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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.

Posted in Grain, Videos

From the Field Updates

What a wild ride this season has been. A lot of work and crop progress has occurred over the last month of July.  As of two weeks ago, the last top dress rig was sent out on 300 acres of sweet corn, so outside of alfalfa spraying and R3 work on beans, custom work has wrapped up.

Corn: We’ve been tendering helicopters & planes that are doing some post-brown silk fungicide spraying on corn the last couple weeks.  In the past, Delaro has worked well for late season work, so we’re using that again this year.  Weed pressure has been held at bay – in some cases, with just a SOLID pre-emerge program.  Disease wise, there has been Tar Spot identified in some counties in WI and northern IL – Rock and Lafayette counties in WI and DeKalb county in IL.  Given the year, corn is looking good!

Soybeans: R3 work (top 4 branches/nodes showing a pod that’s ¼” in length) has been in full swing for the last two weeks.  In my opinion, beans like to be stressed early and pampered late, so a solid R3 program containing a fungicide, insecticide, and foliar micro-nutrient blend is ideal.

I’ve seen and had more calls on alfalfa these last 2 weeks than in years past.  One answer to many issues is sulfur deficiency when the entire plant is yellow or chlorotic in color – especially if nothing has been applied this year or has only been applied in early spring before all the rains.  The second most common issue I’m seeing is aphid and leaf hopper pressure when sweeping the fields.  Good news, there is an insecticide/drift control pass (Mustang Maxx with InterLock) which is very affordable.

Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain Exchange Update

Positive day for the grain markets today as beans rally following on the coattails of bean oil. Export sales in bean oil were bigger than expected, which has the funds doing some short covering causing the markets to jump. The USDA announced exports of 135,000 tons of new crop soymeal to the Philippines. South Korea bought 23,000 tons of soyoil.

Weather forecast is showing limited rains over parts of the Eastern Corn Belt. This will cause stress to the plant over moisture in up to 1/3 of the Midwest. However, the southeast cotton/soy acres are seeing limited stress as the delta rains are providing enough moisture. While the U.S. is relatively dry, China is seeing flooding following Typhoon Lekima that is threatening their corn and soybean production.

U.S. farmers have been holding off on making sales until the WASDE report is released on Monday. This will give supply and demand, as well as re-surveyed acreage numbers from the June report. Ranges of harvested acres from trade and Informa have big ranges ahead of the report. Corn harvested acres estimated range anywhere from 76.1 – 81.9 million acres. The soybean range is also big with estimates coming in between 77.3 and 82.8 million acres.

If you have any questions ahead of the report, give us a call! Now is a good time to get your open offers updated ahead of harvest.

Have a great day!

Posted in Blog, Grain

From the Field Updates

We have been busy with aerial applications of fungicide on corn this past week. Corn burst out with full tassle on most fields during the week, so timing seems just right for this application. Fungicide applied on corn from tassle to brown silk stage should give the best significant yield boost plus improved plant health for better harvesting.

Final post sprays on beans may be called for cleaning up weed pressure. The new genetics of soybeans will really help for 2020 for increased options for controlling tough weeds like water hemp and others. Hard to believe, but an early order of seed for these traits is due now to assure access to limited supply of new seed.

Wheat yields have been overall good, especially where late fungicides were applied. Yield increases of 10 bu/a over untreated wheat have been reported by growers in Dane County.

Alfalfa fields should be scouted for potato leaf hopper, which is present in most fields. These insects can reduce stand yield, quality and weaken stands.


Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain Exchange Update

Grain markets are riding a turbulent wave with weather and Trade War with China the main focus.  Ag markets are taking a hit after the Trump Administration announced new tariffs on China.  China retaliated by asking its state-owned enterprises to suspend importing U.S. agricultural products.  Weather is mixed with stress areas at 25% of Midwest and predicting normal to below normal temperatures the next two weeks.

August 12th could prove to be an interesting USDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report day.  The August report will include resurveying planted acres announced in June using satellite data and for the first time ever, FSA acreage certification information.

Corn is trading slightly lower this morning.  Crop ratings declined slightly over the last week and remained the lowest rating for this week since 2012.  Corn silking at 78% is 10 days behind the average.  Look for choppy trade ahead of the August 12th USDA report.

Soybeans are unchanged.  Weather maps are differing on forecasted rain amounts the next 10 days.  So far rain has been lighter and more scattered than predicted.  IEG released it’s forecast for crop production.  They are predicting soybean yield at 48.2 bushels per acre, which is 3.4 bushels below last year.  The soybean crop was decreased to 3823 million bushels which would be 721 million below last year’s record.

Wheat is currently down.  The U.S. crop was increased to 1934 million bushels which is close to July’s forecast of 1921 million.  EU wheat production was lowered again, which could result in higher U.S. exports.

With all the volatility in the markets keep talking to your Grain Marketing Specialist to finalize old crop sales and pricing new crop.  Make sure to get offers in ahead of the August 12th report.

Have a Super day!

Judy Uhlenhake

Posted in Blog, Grain