2017 February Newsletter

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This publication is meant to inform, enlighten, and perhaps even entertain the reader, on subjects related to Gold Star FS, Inc. specifically and the Ag Industry in general.
To start, let me introduce myself, for those of you who I have not yet met, in my first year with Gold Star. My full name is H. John Morrell Jr. I was born in Kewanee IL, graduated high school in Galva. I earned my bachelors degree from Western Illinois University, where I met my wife Stacey. I started in the GROW-MARK/FS system in May of 1991. I have worked for FS in the three core states of WI, IA and IL. Stacy and I have three children, (TJ, Kailyn & Jack), one born in each state.
Your cooperative had a successful fall season. Gold Star moved more fertilizer tons this year than last and we covered more acres with our custom work as well. The winter has been just a bit colder than last, giving us increase LP volume too. We mailed out our 1099s last month. We will be making another stock call/redemption for stock issued from 1998 to 2001 in the February/March time-frame. Those of you who have stock in those years can look for that check soon.
We will publish our newsletter on a quarterly basis. Until next time, stay warm and please stay safe.

Big Tire Changes

We have made big changes to our tire departments in Aledo & Cambridge to better serve our customers.
In Cambridge we have moved our tire shop to a larger building on the west end of the Cambridge plant. This new location has two bays, a lift and a comfortable waiting room for customers.
In Aledo, we have added a 2600 square foot addition to our existing tire shop to allow us to service semis and large trucks indoors.
These investments demonstrate that we are committed to giving our patrons the best possible tire service.

NH3 Safety Training

Gold Star FS, Inc., continues to support agricultural safety in our communities by providing training to safely handle anhydrous ammonia. On February 16, 2017, Sheri Saskowski, EH&S Specialist with Gold Star FS, will be providing this training during meetings in Henry and Annawan, IL.
For more information on how to attend either of these valuable seminars on Farm Labor Liability & Safety Measures, please contact the Bureau County Farm Bureau at (815) 875-6468.


Gold Star FS is excited to continue to expand our MiField projects in 2017. MiField is comprised of three categories: Applied Research, Nurture and Analytics. Each category utilizes your farming practices, data & capabilities to help you make agronomic improvements to your operation.
MiField Applied Research is focused on your farming operation. Assisting you in evaluating practices, and products, that put more dollars to your bottom line. Projects are individually tailored, with your Crop Specialist, to fit your needs.
MiField Nurture is focused on environmental stewardship through a 4R’s approach. It’s all about M.O.M. Minimize environmental impact, Optimize nutrient utilization & Maximize harvest yields.
MiField Analytics takes the data you generate with your trials and arrogates the data to give you a broader view of similar trials and the results. Allowing you to make a more informed decision.
Visit with your Gold Star FS Crop Specialist to learn more about MiField.


In December Gold Star FS, Inc. sent out a letter of notice to patrons that they were receiving a pass through Section 199(a) deduction. This amount also shows up on their 1099-PATR form that they received in the middle of January. To be eligible for this deduction the producer has to be a Farm Bureau member (similar to receiving patronage refunds). The deduction is based on the number of bushels that they merchandised through the Grain Department from August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016.
This deduction is something that is unique to cooperatives (our independently-owned competitors cannot offer this) and came about 6-7 years ago. Gold Star is involved directly in agriculture production and the direct costs are calculated to arrive at the total deduction available. The first few years
we calculated this deduction we were able to utilize the entire deduction due to higher income levels. This past year our income was down and we had unused deduction that could not be taken back to prior years nor taken to future years. This excess amount was passed along to our patrons. This
decision will be made on a year-to-year basis.
Past decisions will not affect future decisions. To answer many of our patrons’ questions, this amount is a deduction to be taken on their 2016 tax
return. In general, the amount is entered on line 23 of IRS Form 8903. The total of this form flows into line 35 of IRS Form 1040.

Grain Market Update

The corn market has seen a little life over the past two weeks. We have gotten up to three seventy for old corn on the board and three ninety five for new crop. Those are pretty good places to sell in my opinion. The basis has taken a little hit with the run up, but not too bad. As we move along toward spring, I feel that we will stay pretty flat in price movement, unless we see some more weather problems in South America. Once we get to spring we will really start to watch our weather and our acres. If we really move three to four million acres from corn to beans it will leave the corn market a little nervous. I know we have a big carryout in corn but if we start to have a weather issue they will react pretty fast. If we would have that happen don’t get caught getting to bullish, we think four dollars will be hard to push through.
Soybeans have had a nice run to the upside the last couple of weeks. Parts of Argentina saw anywhere between five to thirteen inches of rain. That did some damage!! We feel that they are still going to have a good crop in South America as a whole as long as the weather stays somewhat normal the rest of the way. If they do have a good crop we will start to see some pressure on the bean market. Then we will shift our talk to the size of our acres and crop. New crop beans have gotten over ten dollars and all the way up to ten thirty. Not a bad place at all to sell new crop.

LP Safety

Even though temperatures have been fairly mild lately, we are in the middle of the heating season and it’s always a good time to take a few minutes to review LP Safety. Remember, if you smell gas, immediately put out all smoking materials and flames, and do not operate any light switches, appliances or phones, (including cell phones). Leave the area immediately and shut off the main gas valve on your propane supply tank, if it’s safe to do so. Report the leak to your LP gas supply company from a neighbor’s house or from another location away from the leak. If you cannot reach your LP supplier, call 911. You should never attempt to locate or fix a leak or faulty appliance on your own. Leave it to the professionals who are trained to do the work safely. Safety of you and your family is our #1 priority.

Unsure about Dicamba on Soybeans?

Source: IL Fertilizer and Chemical Assoc., U of I Dept. of Crop Sciences, IL Dept. of AG
DO List
  • Do use only the 2 products approved in IL for post emerge use on Roundup Ready 2 Extend-Engenia (BASF) & XtendiMax w/ VaporGrip (Monsanto).
  • Thoroughly read & follow ALL label directions.
  • Do consult {fieldwatch.com} and access DriftWatch to identify locations of sensitive crops in your area. Avoid all contact with non-Xtend beans.
DON’T List
  • Don’t use Engenia or XtendiMax as a rescue treatment.
  • Don’t violate the pesticide label. Talk to your crop advisor & ag retailer about viable options for weed control in soybeans.
  • Don’t tank mix Engenia or XtendiMax with another product without consulting the product website.