Connection Spring 2015 - Page 6

FROM THE MANAGER Dear members & patrons A s of the last issue, we were still ginning cotton. We finally finished up on December 19 after shutting down and waiting for a couple of producers to finish picking. Our final total was a new record for United Ag — 153,737 bales. We were still able to return our producers an average lint turn out of 40.66 percent. This means to make a 480-pound bale of cotton took our producers only 1,180 pounds of seed cotton. This is the average on 153,737 bales, which means there were some turn outs better and some worse, but we are very proud that our gins have been updated with all the latest ginning technology that adds value to our producers cotton. Besides a record ginning year, your cooperative had a record grain year, handling 4,922,349 bushels of corn, 1,820,931 bushels of milo, 29,034 bushels of wheat and 100,100 bushels of soybeans. The only sad thing about these beautiful crops is that, for the most part, our producers didn’t receive record prices. As we look to the 2015 crop this issue, prices look even bleaker. In my last letter, I wrote about missed opportunities in pricing crops and cattle. Since that time, we’ve seen nothing but more deterioration in prices. December corn futures in December 2014 hit a high of $4.39. Today, they are $3.99. December cotton futures in December 2014 were a high of $66.23. Today, December cotton futures are at $64.14, which is not a huge loss. September feeder cattle futures were $2.34 and today they closed at $2.15. We continuously ask our producers to look for opportunities for profits. To do this, producers must know their breakeven cost and this must be imprinted in their minds. When the opportunity shows that it may be possible to lock in profits, we must act. years of low prices, barring away drought or weather-related issues. Therefore, we must really study where our costs and returns are to survive this time of high carryout of grain and cotton supplies from one year to the next. Your United Ag Farm Supply Stores at El Campo, Danevang, Eagle Lake and Edna have enjoyed a good season thus far. Our employees work hard to have the products available that our customers need. Please feel free to inquire if there is anything you feel we should stock. We really appreciate your support of your cooperative. We will end the 2014-2015 fiscal year on April 30, 2015. Because of your patronage, we will have another profitable year. Our annual membership meeting will be on Thursday, June 25, so watch for the announcement. Hopefully we will get our crops in the ground and prices will rise, making our 2015 year profitable for all of our producers. Most analysts predict that we