staff, continued to learn from our mistakes, challenged each other to find improved ways to operate your company, and added value and positive returns to our customers. While these are often hard to measure, the positive feedback from our members and the resulting growth we have generated over the past many years are hopefully a sign that we continue to head in the right direction. Thank you for continuing to allow us the opportunity to provide you with the products and services you need. 

Whether you are out enjoying the weather on our beautiful country roads this fall, or helping to bring in this year’s crop, please remember to slow down and be safe. I hope everyone has a successful harvest and a great month. 

Matt Severson


Read More News

Mar 03,2023
With spring just around the corner, your cooperative is gearing up for another one of our seasonal rushes…spring planting season. Not only will we see our total employee count peak for the year, but nearly every asset in the company will be in use. While many businesses have equipment and buildings that are in use all year long, our grain and agronomy divisions have millions of dollars invested in some assets that only get used for a few months out of the year. It is critical that these assets are fully operational and ready to go when the season starts. Our agronomy operations team has spent the winter months going through all the equipment to make sure it's in good working order, unwrapping and greasing up the new sprayers, trucks and other equipment we’ve purchased this year, updating technology and precision tools on existing equipment, and conducting hours of training on its use and safety. 

In addition, the crop advisors and admin staff have been putting the finishing touches on crop plans and seed orders, wrapping up input financing and nutrient management plans, hiring and training new staff including college interns to help scout fields, and maybe taking a little time away to get rested for what is sure to be long days and short nights ahead. If you’re still looking to finalize plans for this planting season, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our highly trained crop advisors.

Gearing up for spring is not only about the equipment, but also the additional staff needed to provide the products and services our members rely on to help feed the world. Each year we try to fill about 100 full and part time positions at our eleven agronomy locations. These positions can last from six weeks up to eight months. Most seasonal positions involve delivering product to our members or directly to fields to keep our custom application machines running smoothly. If you or someone you know is interested in seasonal or year-round employment, please contact Shayla at our Mt Horeb office or stop by one of the agronomy locations. The hours can be flexible and available up to seven days a week. If agronomy work isn’t for you, ask about openings at any of our other locations including retail associates, plant operations, truck drivers, administrative professionals and more. Premier is always looking to add quality people to our team.

Thank you for your continued support of Premier Cooperative and its staff. Have a great month and stay safe!
Mar 03,2023
Cattle nutrient requirements can vary by season and stage of production. Now is a great time to evaluate your cattle mineral programs and map out a plan to maximize impact.

While minerals are a relatively small portion of the diet, they control many vital functions in cattle and impact everything from cattle reproduction to feed efficiency and overall herd health. That's why it’s so important to make sure the mineral needs of your cattle are being met year-round.
Mar 03,2023
I know many of you have plans in place for a spring burndown herbicide application. If not, here are a few reasons for you to get in contact with your Premier agronomist to do so. Spring burndown applications typically target winter annuals and perennial grasses that overwinter and resume growing as soon as temperatures warm in the spring.  As they get going in the field they immediately begin stealing water and nutrients from the soil, and can create planting challenges. With the onset of resistant weeds like waterhemp, and standby challenges like giant ragweed, it is a best practice recommendation to add a strong residual herbicide to your preplant spring burndown application.  Doing so helps keep populations down and gets ahead of your first early post application. Here are some tips for establishing clean fields that give your crop a strong start.