Grain News Updates: June 27, 2019

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Tomorrow at 11am USDA will release Grain Stocks and Planted Acreage. This year the planted acreage debate is sure to continue long after the USDA gives the official number. USDA just days ago confirmed corn silage can be planted on prevent acres in the cover crop category which can be harvested after September 1st.

With the G-20 summit this week and an expected meeting between President Trump and China’s Xi the market keeps an eye on trade. Trump has indicated “it could happen, it could not”. China sold 1.3 mmt of corn out of state reserves overnight which was easily the lowest sold percent since auctions started a month ago. The International Grain Council cut its forecast on Thursday for world corn production in 2019/2020 by 23 million tones due to the diminished outlook for U.S production.

With a favorable weather pattern for the next 10 days including average precipitation and warm temps the trade is hoping for the crop to “catch up”. As there are still some very real concerns with the U.S. crop, it is still important to be aware of grain marketing “not selling is a marketing decision too”.


From the Field Updates: June 26, 2019

Billy Agnew from the field

The past week we have had a few spotty rainfall events, but we have been lucky and had windows to get in the field for top dressing and post spraying. The 7-day forecast is calling for low chances of rain every day and high temperatures that will help put good growth on the crops. We are under full swing for post spraying and top dressing and will need a good window to get these applications out of the way. Corn in our area is near or at the critical stage in development where it determines the number of kernel rows per ear. The less stress as possible in the plant is key and in a year like this there is plenty of stress present. The best option is to tissue sample to get a better idea of what is going on inside the plant. If there are deficiencies, make an in-season fertility plan to protect your yield. Another strong option that we are recommending this year is using a plant stress mitigation product to promote cell division and increase plant metabolism. We have been seeing great results. Continue to scout and look for disease, insects and deficiencies they are without a doubt present this year more than ever.

Have a great week.


Nick Troiola from the field

With some corn past the knee-high stage, now is a good time to be out scouting your fields. Signs of wet planting conditions are really starting to show up in fields. Sidewall compaction being the biggest tell tale sign of that. There is not a whole lot you can do about sidewall compaction now. But, you can make it easier on the corn by providing it with more nutrients with the sprayer. Now is a good time to be adding micro nutrients to your second pass application.


Nelson Graham from the field

These past seven days have been filled with plenty of activity in between rain storms. Rain keeps accumulating and fields remain wet, 1.5 inches or more in our area this week on top of wet fields. Farmers and service providers continue to be challenged to move along with field operations as fast as desired this year. Many stages of growth are apparent in fields due to delayed planting.

Moderate temperatures and cloud cover seem to have allowed planted crops to expand and grow fast, but without the usual development of cuticle layer of leaf tissue, meaning crops may be sensitive to post application of herbicides. As crops and weeds grow fast with so much available moisture, taller weeds become more difficult to control. Waterhemp, roundup-resistant, is germinating and growing fast in most fields. Farmers have been busy side dressing UAN and we have been top dressing urea to apply nitrogen to corn.

Consider leaf tissue sampling now to gain information about what your crop is needing most during this post application process. Micronutrients may be beneficial especially to crops under stress this year.

Beans respond to application of Manganese with herbicides. Generally, corn makes good use of applications of Zinc/Manganese/Boron with post applications. Our goal is to keep fields as clean as possible and provide suggestions for products which give your crop the best yield potential. Extra Boron applied to corn will be helpful for corn under stress.

It is still advisable to scout for army worm presence in corn fields emerging late, as the timing of insects’ life-cycles this year, may be a problem for late developing corn and beans.

Fungicide treatments on wheat fields may be helpful to prevent head scab.

No Disease, Please

Corn Leaf BlightLast season, many farmers had heavy disease pressure in their fields, which led to significant yield loss. Here are some recommendations on how to avoid yield loss this season and help protect your corn this season.

Track environmental conditions
Most fungal diseases thrive under moist conditions. Pathogens require cool temperatures (60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit), high humidity and prolonged periods with wet leaves to infect crops. Some fungal diseases can remain on crop residue and re-infect crops under the right conditions.

Scout for symptoms
It’s important to scout fields to confirm which diseases are present in your field. This can help you and your Landmark agronomist understand which fungicides will be best for your field.

Plan a proactive treatment
If you saw disease in your fields last year, there’s a good chance you could see it again this season if conditions are conducive. If you’re concerned that disease could become a problem based on environmental conditions, a pre-tassel fungicide application may be a good idea.

Future management considerations
We know that different hybrids may show different levels of tolerance to certain diseases, but none are completely resistant. As seed companies breed for more tolerant hybrids, it will be easier to manage certain diseases with appropriate seed selection.

Rotating crops can also limit inoculum levels in the soil and break up the disease cycle.

For more information about managing for disease in your fields, talk with your Landmark agronomist.

Tips for Protecting Yield in the Field – 2019 Edition

Lyncee ZuehlsRain, rain and more rain. That about sums up the 2019 growing season so far in most regions of the country. Now is the time to look at how you can manage the growing season to protect the potential yield in the field.

Postemergence herbicide applications on corn and soybeans

Know the type and size of your weeds. Now that it’s July and our temperatures are rising; those weeds will be growing very quickly. Waterhemp, giant ragweed and marestail are fast-growing weeds that can take over your fields quickly. Scout fields with your Landmark agronomist to identify problems to make accurate recommendations for your herbicide program.

Don’t short your crops.

With a compressed season, it’s tempting to cut back on application expenses. You only have one shot at making a post-emergence herbicide application this year, so make it count. If you need to go back for a respray when your corn is at V12 or later, your herbicide options are severely limited, and crop damage or other problems dramatically increases. Don’t cut rates and be sure to use an adjuvant. Take the time to do it right the first time.

Nutrient applications on corn and soybeans

Plan a tissue-testing strategy. Tissue sampling is one way to identify plant nutrition deficiencies before you see symptoms in the field. A proactive sampling plan can help you pinpoint where your fertility plan may be falling short. That means you can supplement those nutrients that are needed instead of fertilizing blindly, which may be less economical. Combined with soil sampling, tissue sampling is an effective diagnostic tool for mitigating plant nutrition deficiencies and agronomic issues in your field.

Use ag tech to identify problems and opportunities

This year, it will be critical to identify the parts of your fields that look good and should be invested in to optimize profitability potential, versus those areas that are drowned out and don’t need a nutrient application. You can use the R7®Field Monitoring Tool to compare your fields. This tool can also help you pinpoint your fields with the high yield potential. Additionally, in-season imagery from the R7® Tool can help you identify variability in each field which allows you to concentrate your inputs on the places that have the greatest yield and ROI potential. You can then easily create a variable rate script from the zones in the in-season image. This targeted approach will help you make the most of your inputs and help maximize return at the end of the season.

Fungicide applications on corn and soybeans

Use multiple modes of action. Apply a fungicide with multiple modes of action because your plants will be growing rapidly and you’ll want to manage any disease pressure quickly. A good example is a broad-spectrum, preventive fungicide recommended for the control of many corn and soybean diseases.

Don’t use less than the recommended rate. You may hear that if your plants are smaller than normal, you can cut down on your fungicide rates. This is not a recommended practice; in fact, it’s the quickest way to build resistance to a fungicide. Use the recommended rate.

Look at your hybrid’s Response to Fungicide Score.

A Response to Fungicide (RTF) score can help you determine how a particular hybrid will perform when sprayed with a fungicide. The score comes from replicated field-trials where hybrids sprayed with a fungicide at V5 and VT are compared to hybrids with no fungicide treatment. After measuring the yield difference between hybrids, a score of high, medium or low response is assigned to each hybrid based on its yield difference between the treated and non-treated compared to all hybrids tested. Ask you Landmark agronomist for more information on RTF scores on the specific hybrids you planted.

Bottom line: Don’t write this season off. As the season progresses, you’ll have opportunities to apply herbicides, fungicides and crop nutrients to help protect your yield and ROI potential. Work closely with your Landmark agronomist to make sure you give your crops a fair shot at success.

Protect the Tassel – Understanding your Hybrid’s Response to Fungicide


Did you plant one of these hybrids? If so, you can use the RTF (Response to Fungicide) score to understand the potential to gain a positive ROI from a fungicide application. Don’t see your hybrids on this list? Ask you Landmark Agronomist for your specific hybrid’s RTF score.

Fungicide scores






What is RTF score?

RTF stands for 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. The RTF range is the yield potential increase if a fungicide is applied to a specific hybrid. 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.



Grain News: June 20, 2019 – Corn, Soybeans and Wheat Currently Trading Higher

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“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This reminds me of all the numbers floating around, trying to come up with planted acres and yields. This week’s planting progress report has corn 92% planted and 59% good to excellent. Soybeans are at 77% planted. Farmers and traders are questioning how USDA came up with that number. Lance Honig, crops branch chief of USDA National Ag Statistics Service, said they come up with the number each week based on what farmers intend to plant and it’s kind of a moving target. That being said, we are going to experience volatile markets this summer. The acres will not truly be known until after July 15th when acres must be reported to FSA. Even when we look at the planted acres, the next task will be how much of the planted acres will be harvested acres? We will be analyzing the Grain Trifecta—Planted acres, Harvested acres and Yield throughout the growing season.

Currently, corn, soybeans and wheat are all trading higher. It looks like more rain will be falling on the Midwest the next 7 days. It seems like there will be limited downside potential for corn with less planted acres and yields negatively impacted with later planting and wet conditions.

Soybeans may be a bit harder to predict because of our current supplies. We sold 21 million bushels beans for week ending July 13th.

Next week, we will have a lot of news to watch. It is confirmed that President Trump and President Xi will meet at the G20 summit late next week, U.S. and Chinese officials will be holding trade talks.

Friday, June 28th, the USDA will release an acreage update as well as June 1st stocks. Private estimates will start being released ahead of the report.

During this challenging marketing year, keep in touch with your grain marketing specialist. We are here for you.

Stay Safe!


From the Field Updates: June 19, 2019

Billy Agnew from the field


As planting wraps up, the challenges are not over yet. In a crop year like this there are more variables in your field to consider than in a normal year. We are not too far off from GDU averages so far this year but since crops went into the ground later than normal, we are 250 to 350 GDU’s behind normal crop development. This means crop maturity will be 2 to 3 weeks later than on a normal year. Disease and insects are still on track to appear at normal times, causing a larger footprint than we would usually see. Tar spot, anthracnose, grey leaf spot and Goss’s wilt are a few of the diseases that we have been keeping an eye out for and we are starting to see a few of them popping up in fields. Applying early fungicide is a great layer of protection to protect your yields and it is now that time to start those applications. In soybeans, high moisture means sudden death syndrome and late season phytophthora. To protect against those diseases, fungicide application timing is crucial with soybeans (R1 to R6 growth stages). We are not at that point yet in soybeans but it’s something to keep in mind because with high disease pressures, fungicide will almost always show a return on investment.

Insects should continue to be a focus when scouting this year, even if we are yet to find anything at economic thresholds. In corn, true armyworm moth flight numbers continue to be high and cool conditions are favorable for feeding, they will first show up in field perimeters and crops will have a ragged appearance with defoliation from leaf edge to midrib. In soybeans, bean leaf beetles have been showing up with small amounts of defoliation, far from the 40% economic threshold. Lastly, in hay, all insect counts are still low and have not been an issue to this point.

If you have any questions or concerns in your fields, contact your local Landmark agronomist to make a plan that will protect your yields.

Have a great week.


Nick Troiola from the field

With grain corn planting coming to a stop and with the last of the soybeans being put in the ground, attention has been switched to post spraying and topdress. With the rain we had earlier in the year, there was a good chance that some of your upfront application of fertilizer may have had more runoff or nitrification than normal. A tissue sample and top dress or side dress application to replenish the missing nutrients, is a great way to keep the crop on the right track. Along with this wet weather, there are a lot of diseases starting to rear their ugly heads. So now is a good time to think about a fungicide application with your second pass of spraying, to help protect your crop.

Have a good week.


Nelson Graham from the field








Probably accurate to report that the rainy year has dampened a lot of spirits, including farmers and suppliers of service and products. It’s late June already but there is a lot of season left and we need to make the best of it.

This past week was another cool, damp, windy period. Farmers have kept going, getting fields planted between rain clouds and strong winds. Wind hampered our ability to spray a few times this week.

Warm weather moved corn development along and soybeans are emerging quickly in 55F degree overnight soil temps. Our big challenges have been keeping machines moving on firm fields and having enough drivers on hand.

We have been busy spreading fertilizer on hay fields following first cutting schedules. Insect pressure has remained light, though it is still advisable to continue monitoring for weevil activity in alfalfa and cutworm damage in corn.

Applying nitrogen to corn is also a focus this week. Side dressing UAN and top dressing urea are effective methods. We know that corn uses the greatest amount of nitrogen between now and tasseling, so if weather permits, now is the time.

This week soybeans are getting early post emerge spray for weed control. As beans develop fast with moisture and heat, the weeds grow even faster! Some untreated waterhemp is already a foot taller than emerging beans. Post sprays should include contact and residual spray for best results for clean fields. Farmers are no longer able to rely on only glyphosate treatments for weed control.

Once beans come through the soil surface, it is best to wait a week or so, if possible, for beans to reach the first trifoliate leaf stage before driving over them. They then handle the stress of traffic and spray better. Also, be sure to use foliar Max-In Manganese for post spray tank mixes on beans, and Max-In ZMB on corn. Super results come from this treatment and recent years show beans and corn rebound quickly with this added boost. Consider fungicide as well during this time. Keeping the crop healthy may ensure best yields.

Wheat may respond well to fungicide applied now that it is heading out.

With so much invested in the crops so far this season, best advice is to give your crops every possible advantage and boost.

Grain News: June 18, 2019 – Turn-Around-Tuesday

Markets are softer to start Turn-Around-Tuesday. The USDA released their weekly crop progress report on Monday afternoon. US corn planting is 92% complete vs 83% last week and 100% last year. US soybean planting is 77% complete vs 60% last week and 96% last year at this time. The US corn crop is said to be 59% good to excellent compared to last year when 78% was g/e.

The river system has been closed for much of the spring north of St. Louis, but all but two locks on the upper Mississippi River have reopened. Corn basis firmed slightly at ports and river terminals, which is a good sign that the market thinks the river system will start moving again.

US winter wheat harvest is 8% vs 25% last year at this time. Winter wheat conditions are 59% g/e vs 39% last year. The market seems to be moving lower as the market waits for harvest to pick up, although there are rains for the plains and the Midwest.

In trade news, Trump tweeted today that he had a conversation with Xi that was positive for negotiations. That should bring some life to the bean market today after trading lower in the overnight session.

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Landmark Sponsors Local Summer Lunch in the Park Program

Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is excited to once again sponsor the Edgerton Community Outreach (ECO) Lunch in the Park summer food program for children.

For many years, the Lunch in the Park program has been a dream of ECO to help end child hunger. 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 10th at Central Lutheran Park in Edgerton and serves from 12pm to 1pm, Monday through Thursday. The program is supported 100 percent by private donations. This year, LSC provided over 2,000 beef sticks and a monetary donation to the Lunch in the Park program.

“LSC’s partnership has given Lunch in the Park another year to provide children and families an opportunity to enjoy a meal together,” expressed Alyssa Meyers, food pantry coordinator of ECO. “On the first day we served 73 meals, which is 39 more meals from the first day last year! It is great to see the yearly growth as Lunch in the Park continues to serve more kids. LSC’s continued support helps us to reach more children and families each summer.”

Finding a way to help children in local communities combat hunger with programs like these are a natural fit for an agricultural cooperative like LSC. “We are excited to participate in the Lunch in the Park program for a third year by partnering with ECO to help serve food to children in need. ECO puts on a great program that helps fill the nutritional need for students in the summer while Alyssa makes everyone feel welcomed,” commented Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of LSC. “We are proud to be a part of their efforts.”

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Fermentation Acids in Legumes at Different Dry Matters

As producers are racing to harvest forage, plant crops and beat the weather, you may rush the harvest process and ensile forages that may be too wet. The first chart below highlights the risk of butyric acid being prevalent as dry matter decreases. In this scenario, they run the risk of a clostridial fermentation and subsequent “butyric” smelling fermented haylage.

Legumes Chart


The second chart highlights the probability of a “fermentation failure” with decreasing dry matter in the harvested crop.

Fermentation failure chart


I know that if we ask people to slow down and get this right, we may get “the look” because you have so much work in front of you and little time to get it done. However, these decisions will have lasting impacts on this next year as the crop is being fed.