From the Manager's Desk

Oct 01, 2020

October Update

With harvest well underway in many parts of our trade area, our employee team is gearing up and ready to serve our members during the next two seasonal rushes your cooperative experiences each year—grain rush and propane heating season. Most of what I’ve read and heard recently has pointed to normal winter temperatures with above average precipitation. For those of you that call in your propane orders, please consider getting your tank filled well ahead of winter. For those on our keep fill program, thank you for allowing us to work your deliveries into our routes. Thank you all for choosing Premier to be your propane provider and making us one of the top 25 propane retailers in the United States.
As mentioned above, the grain rush has started and it looks like we’ll have a much better fall harvest than a year ago. With the early start and nice weather, for those of you delivering grain, please work with our team to deliver within our normal posted receiving hours. If you delivered grain last fall, you received a letter in September detailing times and other important information. Like our spring agronomy season, COVID has created additional challenges in attracting all the seasonal help we’d like for the grain season. Our team will do their best to meet your needs. Your help with good, early communication for trucking needs and when you plan to start, and finish, harvest is always helpful.

Thanks for your support and please be safe this harvest season.

 By the time you receive this we will have closed out Premier’s 127th fiscal year, more than any other farm and consumer supply cooperative in the United States. I’m pleased to report that despite the pandemic and other challenges, through August our overall sales are very close to last year. In a commodity business like ours, dollar sales are not as good an indicator as the volume of product sold—tons, gallons, and other units. While our retail gasoline sales volumes suffered the most from the pandemic, other volumes like feed, agronomy, propane, and hardware/lumber were up over 2019. It’s the increase in volume, while managing expenses, that helps improve your cooperative’s profitability and we anticipate a better bottom line in 2020 compared to 2019. Thank you all for the tremendous support that helped make this happen. As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, we have never looked at sales or profit at your company as the top measuring sticks for whether or not we had a successful year. More important than those two is determining whether or not we exceeded our member’s expectations throughout the year, provided a safe and positive work environment for our staff, continued to learn from our mistakes, challenged the status quo 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. We also recognize that the changes we sometimes need to make to improve our services, decrease hassle, improve efficiencies/costs, and/or increase value to our members will inevitably have a negative impact on a few. We will continue to do our best to minimize these while remaining vigilant in our quest for improvement. Thank you for continuing to allow us the opportunity to provide you with the products and services you need.
October is Cooperative Month, and the start of a new fiscal year at Premier. The cooperative’s board of directors and employees have been planning 2021 (and beyond) fixed asset investments needed to help serve our members. As always, there are a lot of new trucks, applicators, and other rolling stock in the budget. In addition, we are exploring ways to improve production at several of our locations through new, larger equipment and facility improvements/expansions. It looks like it could be an exciting year ahead.
Well, the leaves are changing colors and dropping and this week we closed the book on another Wisconsin summer. I hope each of you was able to take time to enjoy some beautiful summer days with family and friends despite the ongoing pandemic. Speaking of beautiful weather, we had none of it the entire week after Labor Day and right up until the September 12th, 4:30 pm, backyard wedding ceremony for my daughter. With only a few light sprinkles during the ceremony, and a steady rain we watched pass by only about 200 yards away, the rain let up long enough to set up and decorate the dinner tables, eat a delicious meal, and enjoy a humid, cool evening of conversation, laughs, and masked karaoke singing. With only the wedding party and the bride and groom’s immediate families attending, the 30 or so people there seemed to really enjoy the relaxed (except me), intimate evening. To everyone with a sweet, adoring daughter who one day asks to hold her dream wedding in your backyard, start practicing “No!”  Have a great month and be safe. Go Badgers!


Have a great month and be safe. Go Badgers!


Andy Fiene


Read More News

Oct 28,2020
Fall is a busy time for cattleman, harvest, weaning and
selling of the calf crop, and preparation for the months
ahead. I challenge you this year, to consider a new annual
routine when it comes to fall herd management. Take the
time this fall to subjectively body condition score (BCS) the
cow herd on the scale from 1 (emaciated) to 9 (obese) and
assess the distribution of condition scores across the cow
Oct 26,2020

Agronomist Casey Michek and Syngenta Rep Jon Biermeier discuss an NK hybrid they will be pushing to its limits in 2021. NK0472-5222 E-Z Refuge has a 104 day relative maturity with a moderate to high response to population and response to nitrogen.

Oct 21,2020

Agronomist Tanner Arndt discusses a Dekalb hybrid that he is excited to place on his growers' farms. Dekalb 58-64 RIB has a 108 day relative maturity with moderate response to population and response to nitrogen.