From the Field Updates

It has been a challenging year with delayed planting, poor planting conditions, and now cool temperatures. I’m seeing a lot of compaction issues in corn fields from being worked and planted to wet, but there weren’t many options. This has led to limited root growth and poor uptake of nutrients. Nitrogen in many cases has been washed out of the root zone and deficiency has really been showing up in the last month, especially on fields not side dressed. The cool August has slowed down corn maturity but has also slowed disease development. We started to see Grey leaf and northern leaf blight show up in late July early August, but I haven’t seen those diseases explode like in previous years. I’m hearing of some tar spot showing up in the area but I have not seen any to date. Overall there’s a decent crop of corn out there, we just need to get it finished. Silage harvest has begun with some guys taking shorter season hybrids, but it’s off to a slow start. I think that will change this week. Call your Landmark agronomist and have them do a test to see where it’s at.

Beans, like corn, are all over the place. Some early planted fields are starting to turn and I’m still finding flowers in other fields. Aphids and Japanese beetles have stayed in check for the most part. The last few weeks there have been some sudden death and brown stem rot showing up in fields. It’s looking like a late bean harvest which could make it challenging to get wheat planted before the insurance date.

I’ve had a lot of calls all summer from guys wondering why their alfalfa hasn’t been producing. A lot of the alfalfa stands that looked like they made it through the winter really didn’t. They’re dead and they just didn’t know it. You can really tell a lot about your stand by walking it two-three weeks after cutting. If you see plants with a lot of variability in height there is a problem. Call your local Landmark agronomist and have them dig some plants and look at the difference in crown and root health. If that field didn’t produce this year even after fertilizing it, it’s probably time for it to go. These fields could be a good options for getting some wheat in.

Thanks and have a safe harvest.


Grain Exchange – Markets are moving up and so is the temperature

Markets are moving up and so is the temperature. A little heat this late will hopefully dry out the fields in preparation for harvest.

Corn is up about 7 cents so far today. The USDA weekly progress report release condition of corn is still going down to about 55% good/excellent. Last year good/excellent corn was 68%. Corn is started to dent across the country but from the percent dented we are about 22% behind last year at this time. There was also export sales made to Mexico to support the market.

Soybeans are up as well today between 15-17 cents. There are a few factors in the rally. Crop progress indicated also 55% good/excellent condition which is below the 5- and 10-year average. Setting pods is at 92% not far behind last year. Then it was announced that China is expected to buy more agriculture products in hope for a better trade deal with the US.

Wheat has taken a positive jump up about 10 cents after hitting lows on the previous day. Spring wheat harvest is about 71% complete.

As grain is starting to move up again make sure you speak with your marketing specialist to add open offers. Once you have the offers in place its best to not pull the offer in hopes that the market will go higher, as we have seen the highs do not last forever.

Have a great day!

Kasey Baker


Grain Exchange – Cooler Forecast

A much cooler forecast after September 20 showed up at noon yesterday which rallied corn from the lows. Early freezes only occur about 8% of the time but the crop still needs later than normal first frost to help the delayed crop.

The pork prices in China shot up to new all-time highs Tuesday with widespread shortages now being reportedThe enormous deficit that world pork producers now face is roughly 20% of the world’s pork supply. This is a result of the ASF virus still not being contained. The EU and the U.S. are the only two major producers with enough infrastructure to quickly expand breeding facilities. Unfortunately solving this problem will take years. An immediate return of this feed demand is not likely in the near future.

Crop conditions from Tuesday’s crop conditions were mixed as corn was up 1% G/E to 58% while beans were unchanged at 55%. Both were expected to be 1-2% better so the flat position rating is a little bit of a surprise. The delayed maturity of the crop remains the key concern in these numbers.

China filed a grievance against the U.S. with the World Trade Organization over the latest tariffs which will likely take 12-15 months to process. That would go past the 2020 Presidential election which is probably not a coincidence.

Only 86% of the nation’s soybean crop is setting pods. This is the smallest percentage for this date on record. 41% of corn is in dent, which is the 6th smallest percentage on record – 8% below the 1993 year. You would have to think this immaturity is detrimental to soybean yield; and leaves a big chunk of corn yield vulnerable to an early frost.

(CNBC) President Trump wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods last month after Beijing’s latest retaliation in the trade war before settling on a smaller increase, three sources tell CNBC. Trump was outraged after he learned August 23 that China had a formalized plan to slap duties on $75 billion in U.S. products in response to new tariffs from Washington on September 1. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer then enlisted multiple CEOs to call Trump and warn him about the impact of such a move would have on the stock market and the economy.

Next Monday (Sept. 12) at 11:00AM will be the release of the USDA Supply and Demand report. Have a plan in place to be able to react to the markets. Your Landmark grain marketing specialist can assist you with a plan through various marketing options tailored to your specific operation. Give us a call.

Jim Fleming


From the Field Updates

Andy Beck from the field report

We have a record amount of prevent plant acres here in the far east. There were really three windows of planting in our area – a few days at the end of April, a couple days mid-May and on into June.

Corn planted early is denting. The later planted corn will need 30 to 45 days to mature. Hopefully we can get a warm September and first half of October to get this crop mature. Cases of disease in the area have been relatively low. We are starting to see some of the early planted corn running out of N do to all the rain after application. There have been some challenges with this corn crop, although most of the corn in the area does look good.

It looks like we could sneak out an average crop of soybeans in our area. No real aphid or Japanese beetle pressure to speak of around here. Weed pressure is a huge concern. Waterhemp and Marestail are running rampant. With the approval of Enlist trait there will be some more options for next year. E3 beans will be tolerant to Roundup, Liberty and Enlist. Enlist is a new less volatile version of 2-4-D. Talk to your Landmark agronomist for more information on this new technology.

The wheat harvest is all wrapped up. Yields were down for most farmers ranging anywhere from 55 to 90 Bu/ac. The best yields were seen with split application of nitrogen where we spread urea and AMS early in March, then came back in late April with a 28% and herbicide application. The better wheat also had a fungicide pass for head scab at Feekes 10.5.1., which is beginning to flower. Although grain yields were down, straw yields were seen as being very good!

Cover crops have been a big topic here with all the prevent plant acres. The question we hear all the time is “What should I plant?”.  Well you must decide what your next cash crop is and your goals for that cover crop. There are many options out there and those options may be different for everybody but remember something is better than nothing! Talk with your Landmark agronomist to sort through all the options.

st 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.

Grain Exchange – New Month, New School Year

Welcome to September and the start of a new school year! Thank you, Hurricane Dorian, for helping place a ridge with higher temperatures in the Midwest; getting us very close to maturity. The USDA will come out their updated production on September 12th.

Corn ratings are expected to improve this afternoon, with rain moving thru the Midwest.  Brazil reported 7.65 million metric tons (mmt) were exported in August, new record amount.  South America corn values continue to dominate the export market.

Soybeans are quiet on export markets all around.  Brazil only shipped 5.3 mmt vs last year at 8.12 mmt with slowing demand from China.  Trade is not looking for tariffs to change until late 2020.  Chinese goods get higher tariffs this week.  Weather is playing to a good crop of beans.  Privates are leaning towards the projection that USDA August production numbers will be right in line.

Wheat in the EU is to be better than expected at 142.7 mmt from 141.3 mmt last month.  Harvest is putting pressure on the world prices of wheat.

Make sure to talk to us for options as we get closer to harvest and look past this fall into Spring 2020 and beyond.  As you meet with your seed/agronomy people and talk 2020 crop, we are ready to make marketing plans for you.

Have a great day!

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