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Grain News – China’s Vice Commerce Minister to Visit U.S. on Trade Issues

Big news on Thursday morning is the announcement that China will send Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen to the United States later this month. Beans are coming off a rally in the overnight in response to the news. Officials warn that these will be very low-level talks with low-level officials before any senior-level officials get involved. Corn markets are also up slightly coming into the Thursday morning session following the beans.

Decent export sales this morning on both corn and beans. It was announced this morning that there were exports of 338.9 thousand tons of corn along with 1,044.8 thousand tons of new crop corn. Trade estimated between 300 and 600 thousand tons and 300 to 1,000 thousand tons respectively. Soybean sales came in at 133.4 thousand tons and 571.6 thousand tons of new crop beans. Trade estimated 100-400 thousand tons and 300-700 thousand tons respectively.

Weather is looking good for most of the corn belt. The central and southern plains and the Ohio River Valley are expected to see rains. The Midwest has also seen storms moving through this week and there are more forecasted for the weekend. However, we’re still on track for below average precipitation over parts of the norther plains. Farmers also keeping a close eye on above average temperatures that are putting harvest on track to be one to two weeks early.

Wheat markets are also up slightly, as they follow along with soybeans. Overseas markets are higher today on both the Australian and Paris Futures markets.

Have a great day!

Katie Demrow

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Drop in Crop Rating

Happy Tuesday!  Corn and beans saw a 1% drop in good/excellent.  The market was expecting the drop-in crop rating.  With the weather running warmer in most of the US the crop is ahead in maturity.

Corn continues to run well ahead of normal on maturity at 26% dented vs 13% on 5-year average.  Corn harvest has started in the south with Louisiana 27% completed.  WI corn is 78% good/excellent vs 73% on average.  Denting progress is ahead at 4% vs 2% average in WI.  US is 26% dented vs 15% last year and 13% on the 5-year average. Corn doughing progress is 45% vs 31% average in WI.  The US is 73% doughing vs 56% on 5-year average or last year at 58%.

Beans are higher with strength coming from Soybean meal.  Beans are seeing good rains though out the Midwest.  Blooming progress continues to run ahead of last year.  WI is 93% bloomed vs 89% last year.  US is 96% blooming vs 5-year average at 92%.  Pod setting progress in WI 80% vs 70% last year.  The US 84% setting pods vs 72% 5-year average.  WI soybean good/excellent condition at 76% vs 74.4% last year.  US good/excellent is in line with the 5-year average at 66%.

Spring wheat harvest is moving along fast due to dry conditions.  35% harvested vs 5-year average at 27%.  Winter wheat is done.

Make sure to putting offers and looking for to Spring 2019 and Fall 2019.  It never too early to start marketing into next year.  Make sure to talk to your Grain Marketing Specialist now.

Thank you!


Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Tomorrow’s USDA Supply and Demand Report

jim photoGood morning, 

Tomorrow’s USDA Supply and Demand report is due to be released at 11:00 AM. The average trade estimates are coming in at 176.2 for corn, 49.6 for beans. Anything other than these numbers are going to cause a volatile trading session. The report may be shaping up to be one of the more volatile situations seen in recent months given the widespread, differing views on the U.S. corn and soybean crops and the potential for significant reductions in global wheat production estimates. 

We will also see big changes in the way the report will be release tomorrow. Due to the scandal were algo firms were buying access a fraction of a second earlier the USDA has put a stop to that now. Starting with tomorrow’s report, everyone will receive the report at the same time. Prior to this, the major news wires were locked up and shown the report a couple of hours ahead of time to afford them time to prepare headlines and databases for release and have them in the queue ready to go as soon as the USDA flipped the switch and allowed communications to flow out of the lockup room. That will no longer happen. It will be interesting to see if the USDA website will crash amid all the high traffic created by the policy change. 

Mexico and the United States remain engaged in trade discussions that are said to be going very well. Canada is on the outside looking in, but is not a problem at this point, as the first NAFTA trade deal was negotiated with one country then the other.  Canada’s facing its own little trade issues with Saudi Arabia this week. The US and Europe are still negotiating as well, with little progress as of yet.  Traders aren’t too worried, as the president stated that he would hold off adding more tariffs while talks are occurring. Which brings up China, where little progress is expected ahead of the US mid-term elections. The Chinese economy is feeling the pain, but the leadership thus far lacks a sense of urgency as it controls the message at home. President Xi is willing to wait and see the outcome of the mid-term elections and decide at that point whether to return to negotiations. 

Next week will start Landmark’s appreciation dinners. These events are designed to pass along the latest news that effects our customers throughout the Landmark footprint and to show our true appreciation for you our customers. So please come on down with the family and see some old friends and neighbors and have some fun. RSVP with Julie at 262-473-2410, look forward to seeing you!  

Be safe, 

Jim Fleming 

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – World Wheat Stock and Trade Top Headlines

World wheat stocks and trade policy are the bold headlines but keeping up with USDA numbers are still of value as crop conditions declined in yesterday’s weekly condition report while monthly S/D numbers will be released on Friday.

US corn crop conditions down 1% good/excellent at 71% vs the 71% expected, although last year at this time national crop condition was sitting at 60% G/E.  Conditions in the West are declining and improving in the East.  Wisconsin is unchanged at 81 G/E vs last year’s 75.  US soybean crop conditions dropped 3 points to 67% good/excellent vs 69% expected and last year at 60%.  Wisconsin moved up one percent to 80% G/E only trailing Nebraska’s 84 for best condition in the nation.  After yesterday’s rain, it is hard to think our rating should drop next week but stranger things have happened.  US spring wheat came in 3 points lower than expected at 74% and US winter wheat harvest is 90% completed.

US 2018/2019 production estimates for Friday are out positioning corn at a 14.416 billion bushel crop and beans at 4.425 billion bushels. This is yields of 176.3 and 49.8 respectively.   Bloomberg has the corn carryout still north of 2 billion bushels.  While world wheat stocks will certainly be of interest.

In trade news, Korea booked one corn cargo option origin for December and weekly trade inspections did show one bean boat did load in the PNW.  This news is usually mundane but any PNW business now days are cause for celebration as the lack of business going on has pressured basis all throughout the country.  Yes, that does include ours.  As this crop gets bigger and the calendar moves ahead without anything definitive on how we are going to get beans into China, basis moves lower.  Bean space takes up corn space and basis moves lower.   We regularly see -100X bean basis in the Dakotas but when you look over on the Mid Miss as far South as Dubuque and see -100X or new crop at -90X you get a sense of how real this is.

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Wheat is the Hot Topic Today

Grain markets opened mixed this morning with corn and wheat higher and soybeans lower.  It’s the same ole tune Trump administration threatens increase on tariffs, China threatens retaliation and the grain markets suffer the consequences with volatility.

Corn is trading higher today.  Preliminary yield potential for corn are between 175 and 177 bushels per acre.  New crop corn exports were higher than expected and old crop was within range of expectations.  Corn seems to be a follower of the wheat market.

Soybeans are trading lower today. US weather models continue to be wetter and less hot.  With all the uncertainty over tariffs, it seems like demand for soybeans remains good.  Keep an eye on the weather, if August ends up on the dry side it could offer support to the bean market.

Wheat is the hot topic today. It has traded as much as 25 cents higher.  World weather concerns are triggering the rally in wheat.  Australia, Russia, and Western Europe continue to experience weather that is causing lower production.

With all the volatility in the grain markets it’s a good time to meet with your Grain Marketing Specialist and revisit, revamp, and tweak your marketing goals.

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Wheat Leading the Charge

jim photoWheat is leading the charge this week with concern over the smaller and smaller world supply.  Yesterday’s rally in wheat pushed corn and beans above last week’s highs. The forecasters are looking at drier and hotter weather pattern setting up for the US Corn Belt that is adding to drama as July ends and the critical month of August weather begins. The weather from around the world is also adding concern to the markets with European farmers seeing the driest conditions in decades as their crops burn up in the field. In other growing regions China, Australia and India are also dealing with the dryness and remain a concern.

Monday’s export inspections hit it out of the park for corn and beans and help to keep prices climbing higher.





Yesterday’s crop conditions caught everyone a little off guard.

US corn crop conditions 72% good/excellent vs 71% expected (70-73% range of ideas), 72% last week, 61% last year – conditions unchanged across the board despite widespread lower conditions in corn belt states-US soybean crop conditions 70% good/excellent vs 69% expected (68-70% range of ideas), 70% last week, 59% last year – g/e unchanged but 1% shift from excellent to good, most corn belt states lower-US spring wheat crop conditions 78% good/excellent vs 77% expected (75-79% range of ideas), 79% last week, 31% last year – 1% g/e decline vs expected 2% decline

China is enacting an economic stimulus package as US tariffs appear to be slowing their economy enough to warrant some concern.  If US tariffs continue to cause financial problems in China, you can expect a more motivated Chinese trade negotiation ahead.  With trade tensions easing with the EU it looks more likely that trade negotiations with China will happen sooner rather than later. Despite the tariff induced panic that US bean sales would disappear, the shipment pace, export sales and crush will all be record highs for July with yesterday’s total again above estimates.  World bean demand cannot be capped by tariffs or political tensions and the game of bean sale musical chairs continues at full speed.

 The last few months of grain marketing has been anything but normal. With so many pieces of a puzzle in play, let your Landmark Grain Marketing Specialist help fit those pieces into a sound marketing plan going forward.

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Soybeans Leading the Way

The grain markets are rallying with soybeans leading the way today as the US and EU began making headway to end their trade dispute. Reportedly, the EU will start buying US beans “almost immediately”, but their 15.3 MMT demand is modest in Comparison to China’s import needs. Also, they would have bought US soybeans anyways as we are over $1.00/bushel cheaper than other suppliers currently.

There is a report that China’s government held a meeting with the top five feed makers to discuss ways of reducing soybean meal levels in animal feed. The discussions also looked at how to secure alternative protein-rich ingredients.

Wheat has also been rallying in the recent days. The European wheat and the Russian wheat crop have been reduced due to dry weather. The European soft wheat crop has been reduced to 130 MMT’s versus its previous estimate of 132.4 MMT’s. This would be the lowest soft wheat harvest for the EU since 2012. Last year their crop was 141.8 MMT.

The second day of the US spring wheat crop tour showed yields at 41.3 bpa, which compares to 2017 of 35.8 and the 5-year average of 44.7. Day two did show better yields than the first day. So far yields are a bit below expectations going in to the tour.

Weekly export sales were reported this morning at 13.33 million bushels for corn, 19.77 million bushels for soybeans, and 14.18 million bushels for wheat. The corn and wheat sales were disappointing, soybeans disappointing but as expected.

The local soft wheat harvest is wrapping up in areas that haven’t seen the rain. The quality has been suspect this year with lower test weights and some vomitoxin showing up most everywhere. With each rain the test weight will continue to lower. At least the price on soft wheat has come up a bit as our local harvest is going on.

If you have old crop grains to move before harvest give us a call. We have ideas! It might be time to price a few more bushels now that the prices are coming off their lows a bit.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – Corn, Beans Well Ahead of Average

Corn, beans and wheat are all lower this morning. Corn was lower due to the expectation of changes in the crop conditions but when the report came out last night they were unchanged. Weather forecast is favorable for the Midwest the next 6-10 days. Basis has continued to stay steady.

  • Corn was rated 72% Good/Excellent in yesterday’s Crop Progress and Condition report, unchanged from last week.  Silking was 81% vs the 5-year average of 62%, and dough stage was also ahead of normal at 18% vs an 8% average for this date.

Beans were also lower because they improved on the G/E instead of declining like the trade was expecting. No resolution has been seen in the US/China trade war. DowDuPont’s ag unit in Brazil estimates soybean acres in Brazil could increase 5% next year because of the strong cash price from the Chinese demand. Basis has been mixed with eastern side firming bean basis and the west dropped a few cents.

  • Yesterday, USDA announced a cancellation of 165tmt of optional origin soybeans to China.
  • Soybeans are rated 70% G/E, up 1% from last week. 44% setting pods is well ahead of the average 23% for this date.
  • 44% of the soybean crop is setting pods vs 23% for the 5-year average.


Wheat is lower this morning just on technical correction with European values lower overnight. Spring wheat conditions were down 1% to 79% vs last year’s 33% G/E. US winter wheat harvest is 80% complete Vs 83% last year and 79% avg.


With harvest fast approaching, make sure you get your offers in with your local grain specialists.

Posted in Blog, Grain, Landmark News

Grain News – Favorable Weather Across Midwest

Markets are starting the Thursday morning session softer after starting the week trending upward. Weather still seems favorable across the Midwest as the corn and soybean growing season continues. Trade not paying too much attention to the drier weather as we start to see some rain systems moving in with the 10 day forecast. Grain markets also softer due to the jump in the value of the dollar overnight. Trade seems to think the economy is stabilizing with rising interest rates as the dollar sees a new one-year high.

Exports this morning were better than expected on corn with a surprising buy from Argentina of 80,000 tons of old crop corn. Bean exports were mostly in line with expectations as an unknown buyer purchased 433,000 tons and Argentina booked 120,000 tons of new crop soybeans.

Locally we’re seeing a push in wheat harvest as farmers try to make headway before the rain moves in. The wheat market is steady this morning, gaining some support from higher overseas markets. Exports on wheat were neutral at 11 million bushels. Argentina also making a wheat purchase, along with a purchase of almost 58,000 tons from Japan.

Farmers across the country are starting to feel the pressure to get their old crop corn moved as they have to get bins cleaned out for harvest bushels. With steady basis levels and lower future levels many are at a loss of what to do with unsold bushels. Give us a call if you’d like to go through some options to get those bins cleaned out.

Have a great day!

Katie Demrow

Posted in Blog, Grain

Landmark Sponsors Local Summer Lunch in the Park Program

Helping end child hunger

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, July 9, 2018 – Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is excited to once again sponsor the Edgerton Community Outreach (ECO) Lunch in the Park summer food program for children.

ECO provides programs and services that help those in need. The Lunch in the Park program to help end child hunger has been a dream of ECO for many years. 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 11 at Central Lutheran Park in Edgerton and is supported 100 percent by private donations.

“Landmark Services Cooperative’s donation has given Lunch in the Park a third year to provide children and families an opportunity to enjoy a hot or cold meal together. Since the kick off on June 11, we have served a total of 143 unduplicated meals. We are serving on average 38 lunches per day. It is great to see familiar faces and new ones too as Lunch in the Park continues to grow,” said Alyssa Meyers, food pantry coordinator of ECO.

As an agricultural cooperative, finding a way to help children in local communities combat hunger is a natural fit. “We are excited to participate in the Lunch in the Park program for a second year, partnering with ECO to help serve food to those in need. Alyssa’s efforts ensure the kids and families feel welcome and comfortable while getting a bite to eat. We are proud to be able to help fill the nutritional need during the summer,” commented Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of LSC.


Landmark Services Cooperative donated $800 to ECO June 18 to go toward the Lunch in the Park initiative. Pictured from left to right Shannon Horstmeyer, executive assistant of LSC.; Alyssa Meyers, food pantry coordinator of ECO.
Posted in Landmark News