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Late spring, falling crop prices affect Brownton Ag Center’s bottom line

A tough year for farmers also was a tough year for the Brownton Co-op Ag Center, which had an operating loss of $48,428 for its fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.
Fortunately, patrons heard at the cooperative’s annual meeting Friday, other income and patronage received from investments boosted the bottom line to a positive $51,568.
General Manager Bruce Loeschen said two major factors contributed to this year’s operating loss — a late, wet spring and falling crop prices.
“I wasn’t expecting that (the poor spring), and neither were you,” said Loeschen to the farmers in attendance. “The spring was extremely wet — some farms got 20 inches in a 30-days period.”
Loeschen said many farmers were unable to get corn planted on much of their acreages because of the wet spring.
Loeschen also pointed out that in 2012-13, the Ag Center had record sales of over $20 million. That was because of favorable grain prices, Loeschen said. Besides providing agronomy services, the cooperative has a grain elevator with storage and drying facilities.

For more, see the Dec. 10 print edition of The Chronicle.