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Grain Exchange Update – Markets are up on the overnight market

Markets are up on the overnight market on corn and beans. Wheat bounced around staying even with yesterday. There were a few old and new crop sales to get the market rolling.

Overnight Markets:

Corn:                     Up 1-2 cents
Beans:                  Up 2-5 cents
Meal:                    Up $1 – $2
SRW/HRW:         Down 1-2 cents
HRS:                       Mixed

Sonny Perdue stated at the Decatur Farm Progress Show that Trump will announce a plan soon to boost demand for biofuels. After many talks of ethanol slowing down, we have seen slight increase in production.

There continues to be multiple talks about China tariffs which will be put in places starting September 1st. This event could be a market mover depending on China’s buying reaction. There is also the new talk of a deal with Japan leading to bigger opportunities for ag commodities.

Spring wheat harvest continues in full swing in the Northwest and Canada. Sources say that the crop is looking better than expected. Ukraine also reported an increase in wheat crop by 3.2 mmt at 27.8mmt.

Harvest is coming sooner than we realize. Make sure you are meeting with your marketing specialist to discuss your delivery needs. We have many tools to help make your harvest run smooth. Just a reminder Monday is Labor Day, to honor that day Landmark facilities as well as the CBOT will closed.

Have a great day!

Kasey Baker


Posted in Blog, Grain

Landmark Welcomes Cris Breidenbach as Vice President of Grain

Landmark Services Cooperative is pleased to announce that Cris Breidenbach has accepted the position of vice president of our grain division, effective August 5. Cris brings to Landmark a great array of experience with a strong focus on safety. He takes an employee centered approach and prefers to lead by example.

Cris has been involved in Agribusiness for 25 years and most recently serving as the general manager for BTR Farmers Cooperative in Devils Lake, North Dakota. He graduated from Minnesota State University with a degree in accounting and has a strong background in the cooperative business. Cris helped guide the completion of a successful merger of BTR Farmers Cooperative and Cendak Farmers Union Cooperative to form Cendak Cooperative in 2018. His experience consists of auditing grain and agronomy locations for ADM-BQ before moving into management for the company where he developed a CP Shuttle facility in 2002. Cris served on the board of directors for Prairie Grain Partners of Clarkfield, Minnesota and was also general manager for Kensal Farmers Elevator in 2015.

Cris recently moved to Janesville, WI with his wife Andrea and daughter Julia, who is currently attending UW-Whitewater. His wife, daughter, and he are looking forwarded to “relocating to this awesome area”.

Posted in Landmark News

Grain Exchange Update

Markets are trading mixed this morning with corn unchanged, soybeans lower and wheat higher. The market is still trying to find some solid ground after the USDA report. The market remains volatile with trade war and all the tariff talks back and forth. The market is becoming immune to talks of a resolution and is in a mode of needing concrete proof.

Corn condition improved slightly this week but still is the lowest rating for this week since 2012. Seventy-one percent of the corn is in the dough stage versus 87 percent average. Corn dented was 27 percent versus the 46 percent average. Weather forecast has temperatures below normal which isn’t favorable to get the crop mature. Traders will be monitoring the weather closely for any hint of an early frost.

Soybean ratings improved this week to 55% G/E vs 66% last year and 66.6% average.  Soybeans setting pods is 79% vs 91% average. The US and Brazil  are the largest exporters of soybeans. The US share fell to 30% when China’s tariff on US soybeans took effect late in 2017. In the first 9 months of the 2018/19 market year, when the tariffs took full effect, Brazil’s share rose to 77 percent, while the US share fell to 10%.

Talk to you Grain Market Specialist regarding your plans for the harvest season. We have trucking available for farm pick up of your crops, please let us know prior to harvest what your needs will be so we can start the planning process.

Judy Uhlenhake


Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain Exchange Update

The corn markets firmed up slightly by the close on Wednesday, and they come into Thursday morning up another penny. Soybeans also finished up on Wednesday and traded up slightly in the overnight session as well.

The Pro-Farmer tour is at the forefront of the industry right now as farmers, traders, elevators and end-users all anxiously wait to see what the yield will be this year. Feedback from the tour is saying that there are some great fields, and some awful ones, but that they are starting to see better yields the further west they travel.

The tour was in a historically high-producing area of Illinois yesterday which included eight stops in the Illinois counties of McLean, Tazwell, Peoria, Knox, Stark and Henry. The average corn yield potential for this year was 175.56 bpa compared to an average of 201.45 bpa last year and a three-year average of 194.77. The soybean pod count for soybeans in these counties averaged of 1154.42 pods, compared to 1307.06 last year and three-year average of 1260.09 pods.

Another section of Illinois that included Bureau, Carroll, Marshall, Putnam, Woodford and Whiteside counties found much more drastic yield losses. The average corn yield showed 150.1 bpa compared to 194.31 last year. It also showed an average pod count of 688.76 compared to 1256.83 pods last year.

While the difficult weather and bearish USDA seems to be clouding over the industry, the USDA pulled employees from the Pro-Farmer tour due to a threat against an employee from an angry farmer that was not involved in the tour. Some sources say that this is a response to the anger from the previous USDA report that increased corn yields.

As the summer winds down, keep an eye on your marketing plans for the 2019 crop year as well as 2020 crop year. We’d also like to invite you to join our text update program for market snapshots! See the information below on how to sign up or give us a call and we can walk you through it!

Katie Demrow

Posted in Blog, Grain

Are You Ready? Calling for Board Member Nominations Today!

Are you interested in how your cooperative works? Would you like to make decisions that benefit the business and serve members? Do you want to make sure your cooperative is healthy and functioning well? If you, or someone you know is interested in serving as a board member, making decisions for the coop on behalf of its members, reach out to the Landmark Services Cooperative Nominating Committee today!

Posted in Landmark News

From the Field Updates

South central Wisconsin is about 6 inches ahead of our average yearly precipitation, according to the UW Extension Research Station in Arlington, WI.  As we are ahead of normal precipitation, we are still about 50 units of GDU behind our 30-year normal in heat accumulation. Late July and early August started to put us back on track.  As abnormal as 2019 was, we are surprisingly on track to obtain almost average heat units. What does all this mean to current crop?

Late plantings and a fairly cool spring have our corn crop out to a late start.  We know that a delay in planting from May 1st to May 20th can lower yields 9%. Another concern I have at this time is getting our crop to physiological maturity or “black layer”.  Black layer occurs about 60 days after silking.  A lot of our crop started silking the last week of July, into the first week of August.  Our average killing frost in Arlington is around October 10th.  If we were to add 60 days to the first week of August, it puts us into the first week of October.  Hope for a normal to warm September. We do not need an early frost this year, which would negatively affect our kernel weight and grain moistures.

We currently have a lot of corn in the milk stage.  One can approximate silage harvest dates very closely with this information.  About 35 days after silking, most hybrids will be about half milkline, with whole plant moistures in 65-70% range.  This puts a lot of our silage harvest dates about September 1st.

As we move from R3 into R4 and forward, we are really finished with the management of our soybean crop. Overall, in Dane and Columbia County, insects were not a problem this year, with a fairly sparse population of Japanese beetles, spider mites that were non-existent, and soybean aphids that are just showing up now. As beans start to mature and change color in the next month, evaluate your R3 treatments.  Ideally, the crop should change color uniformly.  Did the fungicide treated acres stay green and hold leaves longer? Walk out into the headlands where the beans may be double planted. Is White Mold present? Evaluate standability now.  Look for foliar diseases like Brown Spot and Cercospora.  As we lose the leaves in the beans this fall, a lot of the story of 2019 will be lost.

Even though we had more than adequate moisture this year, most growers had struggles with alfalfa management.  Right out of the gate, many established fields were affected by winter kill.  Because alfalfa prices were high and feed inventories were low due to 2018, growers elected to keep sub-standard alfalfa into 2019. Seeding were planted late into saturated soils.  These plantings really struggled with disease pressure.  It can be hard to evaluate alfalfa varieties for diseases, because most growers only plant one or two on their farm.  Work with a trusted agronomist to identify alfalfa disease and put a plan into place to protect your plants. A few new alfalfa varieties have recently been released with new levels of disease resistance to Fusarium, Verticillium, Anthracnose, Aphanomyces races 1,2,3, and now even 5.  Along with planting a disease resistant plant, consider using a fungicide on your alfalfa stands.  Along with additional yield, fungicides can help extend the life of your alfalfa stands, by limiting diseases like crown rot from getting into your plants.

In my 18 years of experience, 2019 had the highest level of leafhoppers in our area. Most growers are scouting and treating fields over thresholds.  While making this pass, consider other products to enhance yields.  Micronutrients, fungicides and other foliar fertilizers can enhance yields and increase RFV.  While alfalfa prices are high, take advantage of higher ROI.

Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain Exchange Update


Welcome to crop tour week!  Monday’s tweets confirm the yield potential in corn without a late frost.  Please see the chart below for information on frost damage.

Corn rating slipped 1% good/excellent to 56%.  Pro-farmer is estimating yield in OH at 154.35 bushels per acre vs 3-year average at 158.59.  While in South Dakota estimated at 154 bushels per acre vs 3-year average at 158.59.  Corn is seeing support from the crop rating.

Soybean rating slipped 1% good/excellent to 53%.  Pro-Farmer tour estimates the pod count in OH at 764 for 3×3 foot area vs 3-year average of 1,136.  South Dakota is coming in at 832.85 vs 3-year average at 964.96.  Trade is still having a keen eye on weather and watching temperature predictions coming below normal.  Export news remains quiet.

Spring wheat is slowly getting harvested in the Northern Plains.  Weather continues to have rains move thru the Plains.  Crop rating improved 1% to 70% on spring wheat.  Ukraine wheat harvest will be about 27.72 million metric tons.

With harvest just around corner, make sure to prep your bins and your equipment.  Make sure to start planning for next year and selling at profitable levels.

Melisa Schmidt

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain Exchange Update

USDA officially had only bad news for corn fueled by an acreage estimate that left many questions unanswered. While the Farm Service Agency reported 11.2 million acres certified as prevent plant, the crop estimating wing of the bureaucracy said farmers planted 90 million acres, nearly 1 million more than a year ago. With yields of 169.4 bushels per acre, that put production at 13.9 billion bushels, well above the most bearish estimate in the trade. Coupled with higher old crop ending stocks due to lower ethanol usage, the increase in supply left new crop carryout at 2.181 million bushels, a huge bearish number that could get even worse if USDA’s production estimate holds true.

USDA’s numbers for soybeans were actually a bit friendly. Unlike corn, the agency cut its forecast of plantings by 3.3 million acres, matching a prevent plant total of 4.6 million. USDA kept its yield forecast unchanged at 48.5 bushels per acre, for a crop of 3.68 billion bushels. While that was 165 million bushels lower than the agency’s last forecast, it was offset by lower exports, leaving carryout still historically high.

USDA raised its forecast of wheat production much more than expected in Monday’s report, but limited the impact on the bottom line of carryout by boosting its estimate for feed usage and exports. The result was projected 2019 crop carryout of 1.014 billion bushels, 8 million above Farm Futures estimate.

Monday’s crop ratings were unchanged for both corn and beans when expectations were for 1-2% decreases. The recent hot weather did not impact the crop as expected but the numbers (57% for corn and 54% for beans) do not come anywhere close to matching the yields the USDA used in their report.

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it will delay its announced 10% tariffs on a variety of electronic goods from China after another round of trade negotiations concluded via phone. “We’re doing this for the Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers,” according to President Donald Trump. Some experts hope the move is a step in the right direction, showing the U.S. could be open to certain compromises amid ongoing negotiations.

This has been a tough week for everyone, we are adjusting our marketing plans for our customers by changing some open offer targets and locking in basis on contracts. Give us a call with any questions and let us help you navigate through these new marketing challenges.

Jim Fleming


Posted in Blog, Grain

7 Silage Harvest Tips – Key Factors for Successful Corn Silage

Dairy and beef producers across the country are expressing concerns about corn plant health and development setting the stage for silage challenges for the 2019-2020 feeding year. A review of the challenges and solutions can aid producers in developing corn silage strategies.








1. Healthy Corn Plants = High quality corn silage
The healthier the corn plants selected for silage, the greater the sugar content to foster proper fermentation, and the higher the starch content for energy level. Reduction in plant health increases yeast and mold levels.

2. Whole Plant Moisture: Kernel milk-line is less related to whole plant moisture
Kernel development and whole plant moisture are not closely related for today’s corn hybrids. The whole plant moisture is 62-68%. Sugar content declines as corn plants mature and dry down, and plants drier than 65% moisture become difficult to pack unless length of chop is reduced. Corn hybrids differ in their rate of dry-down.

3. Chopping and Kernel Processing: Only one chance to chop and kernel process
Continually monitor chop length and processing to make adjustments as plant moisture and kernel hardness changes. The theoretical length of chop (TLC) for 60-65% moisture corn silage is ¾” for conventional and 1” for shredlage. Kernel processing can be monitored by placing 3 handfuls of fresh chopped corn forage in a 5-gallon pail of water, swirl, allow to settle for 2-3 minutes, then pour off water and forage to evaluate kernels in bottom of bucket.

4. Select an Inoculant Based on Corn Silage Challenges
The Landmark Forage Solutions inoculants are especially formulated for a producer’s goals

For pH reduction to stop plant respiration and save DM and energy:
Select Forage SOLUTIONS CS 100 WS (100,000 CFU/g forage)
Select Forage SOLUTION Corn Silage WS (150,000 CFU/g forage)
For yeast and mold control: Select Forage SOLUTIONS LB WS
High level of lactic acid bacteria to save DM and energy (200,000 CFU/g)
High level of L. buchneri to stop yeasts/molds (300,000 CFU/g forage)

The Forage Solutions inoculants feature a moisture scavenger, a buffer and chlorine binder.

5. Pack, Pack, and then Pack Some More: Oxygen is the enemy to high-quality silage
Proper silage packing is key for excluding oxygen to reduce plant self-metabolism and to lower yeast and mold growth. Silage should not be packed in layers greater than 6”. Research indicates that packing weight should be at least 800 lb. packing weight per ton of silage delivered per hour. For example: 800 lb. X 100 ton/hr. = 80,000 lb. packing weight

6. Cover-up silage quickly: Oxygen is the enemy to high-quality silage
Corn silage should be quickly covered with high quality plastic to reduce oxygen penetration, fostering yeast and mold growth. Contact your Landmark representative for your plastic needs.

7. First in importance but last on the list – Send Everyone Home Safely: Safety is more important than reducing shrink or yeast/mold


Posted in Animal Nutrition, BlogTagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Locally Tailored for the Farmer – Grain Marketing Options

One simple equation: Price Grain can be sold at – cost of production = PROFIT

The team at Landmark creates each grain marketing plan to be built around the farmer’s goals so that they can be successful. Our cooperative is here to bridge the gap between the farmer and the end market, which isn’t quite reachable for our members. Giving the best customer experience we can, the local team concentrates on doing business in the most convenient way to serve the farmer and the community.

Landmark is a cooperative. We are farmer owned and locally operated. The idea behind the cooperative is that we bridge the gap between the local farmer and the end-users where the market isn’t quite reachable.

When we are working with the farmer to do marketing plans, we understand each operation is different. Each marketing plan needs to be built specifically for the farm. They are not one size fits all.

Our biggest goal is to build a plan around your operation to help you become successful. When we start doing a marketing plan, the first thing we look at is the cost of production because our goal is to figure out how much profit we can make after we find out our breakeven. To get our cost production we look at how much the farmer spends on inputs per acre and then divide it by their average bushel per acre yield that they have. So if the farmer spent $600 on input to put corn in the ground and they get an average of 180 bushels per acre, their cost of production is around 3 dollars and 34 cents so we know that we need to get at least 3 dollars and 34 cents to break-even. So, to get our profit when doing great marketing plans, we do the price that you can sell for an app minus their cost of production which equals their profit.

One thing we take pride in at Landmark is providing the best customer experience we can and part of that is being flexible. When it comes to harvest hours if you need to get one last load in we’re just a phone call away and whether its crawling in the combine during harvests to try to help them get their sales made or riding along in the cab with the tractor during planting, we try to be available in the most convenient way for the farmer.

When you do business locally, your money, your business is staying here whether it be job opportunities for the community members, scholarships that Landmark or other local businesses give back. Also, we use our profit margins here to re-invest in our facilities so that we can bring you the best experience possible. That’s why we really think that farmers should do business with the local cooperative because it really is all for the farmer.

Posted in Grain, Videos