Grain News: May 29, 2019 – Markets continue to move higher

Grain exchangeMarkets continue to move higher with the ongoing rains pounding the farm fields. More than twice as much rain on average fell than was predicted over the last week. A lot of corn is planted in less than ideal conditions. Funds continue to exit their short positions as concerns of corn acres not getting planted. This is a critical week with many farmers making the decision to take prevent plant or switch to soybeans. Final planting date for corn is June 1st. If you choose to late plant corn you lose 1% coverage per day. Make sure you talk to your insurance agent before making any decisions.

Soybeans are trading higher following corn and wheat. Planting progress for soybeans is estimated at 28-34% complete vs 62% average. The 11-15 day forecast maps are hotter and drier. This should allow for soybean planting to continue.

Wheat is currently trading higher following the corn market. Expectations are that the wheat futures will eventually break due to increased world supplies.

The MFP program was announced with very few details. They want to keep the details quiet, so it doesn’t affect planting decisions. Farmers will fight to get a crop in but at the end of the day if that is not possible the insurance is there to get you through.

Continue to talk to your grain market specialist to keep them informed on your planting intentions and help you market into the rally. We are here for you!

From the Field Updates: May 23, 2019

Billy Agnew from the field

Another wet day over here in Evansville Wisconsin, we received over two inches of rain from Friday to Sunday putting a hold on getting into the fields. Last week on the other hand was a productive week, we estimate over 60% of corn and around 30% of soybeans are planted in Landmark’s south hub. Something to keep in mind this year when planting is insects in your fields and this year with younger plants in the ground insects can cause more considerable damage than on an average year. Especially on ground with fields with cover crops or no-till ground with heavy weed pressure because army worms and black cutworms lay their eggs in vegetation in the spring. You should consider using insecticide in any form this year to protect your yields.

Nick Troiola from the field

Last week was a pretty good week around my area. If the ground was dry enough to get into, something happened on that acre. A lot of corn was planted into the ground last week in pretty decent weather. But, that weather was short lived as more storms rolled in over the weekend with some areas getting around two inches of rain for the weekend.

As corn planting continues now might be a good time to talk with your agronomist about switching to a more mid-season maturity, to help maximize your return on investment. But, don’t make any drastic changes to maturity before June 1st, that could do more harm than good. Same goes for soybeans, look to shorten the maturity after June 1st. With late-planted soybeans also remember to keep the population up. Shawn Conley of UW–Extension says to shoot for a seeding rate of 154,000 seeds an acre. For more information on late planted soybeans, and soybeans in general check out Conley’s blog post.

With heat forecasted for the end of the week, it looks like spring might finally be around the corner.


Nelson Graham from the field

The wet and cool weather has continued creating challenges for growers in our area. Soil temperatures are warming slightly, this morning reports 46F degrees. Growing Degree Day units have not accumulated very much. Normal on this date is 346 for our area. Currently, we are at 230 near Madison, which is also behind last year at this same time. What we hope to see is a sustained overnight temperature of 50F degrees, for best development of seeds in the ground. Warmer temps in the daytime help, but cool downs overnight keep things on the slow side. Thursday brought us half an inch more rain, and Friday through Monday brought another three quarter inches.

So, when should a grower switch corn hybrids and soybean varieties to earlier maturity choices? Not yet. If the weather permits and planting can continue by May 25, stick with original best selections of seed types for your farm. After that, perhaps earlier maturities could be selected. In general, we have plenty of season left to produce mature grain before our average first frost date, October 10, in southern Wisconsin. The important thing now is to get the seed into the ground, and growers are feeling pressure of insurance date of May 30 to plant corn. That may mean planting into soil in less than ideal conditions. Herbicide programs can be altered and weeds can be controlled post planting.

Landmark agronomy has been able to get into very few fields to continue fertilizer and herbicide applications in between rain events. Remember, that chemistry reactions are affected by temperatures, so cooler weather means the chemical applications are working more slowly. Be patient and realize the chemical will do its job over time.

Tough decisions to be made this week.


Grain News: May 23, 2019 – Good News from Crop Progress Report

Grain exchange

Happy Thursday,

What a difference a week makes! Last week prices just kept falling with no bottom insight and bad news on top of bad news. Fast-forward to Monday, the Crop Progress report came out and bam!

20-May-2019 03:01:44 PM – US CORN – 49 PCT PLANTED VS 30 PCT WK AGO (80 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

20-May-2019 03:02:25 PM – US SOYBEANS – 19 PCT PLANTED VS 9 PCT WK AGO (47 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

  • WI 35% 5yr. Ave.65%
  • IL       24% 5yr. Ave 89%
  • IN      14% 5yr. Ave 73%
  • IA       70% 5yr. Ave 89%

The next farmer aid package is that payments will be based on historical planted acre averages with beans receiving $2 a bushel, wheat .63 cents a bushel with corn getting a 4-cent payment. It is hard to understand the reasoning behind the low corn payment but hopefully today’s USDA roll out will give more specifics on the process.

For farmers determined to plant corn and swap longer maturities for shorter maturities, seed companies are reporting widespread shortages of most varieties under day one hundred.  There seems to be no silver lining to this problem other than the rally in corn prices.

US and Chinese trade talks have been put on the back burner now that a farmer aid program is coming.  With no meaningful meetings scheduled until late June when President Trump and Chairman Xi meet at the G20 meeting, there is little hope for a new trade deal this summer or potentially this year.

I have been fielding a lot of questions and concerns this week due to the lack of planting progress. Your Landmark marketing specialists are here to help you with different options and ideas in the form of a good marketing plan for your operation. We can help you make quick adjustments to the plan to deal with the lack of planting progress or to take advantage of the current volatile markets.

Be safe out there,

Jim Flemming

Positive Dairy and Beef Markets

This past week two things happened that positively impacted markets for dairy and beef producers.

On the dairy front the US announced it was lifting tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico. All indications are that this will result in both countries removing their tariffs on US products, including dairy. Canada and Mexico are our largest trading partners for cheese and dairy products. Milk prices responded accordingly by trading up as much as $0.35/ cwt.

Milk graph
Milk, Class III Futures, D, CME

Mike North from Commodity Risk Management Group had this to say on the AGDay Newsroom Friday afternoon- North said, “When they {Mexico} retaliated against the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, their first step was to put a tariff on cheese. Now, as we talked in the past cheese is huge for this country, not just Wisconsin, where I’m from, but you know, as a country 48% of our milk goes to making cheese in this country in one way, shape or form, and Mexico is one of our biggest buyers of cheese as it leaves the country, so for us to be able to get past that discussion and to open up the border again to a free flow of cheese it pushes a lot of milk across the border that hasn’t been moving for the last 12 months. That’s a big plus for dairy men around the country. ”

On Friday Japan announced it was lifting restrictions on U.S. Beef. Some of these restrictions have been in place since 2003. This message from Japan is a significant boost in confidence of the quality and safety of U.S. beef and should help signal to other Asian nations that non-science-based barriers can also be lifted. The initial impact on U.S. Beef sales to Japan is estimated to increase by $200 million annually and open doors for additional trade between the two countries.

Maximum Results with Tissue Sampling

Landmark Agronomy Account Manager Nick Troiola and Carly Edge of WinField United discuss how to best utilize tissue sampling on the farm and its benefits. Nick and Carly also review how Ag technology can help decide the best place to tissue sample to remedy any problem areas for maximum results.

To learn more about how to use tissue sampling to build a better nutrient management plan, contact your Landmark Services Cooperative agronomy team.

Landmark to Offer Interest-Bearing Certificates

Patron Note

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, May 15, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new interest-bearing certificate program available now that includes two options for Wisconsin residents:

  • Demand Certificate: Requires a minimum of $2,500 and bears interest at 2% per annum. The interest rate will be reviewed periodically and adjusted to market rates at Landmark’s discretion. Funds are available for withdrawal within five business days of execution of the demand certificate.
  • Three-Year Certificate:  Requires a minimum deposit of $5,000 at 3.25% interest.  Interest is accrued as simple interest, and the interest rate is locked for the three-year term of the certificate. There is an early withdrawal penalty of six-months of interest on the principle.

Additional details about each interest-bearing certificate can be found online at

Landmark members, that were previously enrolled in our former programs, have been contacted and sent all the necessary information that’s needed to transition to the new programs.

“One of the advantages of being a member and supporting Landmark Services Cooperative is that we’re owned and controlled by our members. That means that our members are at the core of our purpose. By investing in the patron note program, members and customers have a means to invest in their cooperative and earn interest at a competitive rate. Meanwhile, a program like this helps Landmark reduce our overall borrowing costs compared to commercial borrowing rates. It’s a win-win situation for our members and the cooperative as a whole,” explains Keith Arnold, chief financial officer of Landmark.

If you’re a member that would like to open a new certificate or a current member that has questions about your transition to the new certificates please reach out to us at 608-819-4201, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email us at

Grain News: May 16, 2019 – Markets continue to rise!

Grain exchange

Markets continue to rise! Wet forecasts have the markets in the green again today. Weather maps are calling for a rain system that covers the entire Midwest into early next week. While this next rain system will slow down field work, many farmers were able to at least get something in the ground this week. The longer-range forecast is calling for some ridging that will slow down precipitation and increase temperatures in the Midwest, Delta, and southern Plains.

Weekly exports were in line with expectations this morning. Old crop corn exports were at 553.3 thousand tons, while estimates were in 200-500 range. New crop corn exports were at 80.8 thousand tons, below the estimated range of 100-400 thousand tons. Soybean exports were in line with estimates at 370.9 thousand tons of old crop and 303.4 thousand tons of new crop.

US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue, spoke this week on the relief program to benefit the American Farmer to help make up for losses caused by the tariffs. Purdue insisted that the trade war will not cause long-term harm to farmers, and that President Trump has asked him to make sure that the farmers are taken care of. Purdue says the relief package that is currently in the works will be worth $15-20 billion.

As markets finally start to give us some hope, make sure to be proactive making sales, putting in targets, and remembering your marketing plan. If we can help in any way, give us a call!

Have a great day!

Katie Demrow

From the Field Updates: May 15, 2019

Billy Agnew from the field

The sun is shining and machines are moving over here in Evansville, Wisconsin. After a few days of dry weather, Monday we finally received the crucial drying conditions we needed to get the water out of the ground. It’s still a waiting game but we are finding dry ground for spraying, spreading and planting. According to the USDA as of May 5th Wisconsin is at 7% corn acres planted compared to 24% 5-year average and at 13% at this time last year. Wisconsin Soybean planting is at 1% as of May 5th compared to the 6% 5-year average and with 4% at that time in 2018. Most growers are focusing on getting the corn into the ground this week and that margin should narrow. Be safe out in the fields this week and best of luck with everything runs smooth.


Nick Troiola from the field

After all of the rain last week some fields finally dried out by Friday night or Saturday morning. There are still plenty of wet fields and wet spots in fields to be on the look out for. With a favorable forecast this week and with what could be the best weather we have seen all “spring”, things are starting to go full steam ahead. Planters, sprayers and spreaders will all be rolling at the same time. It will be a busy week ahead, where a lot of ground will get covered. Stay safe out there this week!


Nelson Graham from the field

Agronomists recommend working soil that is in perfect conditions so as not to compact the soil structure. And we recommend planting in conditions dry enough to create a soft mellow seed bed for good “seed:soil” contact…. But this year is remaining wet throughout April and May and the pressure is on growers to get seed in the ground, even in less than ideal soil conditions. This is necessary, but may haunt us later in the season.

Tuesday, 5-14-19, soil temperatures at 4 inch depth, at 7:00am were still about 39F degrees, so still cold. But, on the calendar, growers need to plant as soon as possible betting on warmer days to come. If weather continues warmer, with overnight temps around 50F degrees, we will see steady progress in the fields.

We had cool, rainy conditions through last week, and the sun came out Friday. A lot of progress has been made in the last several days in Dane and Columbia counties. Many fields have wet spots, and some are too wet to plant still. By Friday, 5/12/19, about 10% of the corn was planted, 5% soybeans planted. Checking fields planted on 4/20/19, today the beans are emerging through the soil surface. Hay fields report about 30% in good condition, with the others in poor condition from winterkill.

We have been successful in keeping up and ahead of growers with our fertilizer applications, and pre emerge spray for corn fields. Growers are challenged with planting sporadically across the farm because of wet spots and poor soil conditions.

Winter wheat fields are reporting about ½ in good condition. Many wheat fields were tilled under to plant corn instead, due to winter kill and poor stands. Most wheat fields in our area are reduced in stand count, but some growers will need straw and will keep the wheat crop for 2019. Wheat fields should be treated with fungicide in tank mix with herbicide to encourage healthy growth of plants during this cool season.

Generally, because Grower Degree Days are behind normal and behind 2018, insect pressure is also behind since the insects are slow to develop. But consider using fungicides on all crops this year, especially after 2018 disease pressure.

Grain News: May 14, 2019 – Markets are UP!

MelissaSunny and warm day!
Planting and field work is happening!
Markets are UP!
President Trump has intended on providing $15 billion aid package!
Planting progress is behind what the market was looking for. Corn planting was at 30% vs. 23% last week, and an average of 66%. The trade was looking for the number to be 35% to 37%. Soybean planting is 9% completed vs. 6% last week and an average of 29% for this week.

The market will focus on lack of progress and emergence of the crop. The funds are short and coming back. Make sure to get your offers in and working. Don’t pull your offers!

Make sure to have offers on old corn/beans and don’t forget about this fall, 2020 and into spring/summer 2021. Corn has some good carry in the market. Talk to any one of us to help you meet or exceed your marketing goals.

Have a great and safe week!!

Marketing goals

Grain News: May 9, 2019 – US/PRC Trade Negotiations Resume Tonight

Grain exchangeGrains have started out lower on poor export sales and rising Chinese tensions.

For the week, soybean sales saw a net cancellation of 149k tonnes (5.5 million bushels) vs the market expectation of sales at 300-650k tonnes. Corn also printed a marketing year low, well below expectations at 91k tonnes (3.3 million bushels). CONAB continues to raise production estimations, up 0.5 mmt for the Brazilian soybean crop to 114.3 MMT from the 113.8 MMT of last year.

Overnight, President Trump is saying China “broke the deal” while China is preparing a list of U.S. products that will face retaliatory tariffs if the U.S. moves ahead. U.S./PRC trade negotiations will resume this evening between Lighthizer and PRC Vice Chairman in Washington.

Tomorrow is the May WASDA report at 11am. This is the first USDA report to project the new crop year supply and demand data. It is the first 19/20 balance sheet and first objective winter wheat crop production estimates.

With all the headlines, locally weather is of most concern as we pass the specific May 10th date where it is said to start to impact yields each day corn is not yet planted.  As the forecast continues to not give an easy window for planting the question that the trade continues to seek is what will trigger a fundamental shift in the large short fund position.