Wendy Reuer, Published December 04 2012
Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative hold annual meeting today in Fargo; shareholder revenue down from last yearFARGO – Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative kicked off its annual meeting here this morning with a disappointing report of shareholder’s revenue.
The cooperative handed out about $155 million in payments to shareholders and growers at the end of its 2011-2012 fiscal year on Aug. 31.
The payments were 14 percent less than gross revenues of the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Dave Roche, Minn-Dak President and Chief Executive Officer said the decrease in gross revenue is due to difficult growing conditions and low yields per acre.
The 2012 crop is much larger than in 2011 with 27 tons per acre and sugar content higher than average at 19 percent.
However, sugar prices are down, nearly 40 percent less than a year ago, said Doug Etten, chairmen of the co-op’s board of directors.
A bumper crop of sugar beets in Mexico contributed to strengthening the supply in a time when demand is down, Roche said.
While the co-op looks back on 2012 during its 40th annual meeting today, it anxiously awaits a decision on the future farm bill.
Jim Wiesemeyer, senior vice president of policy and trade issues for Informa Economics, is slated to be the guest speaker of today’s meeting.
Wiesemeyer, who has been in Washington, D.C., monitoring the movement on the farm bill, said he doubts any “real negotiation” of the farm bill will happen until early next year.
“A good steady farm bill is critical to this industry,” Wiesemeyer said.
Read more about this story in tomorrow’s issue of The Forum.