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Grain News – Quiet Week in Ag Markets

Good morning-

It appears mandatory that all grain wires this week start out by informing you that it is extremely cold.  Temperatures have resulted in many closures and logistic problems which have resulted in some cash firmness for shipments made this week in corn but not in soybeans.  In general, it has been a quiet week in ag markets as traders await USDA data.  Oilseed crushing and grain crushing reports initially for January 2 release (containing November data) will be released February 4 and December data will be released February 22.  Quarterly Grain Stocks, Annual Crop Production and Winter Wheat Seedings initially for January 11 release will be released February 22.  Exports for Week of December 20 will be published today and report for week of December 27th will be published February 7th.

Brazil crop progress showed early Brazilian soybean harvest continues to move swiftly at 11% and 2nd crop corn planting fast on the heals of the soybean harvest at 16% completed.  Disappointing yields have Brazilian farmers slow to make sales in hopes of better prices.   Argentine corn/soybean planting nears completion at 93% and 99% respectively.  EIA weekly ethanol data recap showed ethanol production continues to decline while ethanol stocks rose to the 4th largest on record.

Over the course of the last few weeks there have been some headlines regarding the Brazil growing conditions and yields.  If there could be any continued upside to such news it deserves a round of selling from the US farmer as world stocks appear plentiful.  With such stocks the corn bean ratio will continue to try to persuade you to put a few more corn acres in.  I feel the corn/bean ratio this time of year gives real economic direction to farm operations, but it should also be hedged.  Making a switch in February with no plans to market those bushels for a whole year usually is not advisable

Posted in Blog, Grain

Landmark Services Cooperative completes OSHA mandated crane certification

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, January 30, 2019 – The LP service technicians of Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) recently attended and successfully completed crane certification training implemented by ATS Specialized (ATS).

In November 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the final rule on crane operator certification requirements. The rule requires crane operators at a construction site to be certified or licensed, and receive ongoing training as necessary to operate new equipment. The requirements will become effective on February 7, 2019.

LSC is dedicated to being an industry leader and practices a safety-first culture. To receive their certification, the twelve employees were required to complete and pass a practical and written examination. This certification is valid for five years and ensures each technician is able to safely operate the equipment. The certification not only allows LSC to be in compliance with all safety regulations set forth by OSHA, but also gives LSC a foothold in the industry.

“Landmark continues to lead the way in industry with the best employees, best equipment and the best trained personnel,” proudly boasts Greg Higginbotham, fleet operations manager of LSC.

“When news of this requirement was announced, we could have looked at ways to be compliant without the training but realized that it would reduce efficiency and ultimately impact our ability to serve our customers,” stated Mike Elder, vice president of risk management. “Also, LSC has chosen to look at this as an opportunity to show our customers, community, and employees, that safety is our top priority.”

Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality products and services. For 85+ years, Landmark has provided farm-related products and services to its more than 11,000 members in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Employing more than 300 full-time people and reaching sales in excess of $373 million, Landmark provides a customer service-oriented approach in the communities it serves. For more information, visit landmark.coop, or call 800-236-3276.

 

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Posted in Landmark News

Landmark Services Cooperative Hosts 86th Annual Meeting

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, January 29, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative held the 86th annual meeting on January 23, 2019, at the headquarters in Cottage Grove, Wis.

The meeting was called to order by Board Chairman John Blaska. Blaska then welcomed guests and introduced the board of directors prior to giving his chairman’s report.

Secretary Kevin Klahn reported on the minutes from last year’s annual meeting and informed the group that these were available as members arrived and had been approved at the January 2018 board of directors meeting.

Chairman Blaska gave the chairman’s report including memoriam for past board member Jon Laper, the hiring of the new CEO, board of directors training, the new safety initiatives and a recap on the donations made through the Landmark Gives Back program including scholarship recipients, summer lunch programs, donations to local fire departments and the Second Harvest Foodbank contributions. Blaska announced that this will be his last year serving on the board and that he will be stepping down as the board chairman. Blaska’s report also included an overview of Landmark’s equity, section 199A deduction, capital expenditures and the Fall River impairment.

Jeff Brandenburg, independent auditor, stated that CliftonLarsonAllen found Landmark’s financial statements to be accurate and issued an unqualified opinion on the financial statements.

Chief Financial Officer Keith Arnold presented the financial report comprising of an overview of the 2018 statement of operations performance, balance sheet, financial analysis for fiscal year 2015-2018 of working capital, local net worth and cash returned to patrons. President and CEO Jim Dell provided the management report and introduced the leadership team.

Mike Hinz, nominating committee chair, reported that this year’s nominating committee worked very hard to recruit qualified board candidates for the expired terms of three Landmark directors. The candidates for the northern district were Dennis Ballweg of Sun Prairie and Keven Schultz of Fox Lake. The candidates for the western district were John Doerfer of Verona and Sandy Larson of Evansville. The unopposed candidate for the eastern district was Max Wenck of East Troy. Hinz shared the election results to be Keven Schultz, Sandy Larson and Max Wenck. Each will serve a three-year term. Hinz then announced the 2019 nominating committee: Randy Link, Mike Hinz, Jim Bolton, Rick Austin, Jim Fahey and an eastern district position to be determined.

After the meeting the board reconvened in a special session to elect board positions. The 2019 board is as follows: Jim Lange, board chairman; Jon Prochnow, vice chairman; Kevin Klahn, secretary/treasurer; John Blaska, director; Sandy Larson, director; Keven Schultz, director; Max Wenck, director.

Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality products and services. For 85+ years, Landmark has provided farm-related products and services to its more than 11,000 members in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Employing more than 300 full-time people and reaching sales in excess of $373 million, Landmark provides a customer service-oriented approach in the communities it serves. For more information, visit landmark.coop, or call 800-236-3276.

 

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Posted in Landmark News

Grain News – Markets Seem to be as Cold as it is Outside

On this very chilly January day the markets seem to be as cold as it is outside. Currently Corn, Soybeans and Wheat are all trading lower. The market needs some fresh news. With the Federal Government now open for business we are waiting for the USDA reports to get released. The next big USDA report will be on February 8th. It will include the regular supply and demand report. Key data delayed from January due to the shutdown will also be released, including winter wheat seedings, 2018 corn and soybean production and Dec.1 grain stocks. This could prove to be a big market mover.
A lot of attention will be given to China trade talks Wednesday and Thursday. President Trump is expected to meet with China’s top trade negotiator in Washington. A deal will get done with China it’s just a matter of when.

The corn market continues to trade in a narrow range. Support will come if we have good demand for corn and a reduction in final yield numbers in the February 8th report. Exports fell last week but are still well ahead year to date. Look for a volatile market as USDA begins releasing data again.
Wheat market is down today. Exports fell 6 million bushels last week. Inspections are 11% below the previous marketing year. Prospects for lower acreage in 2019 could help move the needle on the market, but demand still looks slow for wheat.

Soybeans are trading lower on concerns of tensions between the US and China and uncertainty of meeting results. Traders are looking for confirmation of Chinese soybean purchases done during the government shutdown. Gains are also limited on better weather conditions in Brazil. Exports were lower last week, with year-to-date inspections 28% behind the government forecast. There seems to be soybeans moving into China. Four of the 13 ships inspected in January for China (all loaded at the Gulf) have their destination listed as Singapore. Look for choppy trade ahead with trade talks and release of USDA reports.

As the cold weather is setting in, now is a good time to look at your marketing plan for remaining old crop and new crop bushels. Your grain marketing specialist is ready to sit down with you and work out a plan to help maximize your marketing goals. Greed, fear and panic are the three most common emotions in marketing. Having a marketing plan helps take the emotion out of the equation. We can help incorporate some specialty contracts into your plan and have some target dates to keep things on track. We are here for you and want to help you be successful in your marketing. Be safe in this cold spell.

Judy Uhlenhake

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Soft Markets This Thursday Morning

Markets are softer this Thursday morning as we continue trading without information from the USDA. Wall Street saw some gains yesterday as the dollar strengthens slightly. The U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross makes statements indicating that China will send a group of delegates to the United States to continue trade talks.

Corn prices have been trading in a narrow range for weeks now, which isn’t giving the US farmer much excitement to make sales. We’re still waiting on the USDA to release final production numbers for 2018, and farmers are trying to nail down their planting intentions for 2019.

Beans are down this morning as well, trading softer as the Senate is set to vote on two bills to re-open the government that aren’t likely to pass. Vegetable oil markets in Asia were higher, but soybean oil open interest was down 7,000 contracts yesterday. Farm Futures surveys report that farmers have intentions to plant 84.6 million acres of soybeans, down about 5.5% from last year, but up 2 million from USDA projections in November. The market facilitations payments getting into the hands of farmers has likely influenced their feelings on putting more beans in the ground. The forecast for Brazil and Argentina is dry, although they did receive small amounts of rain overnight. They’re about ten inches behind normal.

Cold weather is moving in to Wisconsin! Stay safe out there!

Katie Demrow

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Corn in Brazil, Crop to Watch

While we don’t get export sales reports with the partial government shut down, they do continue to report actual inspections of loaded grain each week. The US corn exports were reported at 43.6 million bushels, which is above expectations, however we need to average 46 million bushels per week the balance of the year to reach the USDA goal of 2.45 billion bushels. The amount of corn we export the rest of this year will greatly depend on how South American corn crop does.  Brazil remains dry which has affected the soybean yield and a small area of their first corn crop. The growing progress of the second corn crop in Brazil, which is just starting to be planted, will be very important to keep track of.

Soybean export inspections were reported at 40.8 million bushels.  This was a decent number, but we need to average 35 million bushels per week to reach the USDA goal of 1.9 billion bushels. This would be 27% higher than last year when South American soybeans are more competitive than US soybeans and the lack of China export program. Regardless of the export program in China, there are a lot of soybeans around.

Wheat exports are the same story. Decent numbers this week with 19.0 million bushels reported but we need to average 23.4 million bushels each week to reach the USDA 1.0-billion-bushel export number. Last year going forward we averaged just 15.9 million bushels per week.

So, the story is that demand is strong across the board for grains in the world but there is a lot of competition for US grains. Like every year, planted acres and weather will dictate most of the price action.

In other news, China has offered to go on a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the United States. Once again, another headline is all to work through the negation process on trade. Official GDP figures show the Chinese economy grew at the weakest pace since 1990 last month so the trade war is hurting their economy.

Brazil has harvested 6.1% of their soybean crop compared to 1.2% on a five-year average.

The markets today are once again not very eventful. Corn and soybeans are trading slightly lower and wheat is 5 cents higher. If the markets do trade a bit higher on a headline story or other news it might not be long lived.  Please remember to have offers in place so that you can take advantage of a quick price move. You may want to look at new crop soybean and corn price levels as they sit today. While they are not spectacular, they are 20 cents higher in corn and 50 cents higher in soybeans than what current cash old crop prices. Give us a call if you would like to discuss further.

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Small Gains

jim photoGood Morning,

After seeing plenty of red on Tuesday, grain markets ended yesterday’s session on a small technical bounce as corn, soybean and wheat all picked up small gains. The continued concerns over the lack of progress concerning U.S. – China trade negotiations are keeping a low ceiling on the higher prices.

Amid the ongoing federal government shutdown, now mired in its unprecedented 26th day, USDA has recalled about 2,500 Farm Service Agency employees to reopen offices during normal business hours today, Jan. 17; Friday, Jan. 18 and Tuesday, Jan. 22. Staff members will be made available to provide several specific services for farmers.

Still unclear as to whether USDA statisticians and economists could be headed back to the lockup room to prepare key January reports the market has been waiting for. President Trump Tuesday night issued an order forcing some furloughed government employees back to work without pay while the government shutdown drags on.

Average daily ethanol production last week jumped to 1.051 million gallons per day, rebounding from the prior week’s tally of 1.000 million gallons per day and reaching the highest levels since early November. The current government shutdown is expected to delay the EPA’s rule allowing the year-round sales of higher ethanol blends in gasoline, but acting administrator Andrew Wheeler said during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday that the agency will likely have the rule in place in time for 2019’s summer driving season.

Your Landmark Grain Marketing Specialist have been working with producers on their 2019 grain marketing plan as of late. We are here to help all our producers with putting together a marketing plan catered to your operation. Give us a call!

Jim Fleming

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Markets Steady

With the government shutdown in day 25, no big reports, markets continue to be steady.  China announced income tax and other fees reduction.  China is looking to keep their economy growing and claims that domestic gross product is growing near 6.5% which is slow for their standards.  It is felt that the true number is 1.5% in China.  This is seen as a negative in an export-based developing economy.

Brazil Parana area is reporting safrinha corn planting is now 9% complete vs last year at 0%.  Mato Grosso is 5.6% harvested on beans and 10% in Parana.  Beans are getting harvested faster than last year due to drier conditions.  The weather is calling for rain in the next week.  Brazilian soybean values continue to slide lower as harvest gears up and improving odds of US/China resolution of the trade war (which will be bearish to S. American values).

Please join us for our Grain Marketing Meetings on February 19 and 20th.  Kevin Riesberg from RJO ‘Brien will give a market update.

Make sure to have open offers in for old and new crop.  Make sure to also be looking into Spring 2020 corn.  July 2020 corn is at 4.22 board.

Posted in Blog, Grain

Scholarships Offer Path to Success

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, Jan. 10, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual scholarships. The cooperative recently presented 15 scholarships of $750 each to a group of local high school seniors and collegiate students pursuing post-secondary education. Scholarships were awarded during Landmark’s annual scholarship recipient luncheon attended by recipients and their parents as well as Landmark staff and members of the board of directors, on January 3 at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove.

“It is our responsibility to invest in the future of agriculture. It is a pleasure to help students along their academic journey. By awarding scholarships, we are able to set students on a path to success,” emphasized Jon Prochnow, vice-chairman of LSC.

The Landmark scholarship program encourages academic, professional and leadership development. Landmark is delighted to announce the 2018 winners: Eric Ranke – Waterford, parents Kevin & Amy; Julia Mitchell – Winnebago, IL, parents Tim & Lisa ; Dylan Steiner – Juda, parents Jeremy & Amy; Carlie Rademacher – Cottage Grove, parents Brian & Nikki; Madison Melms – Orfordville, parent Mitch; Ashley Nelson – Stoughton, parents David Nelson and Rita Nelson; Kathleen Yanke – Prairie Du Sac, parents Herb & Cathy; Courtney Uhlenhake – Burlington, parents Ken & Judy; Kevin Schmidt – Monroe, parents Tim & Nancy; Dane Trustem – Evansville, parents Sandy Larson and Jim Trustem; Stacy Graff – Markesan, parents Tim & Kim; Jacob Roche – Rio, parents John & Deb; Hailey Schoenherr – Columbus, parents Tom & Bonnie; Carly Strauss – Lake Mills, parents Bruce & Tammy; Savannah Siegler – Burlington, parents Jerry & Marleen.

Landmark has awarded 365 scholarships totaling $234,250 to date to students since 1989 in support of building a strong future for its members, its communities and the world. “Landmark Services Cooperative continually demonstrates a commitment to investing in the future of agriculture. One of the ways Landmark does this is through their annual scholarship program aimed at supporting co-op members’ children pursuing post-secondary education opportunities. This year’s recipients exhibited not only high levels of academic achievement, but also extraordinary accomplishments in their personal, extra-curricular and work endeavors,” says Ethan Giebel of WCCU Credit Union.

Recipients were selected from a pool of applicants based on cumulative grade point average, leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, personal motivation and academic and career goals. All members and employees of Landmark Services Cooperative and their children attending four-year universities, two-year technical programs or short courses and high school seniors planning for post-secondary education were eligible to apply for the awards.

Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality products and services. For 85+ years, Landmark has provided farm-related products and services to its more than 11,000 members in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Employing more than 300 full-time people and reaching sales in excess of $373 million, Landmark provides a customer service-oriented approach in the communities it serves. For more information, visit landmark.coop, or call 800-236-3276.

 

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Cutline:  LSC recently presented 15 scholarships of $750 each to a group of local high school seniors and collegiate students pursuing post-secondary education. Pictured from left to right (back row): Dane Trustem, Jacob Roche, Julia Mitchell, Carlie Rademacher, Carly Strauss, Ashley Nelson. Left to right (front row): Hailey Schoenherr, Madison Melms, Savannah Siegler, Courtney Uhlenhake, Dylan Steiner.

Posted in Landmark News

Grain News – Day 20 of Government Shutdown

We are entering day 20 of the government shutdown. This has proven to influence the farming community. As the deadline for the farm aid payments is quickly coming up some growers have not been able to get in to their FSA offices yet.  Luckily, he USDA has said they will be extending the deadline. Another effect that the government shut down has had on farmers is the Grain Stocks Report. That report along with the WASDE report are due to come out tomorrow, however that doesn’t sound like that will happen. Since reports have not been released there are not final calculations of 2018 harvest which leave the markets in limbo.  A benefit of the reports being pushed back is you still have time to get in your open offers in case the markets do jump.

Corn market is predicted to be a steady mix over the next few days. Ethanol production is still on the downward trend as fuel prices are lower than usual.

Soybean market is down but in hindsight the Argentina and Brazil have backed their estimated yields way down due to the drought they are still experiencing.

Wheat market is also down. There have been significant purchases through Russia and it is predicted that they will not be able to keep up the pace. That will hopefully bump up our wheat market in the Midwest.

Although there is not much certainty of what the futures hold, it is still a great time to market some grain. Now is the season for ordering your seed and inputs for next year. You can reduce your risk by selling the amount of grain that will balance your agronomy expenditures.

Posted in Blog, Grain