Upcoming 2018 Agronomy Winter Meetings

2018 Agronomy meeting

How was your 2018? Already have some ideas for things you’d change in 2019?

The Landmark Winter Meetings will help you understand the abnormal 2018 season and prepare you to start the 2019 season on the right foot.

Landmark Innovation Plot Results

No two fields are the same, Landmark’s Innovation Plots provide you with local data to help you manage your acres better. Landmark agronomists will share performance and sustainability results of the latest hybrids and how the hybrids held up in adverse conditions.

Make Your Fungicide Application Work for You

Without the ability to predict the future, fungicide application can be a difficult decision to make. Learn how your Landmark agronomist can use data to help you get a return on your fungicide investment.

Tar Spot Panel

Tar Spot- What is it? Where did it come from? – All your Tar Spot questions answered by the experts. This is your chance to ask your questions about Tar Spot and other diseases that affected your crops this year.

Weed Control and Herbicide Management

Did your 2018 weed-control strategy stop the emergence of troublesome weeds?  Learn about what you could change in 2019 to stop troublesome weeds from robbing your yield potential.

On the Cutting Edge of YieldEDGE

Landmark has a wide variety of precision ag services to help you maximize bushels on your acre. Learn about how to get the most out of your soil samples results, how Climate FieldView can add value to your operation and how VRT soybeans can make a difference on your farm.

2018 Tissue Sample Results

2018 tissue sample results can help you identify changes to improve productivity on your fields. Learn about 2018 tissue samples trends, “the why” behind each deficiency, and how to put a plan in place to minimize deficiencies in the future.

The Landmark agronomy staff is eager to help you better your operation and we look forward to seeing you at the winter meetings.

2018 agronomy meeting showcase

Grain News: November 27, 2018 – Local Harvest Wrapping Up

Doug with LandmarkCorn was lower to start this week following the lower soybean market. Corn was down 3 cents on Monday.  Concerns of slower global economy growth during 2019, which would reduce feed demand, was a factor in the corn market as well. The recent price collapse in crude oil has pulled gasoline and ethanol futures lower. This has caused negative margins at most ethanol plants in the Midwest. The weekly export inspections report showed 44 million bushels for corn, bringing the marketing year to date inspections to 516 million bushels which is 229 million more bushels than a year ago. The final crop conditions report of the year showed corn harvest at 94% completed. Wisconsin was reported at 88% complete.

Soybeans led the markets lower on Monday with January soybean contract down 18 cents. One main factor that contributed to the lower market are doubts that the meeting late this week between President Trump and Chinese President Xi will result in a settlement that reduces the tariff on U.S. soybeans into China. The generally favorably South American weather has allowed the southern hemisphere growing season to get off to a good start also is weighing on the soybean market. Brazil is basically done with their soybean planting and well ahead of schedule on their first crop corn planting as well. Some soybean harvest could start there already in late December into early January. Argentina is also off to a good start with crop conditions.

Soybean export inspections last week were 40.6 million bushels leaving the year to date total at 447 million bushels or 327 million bushels less than a year ago. This pretty much explains the weakness in the soybean prices and the huge carryout we have. The weekly crop report had 94% of the U.S. soybeans harvested.  Wisconsin was at 94% as well.

Wheat was the only market trading higher off tensions between Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea which could affect export tenders. In the final crop condition report of the year winter wheat was reported at 55% good to excellent down 1% on the week. The next weekly crop condition report won’t be until April 1st, 2019.

With the local harvest wrapping up, please let us know how we can help with your marketing needs for this recent harvest as well as the 2019 crop and beyond. Most of the best prices received for this crop were on forward contracts completed well in advance of planting. We can work with you to set realistic targets that can help meet your profit goals. If you have grain that you are still harvesting or that is on hold with us let us know if you plan to sell or store. We have several ideas that might work for you to include basis contracts or minimum price as alternatives to straight storage.

Let Hybrids Tell You What They Need

Whether you’ve already chosen your corn hybrids for the year or still have purchasing decisions to make, one thing is for sure: every dollar counts. Your Landmark agronomist can help you understand how each hybrid reacts in various situations and help you best allocate your resources.

Obtain Hybrid-Specific Data
From the moment your seed touches the soil, every decision you make affects the ROI potential of that seed. Response-To Scores can help you determine how a particular hybrid will perform under different management strategies. According to multiple years of Answer Plot® data, there is a potential loss or gain of 90 bushels per acre based on these four factors:

Response to Population

A hybrid with a high RTP rating typically responds in yield as plant populations increase. These hybrids tend to have what the industry refers to as a “fixed” ear type, though this is not always the case. The ability of a hybrid to respond to increased populations allows you and your agronomist to take advantage of higher-management zones or higher-yielding areas of the field to push yield potential.

Conversely, a hybrid with a low RTP rating will give you roughly the same proportional yield at a low or high plant population. When using these hybrids, your agronomist may recommend lowering your existing population to allocate resources to other expenditures. These hybrids can also be good choices to use on lower-yielding areas of the field, as the ability to increase root size allows it to extract additional water and nutrients from the soil that a high RTP hybrid cannot.

Response to Nitrogen

Nitrogen is one of the most expensive inputs a grower must manage during the growing season, and it’s also one of the biggest factors to influence yield as determined by Answer Plot® data. Depending on the response-to score of a hybrid, you may want to consider a split application of N, include a N stabilizer, or increase the rate of N on hybrids with a high response to N. Those hybrids with a low or medium response to N may be for the acre that is not as highly managed.

Response to Fungicide

A high RTF score means that a hybrid has the potential to provide an economic gain in bushels if a fungicide is used. If you have planted a hybrid with a high RTF score, that hybrid should take precedence over other hybrids you have in the field when you apply fungicide. Hybrids with medium or low RTF scores should be sprayed last for a plant health benefit. However, remember to scout your fields for disease development during the growing season. You may have to spray your crop for diseases independent of its RTF rating.

Response to Continuous Corn

RTCC is the hybrid’s natural response to corn on corn. A high RTCC hybrid will have better emergence, disease resistance, and N usage in a continuous corn environment. A response to corn on corn is based more on the agronomics behind each hybrid rather than the trait package in the hybrid.

A 90-bushel-per-acre swing can be the difference between operating at a loss and having a banner year, so be sure to factor these scores into 2019 seed decisions if you haven’t finalized your purchases. If you’ve chosen your hybrids, you can still use this data to help ensure you give those hybrids what they need throughout the growing season.

Response to scores


A Deep Dive Into Seed Performance

Your Landmark agronomist has access to a powerful function that can help you understand how specific corn hybrids and soybean varieties perform in conditions like yours.

The Performance Mapper is part of the WinField® United R7® Tool that uses Answer Plot® data and unbiased, on-farm trial information, along with other factors such as weather and soil type, to show you how seed products have historically performed in varying fields and environments. Working with your Landmark agronomist, you can use this tool to select the seed that’s right for your operation and help you realize a seed’s potential throughout the season.

Understanding Product Performance
From a proactive standpoint, the tool can help guide seed purchases and placement decisions, taking a great deal of guesswork out of the equation. For example, your Landmark agronomist can work with you to overlay data such as excessive rainfall to learn how a certain hybrid fared in a wet year. From a reactive standpoint, it can also help you understand past performance, including where yield came from and why yield was lost, to make in-season management decisions.

Deep dive seed











Timing Is Everything
Now is a great time to be capitalizing on the Performance Mapper. Winfield® United recently added the 2018 Answer Plot® data to the R7®Tool, so this information is now available to help you make informed decisions for next year. During the growing season, you can access historical data in this tool to better understand how a disease like tar spot, for example, affected a corn hybrid in the past. If we predict the crop will be affected again this year, we can formulate a proactive plan to address pressures and help save yield potential.

With all the new products that hit the market each year, it’s important to use resources such as the Performance Mapper to see how a seed performs on fields that are similar to your own.

Talk with your Landmark agronomist today about how the Performance Mapper can help with the decisions you’re making on your operation.

Tools Make Seed Selection More Than a Gut Feeling

Selecting the right hybrids and varieties for your fields is a task that requires more than a gut feeling to accomplish. Luckily, your Landmark agronomist has access to data and tools that can help you select hybrids that match your conditions and management practices.

The Corn Characterization Charts (CHT Tool) and Top Ten function, both part of the R7® Tool can help you choose the products that can best deliver the results you want. These tools contain information on corn, corn silage, soybeans and hard red spring wheat seed.

CHT Tool: replicated national data
Most ag industry data looks backward, telling us what happened last year. But just because a crop grew one way a year ago doesn’t mean it will grow the same way this year. WinField® United data from the CHT Tool is predictive. This means the tool helps you understand that if a product has high responses to population and nitrogen, it will have the best year possible if it is managed appropriately for both of those criteria.

The data found in the CHT Tool is not exclusively local.  The testing method removes regional differences: A poorly drained soil is a poorly drained soil no matter where it is located. The same applies to population differences. In order to gain predictive data, the tool uses information from many different environments.
CHT chart









Top Ten function: key in on local performance
The Top Ten function offers you a look at both national Answer Plot® data and insight trials data from individual farms in your area to determine what types of corn, corn silage, soybean and hard red spring wheat seed will work best on the soil types found on your farm. You have the ability to select data from within a designated radius of your operation. Top Ten data gives you access to local insights to correlate with any national data you want to use.

top 10 chart











Work with your trusted local advisor

Ideally, you would consult the CHT Tool and Top Ten function with your Landmark agronomist prior to purchasing seed, using the information offered to select seed that will closely fit your soil types and management styles. However, it can be used after you purchase seed to help you understand what type of environment and management system those products are projected to thrive in and inform you about how to manage the products you’ve purchased.

Your Landmark agronomist is eager to assist you with making more informed seed-selection decisions. Contact your Landmark agronomist today to gain access to the CHT Tool and the Top Ten function.

PDPW Sponsor Highlight in Managers Memo

Landmark employees

For LANDMARK SERVICES COOPERATIVE (LSC), choosing to partner with PDPW is an easy decision. The producer-led vision matched with the best-in-class experiences PDPW offers aligns with the cooperative model of LSC – and that’s why we’re a proud sponsor of the organization.

Ryan White of Kinnamon Ridge Dairy LLC in Reedsburg, Wis., an LSC patron and PDPW member, shared his thoughts about cooperatives partnering with PDPW. “By working with a cooperative that is a sponsor of PDPW, you can earn more than just a patronage check – you can earn opportunities for knowledge. We’re glad that doing business with LSC is supporting our ability to invest in ourselves.”

Of his PDPW experiences so far, he said his best experience has been attending Financial Literacy for Dairy®, a program designed to teach producers to better understand balance sheets and budgets, what lenders are looking for in a dairy’s financial reports, and benchmarking one’s own farm against other farms. White has found this course valuable because he doesn’t have time to take a whole finance class. Through this course, he feels the necessary components of what he requires have been cherry-picked.

At Landmark Services Cooperative, we actively seek opportunities to build value for our members – now and for the future. This includes being an allied partner of PDPW. We are committed to the success of our dairy producers. Our team is ready to work across all facets of LSC: agronomy, grain, energy, retail and animal nutrition, because together we can bring a broader perspective and more unique offerings to our customer-members. Through operational efficiencies like our commodity facility that provides improved feed value to our members to our team of nutritionists that bring solutions for income-over-feed cost, we are committed to providing value to the diversity of today’s dairy farming business.

We are pleased to work with an organization that mutually strives to provide education, cutting-edge solutions and a path for success for our members.

*From the November 16, 2018 PDPW Managers Memo
Pictured Above:  Ryan White, Feed & Equipment Manager, Kinnamon Ridge Dairy & Michelle Woodman, Dairy Technical Consultant with LSC. 

Grain News: November 20, 2018 – Pessimism over the U.S. and China Trade Talks

jim photoGood Morning,

A lack of consensus at an Asian-Pacific summit this weekend led to some pessimism over the U.S. and China trade talks, which spilled over to yesterday’s grain markets, hurting soybean prices with November contracts down more than 2% in the session. Corn and wheat futures also took a moderate hit to start this week.

December corn options will expire this Friday, Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving in a holiday shortened session.

President Trump has a threat on the table to add tariffs to another $250 plus million of goods coming from China if a trade deal is not reached by the time he has dinner with President Xi at the G-20 Summit at the end of next week. The two sides have been talking, but China has thus far failed to address a short but significant list of demands, according to comments coming from the White House. Feed buyers could afford, and have shown willingness to pay, the retaliatory tariffs, but are afraid to do so. That lack of buying is the most evident in the weekly U.S. soybean shipments to all destinations, as shown in the chart below. Shipments through the first 11 weeks of the marketing year total 405 million bushels, down 43% from the previous year and 178 million bushels below the seasonal pace needed to hit this year’s lower USDA target. Time is running out with the Brazilian harvest starting around the end of December.

GE Chart

China said they plan to build 254 “strong agricultural industrial towns” as they try to modernize their agriculture sector. They may also consider putting an end to a ban on GMO seeds.

  • 19-Nov-2018 03:00:14 PM – US WINTER WHEAT – 93 PCT PLANTED VS 89 PCT WK AGO (97 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA
  • 19-Nov-2018 03:00:14 PM – US WINTER WHEAT – 81 PCT EMERGED VS 77 PCT WK AGO (88 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA
  • 19-Nov-2018 03:00:14 PM – US SOYBEANS – 91 PCT HARVESTED VS 88 PCT WK AGO (96 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA
  • 19-Nov-2018 03:00:14 PM – US CORN – 90 PCT HARVESTED VS 84 PCT WK AGO (93 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

Just a friendly reminder that those of you with December basis or HTA contracts will need to lock them in this week, it was a .10 cent spread to March. Please don’t hesitate to contact your Grain Marketing Specialist to assist you with these contracts. From all of us at Landmark grain have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Jim Fleming

Grain News: November 15, 2018 – Grain Markets on Fire this Week

Melissa of LandmarkWOW!  Grain markets have been on fire this week.  We have seen some swings that have given people the opportunity to sell $8 beans.  Working offers on fall bushels for this year and fall 2019, helps you reach goals.

Soybeans were higher most of the day on reports that China had submitted a written response to the Trump Administration’s demands on trade, something neither country had been willing to do previously. It is a more formal step that could continue the two countries down the road to more intense negotiations. There are also reports that US Trade Representative Lighthizer is becoming more involved and it was even reported that he was telling interested parties that the next round of Chinese tariffs is on hold. He later denied the latter. This all happens amid the backdrop of a planned meeting between Presidents Trump and Xi at the G20 at the end of the month.

The US produced 314 million gallons of ethanol in the week ending 11/9, little changed from the prior week.  This uses approximately 111 million bushels of corn.  Since Sep 1, ethanol production has been running slightly ahead of the seasonal pace implied by the USDA’s 5.65 billion bushels corn-for-ethanol demand projection.

Estimated planting acres for 2019 are going:

  • 92.8 million acres of corn
  • 83.4 million acres of bean
  • 48.9 million acres of wheat

Make sure to get your offerings working for 2018 and 2019 crops.  We have many options available to you. Please call anyone of us and start the discussions.

Grain News: November 13, 2018 – Good Forecast to Wrap Up Week

Josh of LandmarkUSDA will release weekly export inspections and harvest progress numbers today with the expectation US harvest will be 92%-95% with a good forecast to wrap it up this week. Although locally it appears we will have more work to do with low spots that will remain in the field until the next prolonged cold temps.

Soybeans are finding some support on news that the US treasury Mnunchin has resumed talks with China. Also talk that China Vice Premier could visit Washington before the G-20 meeting. The White House plans to expand the arsenal of tools being used to combat China trade abuses, including export controls and indictments. Domestically basis has been firming while in South America is off to planting a record amount of soybeans for next year and Brazilian exporters are forecast to sell a record volume of soybeans this year.

Corn basis has firmed as harvest has wrapped up around the country but as corn gets more expensive ethanol margin are getting more negative. Margins in the Western belt are closing in on negative 50c per bushel. It appears with record bean seeding in South America and the prediction of the US farmer to switch to heavy corn acres this spring it is not too early to look at layering in new crop 19 sales. Please contact us to discuss our very attractive HTA option.

Giving kids a view from the field

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, Nov. 9, 2018 – Tractors and combines rolling across the fields in November is part of the scenic fall landscape of central Wisconsin, yet for most kids the view is only seen from a car window, not the window of the cab. Giving young kids the opportunity to see the view from the farmer’s perspective is a joint effort between D&D Olson Farms, Deerfield Elementary School and Landmark Services Cooperative.

For the past 18 years, the Olsons have taken a pause during harvest to provide first graders a view from the field, as they work to bring in the harvest. The students’ joy and excitement expressed during the day fuels the Olson’s motivation to keep the annual traditional going.

“Watching the students’ faces as they patiently wait their turn to ride and their excitement as they wave to their friends from the cab is incredibly rewarding,” Dale Olson says. “We have done this for several years and we have had students come back to us years later and tell us how memorable their day on the farm was. For many, it is the only time they have been around farm machinery. We hope it makes a small difference in the way they view farming when they see us in the fields this time of year.”

Watching the corn stalks fall in front of them and feeling the rumbling of the combine over the field, makes bridging the experience with classroom activities an easy transition for the teachers.

“We extend a huge thank you from Deerfield Elementary first graders and their teachers to D&D Olson Farms, Landmark Services Cooperative and many other sponsors that donated their time and resources for our first graders to combine corn,” expresses Elizabeth Tebon-Moerke, first grade teacher at Deerfield Elementary School. “The excitement and smiles from all the students, teachers and sponsors says it all. Again, thank you to all of those that continue to make this field trip possible.”

The Olson family looks forward to this special day with the students every year to share their passion, experience and knowledge about farming. “We hope the children get as much enjoyment from the field trip as we do,” Marlene Olson says.“They always brighten our day.” After the combine rides, the Olsons present each student with a toy combine keepsake to take home with them.

Along with the Olsons, volunteers from local farm businesses help share the farm story with the students. A message many are passionate to share. “Heading out to the field to help with the Deerfield student combine rides is my favorite day of harvest every year,” says Katie Demrow, Landmark grain marketing specialist. “As the consumer continually gets further away from the farm, helping young students get excited about farming and learning where their food comes from is something I’m very passionate about. Knowing that this may be the first and only time some of these kids will get this on-farm experience is an incredible thing to be a part of and I look forward to continuing on this great tradition the Olsons have started!”

Family in a combine on a farm