From The Field Updates: July 31, 2019

Nelson Graham from the field

Gearing up for aerial applications for fungicide on tasseling corn.  Best timing is from early, whole field tasseling to brown silk. “Brown silk” refers to the end of pollination period when the silks are dry enough to crumble. There are various genetically different colors of corn out there.  Like eye color or hair color, some field corn exhibit various overall coloration (think Brunette, Auburn, Red, Blonde) which is not the same as “brown silk.”  One grower thought he already was at “brown silk” but really his corn type was a brunette.

Soybeans are developing quickly, and insect populations are still low. Best timing for biggest yield bump on soybeans from fungicide, is R3 or when podding is beginning.

Weather is cooperating now, compared to this past week, with steady, warm, and sunny conditions.  Good hay making weather and wheat harvesting is underway. Good yields are being reported in healthy wheat.

Fungicide Tips to Protect Your Yield 

Learn how your hybrid’s response to fungicide score will help you in managing your tasseling crop this summer. Hear tips on how to protect your corn yield with Landmark Agronomist Simon Larson.


To learn more about how to use fungicide to promote crop health, contact your Landmark Services Cooperative agronomy team.

Grain News Updates: July 30, 2019

Grain exchange

Happy Tuesday,

I’ve been talking to a lot of you since last Thursday about the MFP payments and found these links which should help with any unanswered questions about the MFP payment rate and other FAQ’s that you may have about MFP.

MFP Payment Rates


Seems like one of the most asked questions I’ve be hearing lately is why prices are not higher due to the late plant and higher PP acres. The problem is demand for U.S. exports for both the corn and bean sales paces are the slowest in 5 years. Far too many bushels from SA at lower prices are the biggest issue and with U.S. prices from 25-70 cents a bushel higher, there is no reason for other countries to call U.S. exporters.

China took 600K tons of soybeans in the week ending 7/25 with 2/3rd coming off the PNW. China also took a boat of corn out of the Gulf.

Jim employee
  • (Rueters) U.S. ethanol industry is about to break under the weight of Trump’s trade war​
  • The sustained downturn in margins will finally begin to take its toll on some producers and plants begin to run out of money
  • “Some plants will slow down, some will close down, and some will shut down forever” said CEO of Green Plains Energy
  • U.S. ethanol reached 1.1 million barrels a day back in June, which is the highest on record, but margins are the lowest they have been since 2015

With all eyes on U.S. and Chinese trade negotiations, little attention is being paid to last week’s trade discussions between the U.S. and Japan. After the U.S. left the Trans Pacific trade treaty two years ago, there have been large tariffs on incoming U.S. agriculture purchases by Japan. Hopefully they will get this worked out to open another market while we wait on China.

USDA weekly crop progress; Corn: 58% g/e last year 72%, Beans: 54% g/e last year 70%, Winter wheat is @75% harvested.

Just a reminder that tonight, at our East Troy location, is our Member Appreciation dinner and tomorrow (Wednesday) will be at our Evansville location, starting at 4pm. Looking forward to seeing you and talking grain!

From The Field Updates: July 24, 2019

Billy Agnew From the Field

Herbicide and topdressing applications are starting to slow down in Landmark’s Southern Territory, but that doesn’t mean in season applications are done completely. There are still threats in the fields that you can address to protect your yields. In the coming days, aerial application will be underway. With the benefits we saw in corn from late fungicide applications, we are expecting to fly over a substantial number of acres this year compared to last year. Last year, many growers turned away from late fungicide applications because the visual threat of disease was not present in their fields. The growers that decided to go through with the application saw around 30 to 40-bushel higher yields.  Last year, tar spot came out of nowhere and opened the corn plants up for infection from other diseases causing premature death of the plant. We are hoping tar spot doesn’t show its face this year, but the realistic truth is that we are in a very high-risk area for the disease to occur.  The best practice is to be proactive instead of reactive so we can make the plan to use a preventative fungicide, giving your crop a layer of protection in its important development stages.

In soybeans, we continue to find high insect numbers and diseases starting to pop up everywhere. If you already have your post soybean application done, you still have time to catch the best window to apply fungicides on soybeans. This would be a great time to use an insecticide as well. At the end of full soybean bloom and into the start of pod development is the window we aim for in these applications. With late planted soybeans, we are expecting higher disease and insect pressures compared to 2018. R3 fungicide applications will provide a broad-spectrum of defense against white mold, brown spot, frogeye leaf spot and other key foliar diseases.  Talk to your trusted Landmark agronomist today to make a plan that fits your operation.

Fungicide Tips to Protect Your Yield

Learn how your hybrid’s response to fungicide score will help you in managing your tasseling crop this summer. Hear tips on how to protect your corn yield with Landmark Agronomist Simon Larson.


To learn more about how to use fungicide to promote crop health, contact your Landmark Services Cooperative agronomy team.

Managing Costs With Income-Over- Feed-Cost

Customized service built on understanding customers’ goals and exceeding exceptions through a team based approach is exactly what Landmark’s Animal Nutrition team does every day.  Learn how Landmark can help your farm through income-over-feed cost evaluations.

5 Tips To Beat The Heat

With exceeding temperatures ahead, here are a few tips to keep you “cool as a cucumber” this summer.

1.) Shut the Door and Close the Blinds

Closing the door behind you or shutting the blinds during the day is an easy step to keeping the hot sun from beating into the house and preventing the cool air from escaping. Closing off unused rooms in your home can also minimize the amount of area your air conditioner has to cool.

2.) Check Air Filter

It will not only improve air quality by removing the dust and dirt but also improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. Replacing your air filter every few months could save you some extra cash when it comes to your utility bill and extend the life of your air conditioner.

3.) Turn Off Lights and Reduce Stove Use

Keeping the rooms in your home darker can prevent extra heat escaping from light bulbs and the dim lighting will make the room seem cooler. Cooking with an oven set at 400-degrees will increase the temperature of your kitchen and surrounding rooms. If possible, try out a new grill recipe instead.

4.) Clean Vegetation Away from Outdoor Unit

Planting flowers or tall shrubs close to an outdoor HVAC unit can restrict the airflow to the system and it will become unable to cool properly. Plants should be at least 2-3 feet away from the unit so that it is also accessible in the event of repairs or maintenance.

5.) Program your Thermostat

A programmable thermostat will maintain a suitable temperature depending on the time of day instead of running a continual temperature all day. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature of your home comfortable while still saving you money.

Landmark Services Cooperative’s team of heating and cooling specialists are here to answer your questions or be of service during these warm summer months.

Grain News Updates: July 18, 2019

Grain exchange

Rain makes grain. Between yesterday afternoon and today, the crops got a much-needed rain fall. Crops are making some positive progress in the field, as corn starts to tassel, beans flower, and wheat turns gold.

Corn, beans, and wheat are down for both old crop and new crop. One of the major issues is the lack of sales in the grain market. The market needs some new sales to keep the market rolling. China’s crushing of soybeans is down 11% from previous years. Wheat is weaker, simply because the supply is increasing due to harvest time.

The anticipated phone call between China and the U.S. is scheduled for this afternoon. Hopefully good news will come from that.

Export sales were released. As you can see in the chart, they are lower but within range.

Kasey Grain

If you are harvesting wheat in the next few weeks stay safe and keep your elevator informed on your needs.

From The Field Updates: July 17, 2019

Billy Agnew from the field

Another hot week over here in Landmark’s southern territory with temperatures in the 90’s and looking like it will continue throughout the rest of the week. With the dry weather, we have been able to get all caught up with spraying and topdressing corn and soybeans. We are also racking up GDU’s, getting closer to our average, especially helping the later planted corn. On the other hand, there are areas which really need a good shot of rain and the corn is starting to show stress. The stress that it is showing is a combination of two things, the plant is not able to take up enough water needed and due to the 90-degree temperature, the plant needs more water than is available causing wilting and rolling of the leaves. When you see this wilting occurring, it can decrease yield 3% per day it and during silking it can cause 8% yield loss per day. Something I never thought I would say this year, but we need a good shot of rain to combat these high temperatures and have good pollination.

On the alfalfa side of things, we are continuing to see very high insect numbers and nearly every field we check is above threshold in leafhoppers, one of the most destructive alfalfa insects. We need to get out and spray these stands as soon as possible after second cutting. Early this week, a few growers have attempted to harvest some wheat but it’s still not quite ready yet at about 16% moisture. With a few dry days, the wheat harvest should be underway.

Nick Trolioa from the field

With hot and humid weather most of last week and a good forecast ahead, most of the area is starting to get back to normal GDU’s for a season. This is good news with a lot of the crop being put in later than normal. The late planted stuff is really off and running now with this great weather but with a small chance of rain for the first time, in a long time. Don’t forget to add a nitrogen stabilizer to your side dress or top dress application. This will help make sure you get the most use out of your application.

Nelson Graham from the field

Increased heat this week has improved crop conditions and sped up growth. We gained about another 0.5 inch of rain over the last few days.

Final post sprays on field corn were completed this week.

Post spray on beans mostly complete, though, depending on the spray program, water hemp escapes are everywhere.

Insects are mainly becoming an economic problem in hay fields where potato leafhoppers are found. Threshold for spraying is about 1 per sweep in alfalfa that is 8-11 inches tall. 2 per sweep over 12 inch tall alfalfa.

Good chance to consider growth enhancing foliar feed at the same time.

Looking ahead, we should scout for insect pressure. Usually, soybean aphids show up about now. Populations need to be growing from now through August 10 and spray when counts reveal 250 aphids per plant.

In another few weeks, we will be spraying fungicide on tasseling corn with airplanes.

Grain News Updates: July 16, 2019

Grain exchange

The week did not start out on a high note for grains, losing most of the gains from last week in one day. Grain started the week with a 3% loss on corn and wheat, and 1.25% loss on soybeans. The reason for the decline is weather related with less extreme heat and more moisture forecasted.

Export inspections for corn were at 26.6 mln bu and above the 22.7 mln bu needed to hit export estimate on old crop corn.

Soybeans were lower yesterday with weather being the driving force. Also, the crush report at 148.8 mln bu was below the 152.2 mln bu estimate. USDA crop progress report was mixed in ratings. The average came in a quarter bu better at 50 bpa. Only 22% of the crop is blooming, compared to 49% average. With less acres and potential for lower yields, soybeans have the potential to keep moving higher.

Demand news was mixed yesterday. Export inspections of 31.4 million bushels were near the level needed every week through August to reach USDA’s forecast for the 2018 marketing year.

Crop Conditions:
• U.S. corn conditions 58% g/e vs 56% expected (54-58% range), 57% last week, 72% last year – 1% improvement vs expected 1% decline, widespread corn belt increases
• U.S. soybean conditions 54% g/e vs 53% expected (51-55% range), 53% last week, 69% last year – 1% improvement vs expected unchanged, solid eastern belt/MO increases
• U.S. spring wheat conditions 76% g/e vs 78% expected (75-79% range), 78% last week, 80% last year – ND down 2%, but overall conditions essentially unchanged as 2% increase in excellent offsets 1% increase in fair and poor
• U.S. winter wheat harvesting 57% complete vs 62% expected (58-72% range), 47% last week, 72% last year, 71% average
U.S. and China officials are expected to talk later this week, with potential for meeting again next week in Beijing.

The market will be volatile with weather concerns and questions on true acres planted. Keep in touch with your grain market specialist to market into any rallies. As combines start to roll in wheat please take the time to be safe.

Have a great day!

Grain News: July 11, 2019 – WASDE Report out at 11:00AM

Grain exchange

Today at 11:00AM the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report will be released. Traders have been positioning themselves for the last few days ahead of the report. Yesterday the results sparked some technical buying for corn, soybeans and wheat, with a move higher. Uncertainty over USDA’s estimates for today’s report include not only production, which will be based off the agency’s surprisingly low forecast from the June 28 report. Demand is also in question for both old and new crop. China still has a huge book of outstanding sales on the books while new crop interest may be muted by African Swine Fever.

USDA is extending the deadline to report crops planted from July 15 to anew date of July 22, 2019 for a dozen different states due to wet planting conditions: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

All eyes are on the forecasts over the next week is development of an unusual system than originated over the Southeast and moved into the Gulf where it may become a tropical depression, bringing heavy rain to the Gulf Coast as it moves west. The system has potential to pull moisture up into the Delta, and perhaps even the Midwest.

Reuters, a law firm representing small U.S. refineries has urged the Environmental Protection Agency to keep refiners’ applications for waivers from the nation’s biofuel policy secret from the Department of Agriculture, arguing that the petitions include confidential business information. The request, made by Perkins Coie in a letter to the EPA dated July 5, adds to mounting pressure from representatives of the refining industry for the Trump administration to box the USDA out of the controversial waiver program.

Basis in the area continue to get narrower and narrower with end users trying to secure your corn. Have faith in your marketing plan at these profitable levels and don’t be trying to hit the home run. Remember that all it takes is a tweet or USDA report to turns things around in a heartbeat!

Have a great day,

Jim Fleming

From the Field Updates: July 10, 2019

Billy Agnew from the field

The weather is great outside, sprayers and spreaders are in the fields over here in Landmark’s south hub. We are currently in the stretch to finish up the bulk of our corn post herbicide applications and sitting well. We are chipping away at topdressing nitrogen on corn but with the extended forecast looking dry, we should be sitting strong by the end of the week. Corn is all over in size, there’s corn pushing 7 foot and there’s corn that hasn’t broken a foot tall yet but overall there is a lot of good-looking corn with dark green color in the area. It’s not time to let up on your corn yet, there are still a few things to keep an eye out for. Western bean cutworm flight is under way so it’s time to start looking for egg masses on the top 3-4 leaves of the corn plant. Tar spot has not been found yet in Wisconsin but it’s still a big topic of discussion. If you do see any in your field, let your Landmark agronomist know right away.

Soybeans are continuing to grow fast and we are under way for spraying our post herbicide applications. We are seeing Japanese beetles in fields with the highest populations on the edges of the field. Have yet to see anything at economic threshold of 30% defoliation before bloom and 20% defoliation after bloom. Soybean aphids are starting to show up and the best time to scout for them is in mid-July. Economic threshold for soybean aphids is 250 aphids per plant on 80% of the field. In hay, we are continuing to find insects and should continue to observe shortly after second cutting.


Nick Troiola from the field

With hot and humid weather most of last week and a good forecast ahead, most of the area is starting to get back to normal GDU’s for a season. This is good news with a lot of the crop being put in later than normal. The late planted stuff is really off and running now with this great weather but with a small chance of rain for the first time, in a long time. Don’t forget to add a nitrogen stabilizer to your side dress or top dress application. This will help make sure you get the most use out of your application.


Nelson Graham from the field

Continued work on second pass corn herbicides this past holiday week has been steady. Rain now and then, and each field gets scouted for conditions repeatedly. Many growers will get by with only the first pass applications this year due to fast growth of corn with wet, humid conditions. Corn plant development is rapid now and most canopies are closed. Final late fields are being sprayed.

Insect pest populations remain low and inconsistent but scouting for potato leaf hopper in hay fields will be important if populations grow this month.

Corn pests, like cut worms, have been found in localized areas. Japanese beetles are emerging and beginning to feed on various crop leaves. Economic thresholds must be scouted for and considered before spraying is considered a benefit.

Soybean fields are developing slowly. Late planting and shorter days/longer nights is our problem now. Plants are moving into reproductive flowering stages and giving less energy to growing taller. Chemical options become limited when plants are flowering and setting pods, though the good news is that this timing is better suited for fungicide applications and foliar fertilizers boosting crop yields than earlier applications. Bean insects, aphids, are being reported, but numbers are very low and inconsistent from field to field. Scouting should continue where aphids are present to determine when spraying will be economic. Consider 2020 seed choices already for waterhemp control strategies. Growers will have good NEW seed choices for using various herbicides genetic selectivity for next year. Discuss these with your agronomist to determine your best approach.

Wheat stands are heading out for the most part. Timely harvest should be considered because of the uncertain weather environment this year.

Area farmers are good stewards of the land. This year should be a banner year for monarch butterfly populations, in part, helped by farm owners allowing some non-crop production areas to bloom with common milkweed, the monarch’s favorite source of food! This kind of effort is important as we seek for better public relations between agricultural and non-agricultural people, while showing concern for our environment and pollinator insects.