Grain News: July 31, 2018 – Wheat Leading the Charge

jim photoWheat is leading the charge this week with concern over the smaller and smaller world supply.  Yesterday’s rally in wheat pushed corn and beans above last week’s highs. The forecasters are looking at drier and hotter weather pattern setting up for the US Corn Belt that is adding to drama as July ends and the critical month of August weather begins. The weather from around the world is also adding concern to the markets with European farmers seeing the driest conditions in decades as their crops burn up in the field. In other growing regions China, Australia and India are also dealing with the dryness and remain a concern.

Monday’s export inspections hit it out of the park for corn and beans and help to keep prices climbing higher.

Export expectations for grains





Yesterday’s crop conditions caught everyone a little off guard.

US corn crop conditions 72% good/excellent vs 71% expected (70-73% range of ideas), 72% last week, 61% last year – conditions unchanged across the board despite widespread lower conditions in corn belt states-US soybean crop conditions 70% good/excellent vs 69% expected (68-70% range of ideas), 70% last week, 59% last year – g/e unchanged but 1% shift from excellent to good, most corn belt states lower-US spring wheat crop conditions 78% good/excellent vs 77% expected (75-79% range of ideas), 79% last week, 31% last year – 1% g/e decline vs expected 2% decline

China is enacting an economic stimulus package as US tariffs appear to be slowing their economy enough to warrant some concern.  If US tariffs continue to cause financial problems in China, you can expect a more motivated Chinese trade negotiation ahead.  With trade tensions easing with the EU it looks more likely that trade negotiations with China will happen sooner rather than later. Despite the tariff induced panic that US bean sales would disappear, the shipment pace, export sales and crush will all be record highs for July with yesterday’s total again above estimates.  World bean demand cannot be capped by tariffs or political tensions and the game of bean sale musical chairs continues at full speed.

 The last few months of grain marketing has been anything but normal. With so many pieces of a puzzle in play, let your Landmark Grain Marketing Specialist help fit those pieces into a sound marketing plan going forward.

Grain News: July 26, 2018 – Soybeans Leading the Way

Doug of landmarkThe grain markets are rallying with soybeans leading the way today as the US and EU began making headway to end their trade dispute. Reportedly, the EU will start buying US beans “almost immediately”, but their 15.3 MMT demand is modest in Comparison to China’s import needs. Also, they would have bought US soybeans anyways as we are over $1.00/bushel cheaper than other suppliers currently.

There is a report that China’s government held a meeting with the top five feed makers to discuss ways of reducing soybean meal levels in animal feed. The discussions also looked at how to secure alternative protein-rich ingredients.

Wheat has also been rallying in the recent days. The European wheat and the Russian wheat crop have been reduced due to dry weather. The European soft wheat crop has been reduced to 130 MMT’s versus its previous estimate of 132.4 MMT’s. This would be the lowest soft wheat harvest for the EU since 2012. Last year their crop was 141.8 MMT.

The second day of the US spring wheat crop tour showed yields at 41.3 bpa, which compares to 2017 of 35.8 and the 5-year average of 44.7. Day two did show better yields than the first day. So far yields are a bit below expectations going in to the tour.

Weekly export sales were reported this morning at 13.33 million bushels for corn, 19.77 million bushels for soybeans, and 14.18 million bushels for wheat. The corn and wheat sales were disappointing, soybeans disappointing but as expected.

The local soft wheat harvest is wrapping up in areas that haven’t seen the rain. The quality has been suspect this year with lower test weights and some vomitoxin showing up most everywhere. With each rain the test weight will continue to lower. At least the price on soft wheat has come up a bit as our local harvest is going on.

If you have old crop grains to move before harvest give us a call. We have ideas! It might be time to price a few more bushels now that the prices are coming off their lows a bit.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Grain News: July 24, 2018 – Corn, Beans Well Ahead of Average

Corn, beans and wheat are all lower this morning. Corn was lower due to the expectation of changes in the crop conditions but when the report came out last night they were unchanged. Weather forecast is favorable for the Midwest the next 6-10 days. Basis has continued to stay steady.

  • Corn was rated 72% Good/Excellent in yesterday’s Crop Progress and Condition report, unchanged from last week.  Silking was 81% vs the 5-year average of 62%, and dough stage was also ahead of normal at 18% vs an 8% average for this date.

Beans were also lower because they improved on the G/E instead of declining like the trade was expecting. No resolution has been seen in the US/China trade war. DowDuPont’s ag unit in Brazil estimates soybean acres in Brazil could increase 5% next year because of the strong cash price from the Chinese demand. Basis has been mixed with eastern side firming bean basis and the west dropped a few cents.

  • Yesterday, USDA announced a cancellation of 165tmt of optional origin soybeans to China.
  • Soybeans are rated 70% G/E, up 1% from last week. 44% setting pods is well ahead of the average 23% for this date.
  • 44% of the soybean crop is setting pods vs 23% for the 5-year average.

Wheat is lower this morning just on technical correction with European values lower overnight. Spring wheat conditions were down 1% to 79% vs last year’s 33% G/E. US winter wheat harvest is 80% complete Vs 83% last year and 79% avg.

With harvest fast approaching, make sure you get your offers in with your local grain specialists.

Grain News: July 19, 2018 – Favorable Weather Across Midwest

Katie of landmarkMarkets are starting the Thursday morning session softer after starting the week trending upward. Weather still seems favorable across the Midwest as the corn and soybean growing season continues. Trade not paying too much attention to the drier weather as we start to see some rain systems moving in with the 10 day forecast. Grain markets also softer due to the jump in the value of the dollar overnight. Trade seems to think the economy is stabilizing with rising interest rates as the dollar sees a new one-year high.

Exports this morning were better than expected on corn with a surprising buy from Argentina of 80,000 tons of old crop corn. Bean exports were mostly in line with expectations as an unknown buyer purchased 433,000 tons and Argentina booked 120,000 tons of new crop soybeans.

Locally we’re seeing a push in wheat harvest as farmers try to make headway before the rain moves in. The wheat market is steady this morning, gaining some support from higher overseas markets. Exports on wheat were neutral at 11 million bushels. Argentina also making a wheat purchase, along with a purchase of almost 58,000 tons from Japan.

Farmers across the country are starting to feel the pressure to get their old crop corn moved as they have to get bins cleaned out for harvest bushels. With steady basis levels and lower future levels many are at a loss of what to do with unsold bushels. Give us a call if you’d like to go through some options to get those bins cleaned out.

Have a great day!

Katie Demrow

Landmark Sponsors Local Summer Lunch in the Park Program

Helping end child hunger

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, July 9, 2018 – Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is excited to once again sponsor the Edgerton Community Outreach (ECO) Lunch in the Park summer food program for children.

ECO provides programs and services that help those in need. The Lunch in the Park program to help end child hunger has been a dream of ECO for many years. ECO understands that many of the children receiving free and reduced lunch at school during the school year suffer greatly during the summer months due to lack of food options and availability at home. The Lunch in the Park program kicked off on June 11 at Central Lutheran Park in Edgerton and is supported 100 percent by private donations.

“Landmark Services Cooperative’s donation has given Lunch in the Park a third year to provide children and families an opportunity to enjoy a hot or cold meal together. Since the kick off on June 11, we have served a total of 143 unduplicated meals. We are serving on average 38 lunches per day. It is great to see familiar faces and new ones too as Lunch in the Park continues to grow,” said Alyssa Meyers, food pantry coordinator of ECO.

As an agricultural cooperative, finding a way to help children in local communities combat hunger is a natural fit. “We are excited to participate in the Lunch in the Park program for a second year, partnering with ECO to help serve food to those in need. Alyssa’s efforts ensure the kids and families feel welcome and comfortable while getting a bite to eat. We are proud to be able to help fill the nutritional need during the summer,” commented Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of LSC.


Donation to Edgerton Community Outreach
Landmark Services Cooperative donated $800 to ECO June 18 to go toward the Lunch in the Park initiative. Pictured from left to right Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of LSC.; Alyssa Meyers, food pantry coordinator of ECO.

Grain News: July 17, 2018 – Record Setting Pod Set

Melisa of LandmarkMarkets are not worried with weather concerns.  Crop conditions slipped this week but no concern to the market.  Growing degree days continue to be ahead of normal.  Corn is slightly behind 2012 on silking but bean pod setting is setting a record.

Corn good to excellent slipped 3% to 72%.  WI good/excellent rating continues well above the average at 82% vs our average at 75%.  Corn silking is at 63% vs 5-year average at 37%.  WI is normally 11% silking with this year at 30%.  Worth noting IL (93%) and IA (68%) are farthest ahead of the 5-year average by 36%.  Russia continues to miss the timely rains needed for the corn crop.  Russia is getting rain this week, but it could be too late.

Beans slipped also by 2% to 69% good/excellent this week.  WI continues to be ahead of our 5-year average at 81% vs 75.6%.  Pod setting is ahead at 26% vs 11% 5-year average.  Pod setting is the fastest on record as of now.  WI is currently at 13% vs average 7%.  Blooming progress is 65% vs 45% 5-year average.  Last year blooming was at 49%.  WI blooming is ahead at 49% vs 36% average.

Wheat harvest is 74% completed with Kansas done.  South Dakota is 20% completed with winter wheat.  Trade continues to watch harvest in the Black Sea and Russia to see the production levels.  Russian harvest is ahead of normal due to smaller yields and dryness.  Wheat yields are running around 57.7 bushels per acre vs 69.8 bushels per acre last year.

Our grain marketing specialists are here to help you marketing plan.  We still have options available to help you.  Enjoy the great wheat and hay making weather!


Controlling those Pesky Flies

black and white cowFlies can wreak havoc on your livestock if proper measures aren’t taken. Many producers spend countless dollars and hours in hopes to maintain the fly population. A heavy fly population leads to a high stress level which can affect the animals ability to use nutrients that it has consumed properly and depress the immune system making them more susceptible to diseases.

Several types of flies contribute to the issues producers are having today.

Horn Flies:

Horn fly infestation can cause irritation, blood loss, decreased grazing, reduced weight gain in calves and lower milk production in nursing cows. Horn flies typically populate the backs, sides, belly and poll areas. Male and female horn flies can take up to as many as 30 blood meals per day.

Face Flies:

Face flies look a lot like houseflies but are a bit bigger and darker. Face flies are around throughout the whole summer. Populations usually peak in late July and August. The flies like to hang around ponds, waterways, areas with trees and shaded vegetation and irrigated pastures. Face flies cluster around the animal’s eyes, mouth and nose causing irritation.

Stable Flies:

Stable flies are huge pests for feedlots, dairies and pasture cattle. Stable flies like to feed on blood just like horn flies. They cluster on the cattle’s front legs. Their bites are very painful causing animals to stomp their legs, bunch up on pasture or stand in any water to avoid being bitten.

The best way to help maintain the fly population is to take action controlling the adults and the larvae. There are a variety of control methods that are available that can be combined together to get results.

  1. Backrubs and dust bags can help control horn flies
  2. Insecticide-inclusive ear tags can help control horn flies but it is suggested to alternate tags between pyrethroids and organophosphates as some horn flies can become resistant.
  3. Animal sprays or pour-on products can be effective 7-21 days and will need to be re-applied.
  4. Feed-through or oral larvicides such as Rabon, Altosid and Clarifly can be used starting 30 days before the flies typically come out.

Grain News: July 10, 2018 – No Talk of Tariff Resolution

Judy of landmarkAfter some gains on Friday, we are starting the week out lower over the trade war.  There has been no talk of a resolution anytime soon.  The Chinese import tariffs are 25% on US beans, corn, wheat and other products.  The USDA July S & D report will be out this Thursday, July 12th.  Warmer temperatures in portions of the US Corn Belt are in this week’s forecast.  The northern Midwest could see up to an inch of rain starting Sunday with 85% coverage.

Corn is trading lower this morning.  Crop ratings dropped 1%, but they are still saying 75% of the crop is good to excellent condition.  They also said 37% of the crop is silking without much of a weather threat.  There are more signs of strong export demand enhanced by lower production around the world.  Signs of a weather rally in corn is starting to look bleak.

Soybeans are trading slightly higher this morning.  The percentage of the soybean crop rated good to excellent held steady, while overall conditions declined.  Exports last week are on pace to reach USDA’s forecast for the 2017 crop.  It is interesting to note that US soybean export sales have increased to China’s neighboring countries.  Signaling the soybeans working their way around the tariffs and into China.  Seems like soybeans will have a hard time moving higher until the tariff issue is resolved.

Wheat is trading lower today.  For early July the wheat crop is the best rated since 2010.  USDA reported that 63% of the winter wheat crop is harvested.  Exports were disappointing last week.  There were hopes that the lower world production could help increase US sales but that hasn’t happened yet.

Combines are starting to roll at some of our locations.  Please take the time to be safe in the fields and on the road.  Contact your marketing specialist to help you make a plan to adjust to the current market atmosphere.


Grain News: July 5, 2018 – Improved Basis for July

Almost all Midwest corn locations improved basis in July. Due to the hot weather in the Midwest, corn is called a few cents higher today. They are calling for Dec 18 corn resistance at 3.67 1/2. Open interest is down. Weekly exports will be delayed until Friday when the US government will also release the official import/export data for the month of May. Deliverable corn stocks are 85% higher than a year ago while soy/wheat stocks are below a year ago.  USDA also announced the sale of 137 tmt of corn to South Korea for the new crop

Beans are called steady to a few cents lower in anticipation of tomorrow’s trade tariffs. They are calling for support for Nov beans at 8.60 ½. China has stated that as soon as US tariffs on Chinese goods go into effect (Friday), their customs agency will start charging retaliatory tariffs on US goods (including beans).

Wheat is steady to higher on falling Eu and FSU production projections. Open interest was up on Tuesdays bounce. The weather looks favorable for the US wheat with the drier conditions helping winter wheat harvest.

As always, give your local Grain Specialist a call if you want to revisit your marketing plan, put open offers in or learn more about our specialty contracts.

Have a great day!

Grain News: July 3, 2018 – Market focus: trade tariffs, weather

Doug of landmarkThe market volatility continues as we start the month of July.  The June 29th stocks and planted acres’ report was non-eventful.  While the numbers were mostly bearish the market had already been trading more corn and soybean acres and stocks.  Right now, the market is more focused on trade tariffs and the US growing season weather.  Each week further into the season with good crop ratings the chance for a sustained weather rally becomes less and less.

The US corn rated good-excellent fell 1% vs a week ago. Recent flooding storms have TX, SD, IA, WI & OH seeing ratings drop at least 3% from last week while MO, CO, TN and PA saw conditions improve by at least that much. The crop continues to rival 2014 as the best in recent memory. Corn silking at 17% vs. 8% average.

US soybeans rated good-excellent fell 2% with 1% rising from good to excellent but 1% falling from good to fair and 1% falling from good to poor. LA, SD, AR, TN, ND, IA & MS all saw good-excellent ratings drop at least 3% with only MO improving by that much. Like corn, US soybean ratings are rivaling 2014 as the best in recent memory. Soybeans blooming at 27% vs. 13% average.

Wheat is in for its third straight violent session. It comes into the morning 11-13 cents higher after selling off 30-35 cents from highs scored Friday/Monday. 51% of the US winter wheat crop has been harvested vs. 41% average. Spring wheat conditions were little changed vs. a week ago, at 77% good-excellent.  The crop is the best for this date since 2010.

Soybeans are struggling since they will bear the brunt if China’s tariffs are enacted on Friday.  Soybeans could fall more to make up for the 25% proposed tariff by China.  Trade talks continue but can we avoid the tariff enactment on Friday? Grain markets close at noon today and then open again Thursday morning.

Have a fantastic 4th of July holiday!