Landscapes Monthly Newsletter – May 2020

The monthly Landscapes Newsletter is sent to Landmark Services Cooperative members with each monthly statement.  View the Landscapes Newsletter for news and important information from Landmark Services Cooperative.

Grain Exchange – 4/30/2020

Grain exchange update with Melissa Schmidt

There are a couple bright notes in the market this week.  Crush in soybeans are thriving and Ethanol production fell for eight-weeks straight.  Ethanol is producing 26,000 barrels per day less than last week.  With less barrels, ethanol margins are getting closer to breakeven.

The top export buyer for both years was Mexico in corn.  China was the buyer of nearly 12 million metric tons of sorghum.  Other buyers of corn were Japan, South Korea and Colombia for 2019/2020 crop year.  China was the leader of soybean purchases over 75% of exports.  This was expected from China as they go into another holiday on May 1st.

Market expects another good week in planting progress due to good weather until middle of next week.  Most producers are indicting that the spring soil conditions are the best they have been in years.  Also hearing that producers are two to five days ahead of normal.  Talk of switching acres from corn to beans is reducing with weather being good.

Keep in touch with your grain marketing specialist, we still can help you with marketing. Enjoy the sun and drying wind today!  Be safe!

From the Field 4-29-2020

Hello, and welcome to the From the Field update week two. Planting season is well underway for soybeans, corn, and alfalfa, and we’re seeing dust behind the planters for the first time in a couple of years! The majority of alfalfa seedings in our area will be wrapping up this week, and the progress of corn and soybean planting is tracking well above the 5-year average for Wisconsin.

With all the early planting progress in soybeans, remember the importance of seed treatments. While the soil may be dry, it remains very cool. A quality seed treatment containing an insecticide and fungicide remains vital to having a healthy stand throughout emergence. Landmark also offers a premium seed treatment with enhanced nematode, white mold, and sudden death control. Be sure to talk with your local agronomist about getting your soybeans treated before planting into these cold soils.

Be safe and have a great planting season!

Here in the southeast corner of the state, corn planting is off to a much better start than last year. Spring field conditions were some of the best that growers have seen in a couple of years, and I would say that half the corn in this area is in the ground—we just need a good stretch of heat to get it out since nothing has sprouted yet. This early stretch of planting has allowed us to stay caught up with corn that has been planted, which is good, considering that the weather forecast for the upcoming week is looking a little wet.

Bean planting is a little further behind than the corn. Some of the bigger growers who run multiple planters have started, but most folks haven’t. Growers have said that once it dries up again they’ll be pushing hard on getting beans in.

The condition of alfalfa in our area is highly variable. Some of the older stands and fall-seeded fields are looking rough coming out of the erratic winter we had. Stands that are one to two years old look good, so we hope that hay inventories this upcoming year won’t be as tight as the last few years. We had a nice window at the end of March and the first week of April to get the first pass of fertilizer on, and it would be helpful to have a good second pass window.

Wheat is all but nonexistent over here, so straw is going to be short again this year. A couple of growers have worked theirs under because it over-wintered so poorly. But we’ll be looking for some heat to get the corn started, a stretch of dry weather to get the beans in, and a second pass window for fertilizer.

Grain Exchange – 4/28/2020

Grain exchange update with Katie Demrow

Crop progress reports were released Monday afternoon, and corn planting in the U.S. is off to a great start. U.S. corn planting is 27% complete vs. 22% expected. Just last week the U.S. corn crop was 7% planted compared to 12% at this time last year, and 20% on average. Wisconsin corn planting is 11% complete, vs just 1% last week and 5% on average. U.S. soybean planting is 8% complete, which is right in line with expectations. The soybean crop was 2% planted last week, 2% planted at this time last year, and 4% planted on average. The Wisconsin soybean crop is 2% planted. The U.S. winter wheat crop is said to be 54% good to excellent, down 3% from last week, and compared to 64% at this time last year.

Tuesday morning grain markets opened on a positive note, but quickly pulled back shortly into trading. Equity markets seem to be a bit higher today as some places have been lifting lock downs and slowly getting people back to work.

South Korea booked 3 cargoes of corn for September/October arrival, which are expected to come from South America or South Africa. U.S. corn basis is still under pressure as they continue to try and compete with corn from South America. On the soybean side of things, it appears China has been purchasing Brazilian soybeans for August/September delivery, but have been hinting that they may be interested in U.S. Gulf beans for October, November and December.

The Midwest is expected to see some rain this week, with a system moving through from west to east by Thursday. The 6-10 day weather maps are wetter, but 11-15 day shows things will dry up. The safrinha corn crop is starting to see increased stress from dryness and is looking for some rains in the middle of next week to bring some relief. Argentina also looking dryer for the 6-10 day forecast.

Stay safe out there!


Grain Exchange – 4/23/2020

Grain exchange update with Kasey Baker

Corn, beans, and wheat are green across the board for the second day in a row. This positive gain comes to life as China claims they will need to purchase more Ag products to help fill reserves.

Corn is up 4 cents despite ethanol reporting yesterday dropping production by 7,000 barrels a day. Driving the market is Reuters reports that China will be looking for about 20mmt of corn from the US.

Soybeans are up 6-9 cents as the USDA releases China made a purchase that will be executed on as soon as this summer. Export numbers also leading the positive news for beans, release higher than expected movement on soybeans and soymeal.

Wheat is up 4 as the rest of the world has concerns on the condition of their wheat and the demand still seems strong.

As always if there are any questions that the grain team can help you with please reach of to any of us. We are here to help especially is times of uncertainty in the market.

Have a great day!


From the Field 4-22-2020

Hello, and welcome to this year’s first edition of From the Field. I’m Dennis McGuire, an Agronomy Account Manager from Juda, reporting from Rock, Green, Winnebago, and Stephenson Counties.

The 2020 planting season has started off very well. After about 1” of rain that fell over Easter weekend, we saw a dusting of 4” of snow on the 17th. Even with this moisture, I have seen more dust behind tillage equipment then I saw in the entire 2019 planting season. Corn and soybean planters have been running over the last four days and planting conditions have been reported as good. There have been a ton of studies about planting in cold soils or before cold rain events, but after the 2019 planting season, I would rather talk about politics or COVID-19 than give any planting recommendations; as always, hindsight is 2020.

What I’d like to spend some time on is corn planting depth. Most research publications in the Midwest recommend 1.75” to 2.5” deep, and the primary reason is to achieve good seed-to-soil contact. This allows the seed to be placed where the soil moisture and temperature are more consistent. Uniform emergence requires each seed to uptake water at the same rate in a stable environment. Deeper planting also results in nodal and primary rooting to establish deeper in the soil profile, protecting seeds from herbicide, moisture, and temperature. This should lead to higher yields.

Last year’s new seeded alfalfa stands have made it through the winter the best I have seen in recent years. There are a few low-lying areas that died out due to water saturation and are therefore being reseeded with a grass mixture that should be more resistant to higher levels of water. The older stands are still struggling from the previous winters, and I think these stands will come out of production sooner than planned.

Best of luck this season.

Late planting challenges was the theme in last year’s planting season, so there’s a lot of discussion now about getting the seed planted as soon as possible. That raises the question of “When and how do we decide to start planting?” The answer is simple: we need to plant when the conditions are right and fit. To understand that, we need to review the basics of agronomy during the spring planting environment. For planting to be successful, we need to be running when the soil is dry enough to crumble and be pressed firmly around the seeding without “mudding” it in. Compaction is not our friend, so get it done correctly the first time.

Seed can sit in the soil for weeks, but we need to make sure that the first drink of water the seed takes is not too cold. Corn seed is very sensitive to the water and soil being below 50 degrees during the first 36 to 48 hours after planting. This will cause cells in the seed to rupture, causing damage to the seedling and eventually resulting in chilling injury and reduced yield. Monitor the soil temp and keep track of the weather forecast so you can gauge your decisions.

Check the planting depths. A good 2-inch-deep soil bed for corn and a 1 to 1.5-inch-deep bed on our soybeans will give us a good proper range to shoot for. Make sure the planter is level when running across the field—this will help make sure your depth placement is accurate. When getting the planter out, take the time to look over the machine to make sure it’s ready for the season. We don’t want worn-out attachments that can cause yield reductions, so go over the planter, check for worn-out pieces, and capture the easy bushels!

Let’s all have a safe season—we’re ready to play!

Grain Exchange – 4/21/2020

Good Morning-

The green flag has dropped on plant2020 but it is crude oil that has caught the attention of all market analysis in the grain space.  On Monday, the nearby contract for crude traded Negative $40 a barrel, yes that is right, the seller would be paying someone to take it.  This of course was not supportive outside market as corn and beans slide lower as well as lack of demand continues to weigh on values.

Planting progress had US corn planting at 7% complete on par with what the market expected and a reminder for the same week the US was 5% complete last year.  Soybeans was also as expected at 2% complete for the nation.  Wisconsin was registered at 1% completed as of Sunday.  The weather does have a wetter look to it for the next 10-days but there is an expectation that planting will happen between scattered showers with some estimates to see 20% corn planted for the nation by next week.

For me, planting is the most exciting time of the year and what it can bring.  With all the headlines that I read this year, it seems to be the year that challenges optimism the most, yet we still plant the crop.  I feel although it would be smart to start putting plans into place on the what if the lack of demand leaks into next year and continues to pressure prices because that is possible but I also feel there is room for that same optimism as well.  If your plan can weather some headwinds and allow for some changes to your business to add efficiencies or maybe better said cut inefficiencies I think it is certainly appropriate to leave room for some of that same optimism you had with all the previous crops you have planted.  Or at least that is what I am doing.



Are you showing a large animal at your local fair?

Landmark is pleased to offer $50.00 Participation Awards

Any child of a Landmark member must be engaged in animal project and plan to show their animal at local county or state fair. *Includes Large Animals – Dairy, Beef, Swine, Sheep.

Child must submit the following:

  • Name
  • Parents names and Landmark account number (*Members must do $1,000 in business or more with Landmark during the current year)
  • Address
  • Photo of themselves with their project at the fair
  • Please list any award or ribbon received (ie. I received a first blue or I had the Champion Angus Steer, Showmanship Winner, etc.)

*LIMIT one award per child

Submission deadline:  September 15, 2020

Mail to:

Landmark Services Cooperative
Shannon Horstmeyer
1401 Landmark Dr.
Cottage Grove, WI 53527

Or Email to:


Grain Exchange – 4/16/2020

Grain exchange update with Judy Uhlenhake

If you look towards the sun you will never see a shadow.

Corn is trading mixed today.  Ethanol production is down 43% from year-ago levels.  Corn exports totaled 906,600 tonnes for the week ending April 9.  This is below last week but in line for amount needed to meet forecast.  The largest destinations were Japan, Mexico and Colombia.  Demand is hurting in the corn complex.

Wheat is mixed this morning.  Wheat exports came in on the low end this morning.  Sales totaled 178,300 tons, expectations ranged between 150,000 and 350,000 tonnes.  Outstanding sales for new crop wheat are 4.1% higher over the same period last year.

Soybeans are slightly lower.  Weekly export sales were disappointing at 244,700 tonnes (nine million bushels).  It was a marketing year low that fell on the low end of expectations.  Crushing estimates released yesterday reported the largest March crush on record at 181.4 million bushels.

Snowfall will cover much of the Central Plains and Central Mississippi River Valley today.  Warmer weather in forecast this weekend in the Midwest should ramp up some planting.

The markets continue to be volatile with all the uncertainty going on.

Keep in contact with your grain marketing specialist, we are here for you. Get some offers in before you get to busy in the field.

As we are in trying times right now remember there is always something to be thankful for, keep the faith.

Have a great day and stay safe.





Grain Exchange – 4/14/2020

Good Morning,

The Texan corn crop was reported at 63% planted, up from 57% a week ago. Farther north, corn seedings in Illinois and Indiana were each 1% complete, relatively in line with five-year averages. A wet spring has kept farmers from making early planting progress. But despite farmers’ frustrated attempts to start fieldwork ahead of schedule, yesterday’s report indicates there is still plenty of time to get corn in the ground.

The US meat industry remains in the center of every potential problem from COVID-19 as key components of the food chain are being systematically shutdown due to outbreaks at major processing plants.  Smithfield shut down a 3700-employee hog processing plant in Sioux Falls, SD which will further contract the supply of available meat.

Corn: Corn prices followed the energy complex slightly lower this morning. May futures were down $0.005 to $3.31 in early morning trading while July futures prices were unchanged at $3.36.

Soybeans: The closure of several North American meat packing plants left demand for the soy complex in limbo this morning. May soybean futures were down $0.025 to $8.51 on the sentiment. May soymeal futures prices lost $1.3/ton to $287.3 as a result.

Wheat: Yesterday’s crop progress report showed that 6% of the U.S. winter wheat crop had reached the heading phase as of April 12. Strong growth progress in Texas, North Carolina, Arkansas, and California boosted Sunday’s total in front of the 5% mark registered at the same point last year. Heading progress was slightly behind the previous five-year average of 7%.

We will be receiving a report coming out this morning of what numbers look like out of China for U.S. imports.  In the first quarter, China imported $3.10 billion worth of soybeans which is a 210% increase from last year.  They also imported 168,000 MT of pork in the same time period, a 640% increase from last year.  That equates back to $430 million worth of pork.  In total, they have imported $5.05 billion worth of U.S. goods, a 110% increase from last year.

Stay in touch with your Landmark Marketing Specialist for the latest marketing news and options to get us all through this. Please stay home and stay safe.