Grain Exchange – 4/2/2020

Grain exchange update with Kasey Baker

On this beautiful day in April the sun is shining, and everyone is working hard to prepare for spring planting. 2020 seems like the year with a huge toss up on what to plant due to the drastic changes in the market. While there is no silver bullet, now more than ever is when you should be working with your Landmark Grain Marketing Specialist. The opportunities are going to lie in pre-planning, diverse contract options, and positivity from our Landmark Team.

A little market update:

Soybeans opened down 3 for May 2020. Fall has been holding a little stronger with a lot less volatility than the old crop. Basis on beans at the Gulf and other terminals have been getting tighter trying to ramp up for the Soybean Meal market.  As the ethanol market is changing there has been some interest in moving from DDGs to some sort of substitute.

Corn opened up 1 across the board. Corn seems to be over sold and with the intended planting acres on corn being over 96 million acres it is nice to see some green on the board. If you look further out in to 2021 the market is also looking a little more appealing than 2020. There is hope in the future according to the CBOT.

Wheat is down 8-9. We have seen the most drastic change on the board in wheat in the last 2 weeks. I’m not seeing may explanations for the wheat drop besides it is being held down by corn and beans. Which hopefully means it will come back around.

Farmers are the most optimistic group of people. In hope of the markets turning around call your Grain Marketing Specialist to get your offers in before you are preoccupied with spring work.

Make it a great day and stay safe!

Grain Exchange – 3/26/2020

Grain exchange update with Judy Uhlenhake

Markets are trading lower this morning.  The markets are remaining hopeful for increased export demand to China.  Export sales were big.  High unemployment number weighing on market even with the passing of the massive coronavirus bill.

Corn market is having a hard time adjusting to the slow use by the ethanol plants.  An increase in corn export sales is needed to offset the ethanol usage.

Soymeal demand is the leader in the soy complex.  Brazil and Argentina warn that delays could be seen as travel restrictions slow the flow of grain.  Argentina is starting to harvest, but farmer selling is expected to be slow due to poor peso values.  China soybean crushers are short of supply because of slow movement from South America.

Wheat has been the bright spot in the grains lately.  The market remains strong as millers around the world work to stock up on flour supply.  The US continues to work on the Chinese export market.

USDA Grain stocks and Prospective planting report will be released on Tuesday, March 31st.   Keep in touch with your grain marketing specialist to handle this quickly changing market.

Keep positive, we will weather this storm.

Grain Exchange – 3/24/2020

The markets are beginning to trade a little more independently from the equities which is a good first step. Everyone is Washington is working on stimulus packages to help US businesses get through this historic time. The Small Business Administration (less than 500 employees) has put together some great programs to help all of us get through this. These programs might include very low interest loans and credit/forbearance incentives to keep or even add employees.

Both cattle and hogs finished limit up ($3.00) yesterday with the strength expected to continue today. Panic buying by consumers and packing and processing logistic concerns drove cash cattle trade last week $10 higher than the previous week.

Corn prices made it through a choppy session with few changes Monday, with a positive round of export inspection data from USDA yesterday morning mostly undercut by emerging demand concerns coming from the struggling ethanol sector. May futures dipped 0.25 cents lower to $3.43 with July futures holding steady at $3.49.

Soybean prices continue to move higher in tandem with soymeal futures, fueled by an uptick in demand from the livestock sector. May futures jumped another 21.5 cents higher Monday, closing at $8.84, while July futures gained 20.75 cents to reach $8.85. Soybeans showed excellent gains yesterday on slow loading in South America and China soybean processors needing beans, and chatter about more interest from China. Less ethanol production means lower DDG availability equals more meal demand.

Wheat prices surged more than 4% higher Monday as a wave of panic buying of food staples spurred a round of technical buying today. May Chicago SRW futures gained 23 cents to $5.62 May. Egypt could import around 472.2 million bushels of wheat during the 2020/21 marketing year, according to the latest estimates from USDA-FAS. That’s a moderate uptick from last year, due to higher population growth and overall consumption.

 

COVID-19 Response Plan

Landmark Services Cooperative recognizes that the rapidly changing daily events surrounding COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge and the source of uncertainty. The health and welfare of our employees, customers, and the communities in which we live, and work continue to be our top priority. Landmark is taking proactive steps to keep our employees, customers and families safe while ensuring business continuity.

Our disposition in agriculture is to power through tough situations, regardless of what we’re facing. That’s the nature of our business and who we are. However, we’re experiencing unprecedented times and due to the nature of how this disease is transmitted through “community spread,” it’s forcing us to take action to keep everyone safe while continuing to maintain business continuity and allowing us to serve our members and customers.

As such, Landmark is performing the following temporary and precautionary measures to be fully implemented across all locations by Monday, March 23rd, 2020. Please visit www.landmark.coop for the most updated information in regard to these temporary measures as they are subject to change in this rapidly evolving situation.

Members and Customers

  • We have implemented preparations for potential supply changes. Currently we have ample inventory of most of our products (except where we have traditional seasonal tightness which is typical in the early spring). Absent of any supply or manufacturing disruptions, we anticipate meeting all our customers’ needs. We are asking all customers to please “look ahead” by fourteen days and work with our divisions to ensure you have proper inventories.
  • Deliveries of products will continue as normal but will be coordinated with our customers to limit face-to-face interactions as much as possible. For all fuel and LP deliveries, our drivers will place the tickets at the tanks and you’re also able to reach out to our energy division if you need an electronic copy of a ticket emailed to you.
  • We’re closing all Landmark offices to the public and are asking all customers to please limit any non-essential visits to our facilities. Onsite operations will continue under the following guidelines:
    • Office areas will be temporarily closed to all non-Landmark employees.
    • Grain deliveries will continue as normal, but checks will be mailed or processed via ACH. Grain scale tickets will be printed and sent electronically (email or text), placed between sliding windows, or in a drop box near the door.
    • We will be accepting payments via credit card or credit on account only for pick-up orders. No cash sales are permitted.
    • For onsite pickup of product, we ask that you please back your truck up to loading docks, drop the tailgate and get back into your vehicle. The Landmark staff will then load your order.
    • All truck drivers are asked to stay in their trucks other than to open their hoppers or sweep out trailers. (The drivers will be responsible for opening their own hoppers.)
    • Port-a-potties will be placed at our major facilities to be used as needed.
    • Signage will be posted throughout our campuses and will include phone numbers you can call for assistance or to answer questions.
  • We have discontinued the sale of hot food items in our convenience stores and have implemented a thorough cleaning and disinfecting regimen.
  • Our Burlington Country Store will continue to sell products to our customers but are moving to phone-in orders only. We will be accepting payments via credit card or credit on account only for pick-up orders. No cash sales are permitted.
  • We’ll continue to service our HVAC customers to address emergency needs but are halting services for onsite, non-emergency work. We’ll be conducting precautionary phone screenings and follow best practices as it relates to hygiene and social distancing.
  • If you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, or have been in contact with anyone within the last 14 days who has tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that you please do not visit our facilities and avoid face-to-face contact with Landmark staff.
  • Our sales and grain origination teams have been requested to work from home, but will be readily available via phone, text and email. During this time, they will be reaching out proactively to discuss these changes and to make sure that we’re continuing to meet your needs. If you have a business-critical need that requires a face-to-face meeting, we ask that all proper precautions are met to ensure your health and safety and the health and safety of our employees.

Landmark Employees

  • Any staff member that has a fever, cough and shortness of breath will not be allowed to return to work until they are symptom free. If an employee or a family member in an employee’s household has been instructed by a doctor to self-quarantine, they must quarantine at home for 14 days.
  • We’re minimizing our exposure by segregating employees to specific areas of a facility, per Landmark location, per shift. This includes all administrative and operational locations. In offices and operational areas that house a large number of staff, we’ll be shifting some personnel to work at other Landmark locations, new areas within our campuses, or remotely from home. When working remotely, our staff has secure access to all of the critical data, software and applications needed to support our customers.
  • All employees are asked to follow best-practices related to hygiene and social distancing. Personal work areas and public facing surfaces will continue to be cleaned and disinfected twice daily, and more in higher traffic areas.

The circumstances around COVID-19 are changing daily, and the Landmark leadership team is monitoring those changes and will respond to the situation both calm and rationally. Our focus will continue to stay on the health and safety of our employees and customers, and the continuity of our business so we can continue to serve you and your needs.

Please rest assured that our sales, customer service, operations and administration teams will continue to effectively service you and your needs. We sincerely appreciate your understanding of this situation and thank you for your business.

Grain Exchange 3-19-20

Grain exchange update with Melissa Schmidt

Happy Thursday!  Currently markets are making a recovery.  Make sure to stick with your market plans and talk with us if you need cash flow.  We can still provide solutions for you during this time.

Exports are helping the market.  See table below for numbers:

With March 31st coming soon, we are starting to see estimates as to acres and what is going to get planted.  Commodity brokerage Allendale Inc. estimated 2020 U.S. corn acreage at 94.6 million, with soybeans at 83.7 million, according to an annual survey; that would be above the USDA’s 94.0 million ac for corn, but below 85.0 million acres for soybeans. All-wheat acreage came in at 44.5 million acres, vs the 45.0 million USDA.

If you have not figured out your cost of production, with wet weather would be a great time to sit down and do that.  This year is very important to know where and when you need to sell.  Please call grain origination team to plan.  Stay positive, it is spring!

Seeing 20/20 in 2020: Focusing on Alfalfa

Maximize Your Alfalfa Yield Potential

Tighter margins are requiring farmers to effectively and precisely manage their crops for profitability. Landmark Services Cooperative has partnered with the leading agronomic companies in the industry to offer you the best insights and solutions for raising alfalfa. Here are a couple tips to raise a profitable alfalfa crop:

1) Ensure a Solid Stand

It’s important to start the season off strong with a healthy alfalfa stand. There are certain practices that you can implement to ensure you’ll have a good foundation to build on throughout the crop’s life. Check out this article for evaluating your alfalfa stand:

Spring Stand Evaluation

Spring Alfalfa Planting

2) Effectively Manage Your Fertility

Alfalfa has very specific nutrient needs. It’s important to meet those needs in order to have the right tonnage, quality, and digestibility. At Landmark, we have the expertise to help you make the right plan for your crop. Check out this article on alfalfa fertility:

Sulfur for Alfalfa

Potassium for Alfalfa 

3) Pick the Right Seed

Building yield starts with choosing the right seed for your operation. Each variety has specific traits and characteristics that behave differently in unique environments. Landmark has access to the best genetics in the industry today through the Croplan brand. Our agronomy experts can help you place your alfalfa seed on the right acre in order to ensure maximum success. Check out these varieties from Croplan:

Rebound AA

HVX Megatron

4) Protect Your Crop

The right herbicide, insecticide, and fungicide program is important for keeping your alfalfa crop healthy. Landmark Cooperative offers several crop protection products for alfalfa. Our expertise is supported by strong data. Keeping a clean, healthy, stress free crop results in higher tonnage and better feed quality.

5) Utilize Technology

Utilize aerial imagery to monitor crop health and determine proactive management in-season. Imagery tools in addition to technology like variable rate applications help you make decisions based on known facts.

YieldEDGE AAA

Would you like more information? 

 Contact Us at agronomyinfo@landmark.coop

 

Grain Exchange 3-17-20

Grain exchange update with Katie Demrow

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Did you know that the four leaves of the clover represent Hope, Faith, Love and Luck? Here’s to hoping we all find a little Luck of the Irish soon!

As the market volatility continues through the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, markets are steady to neutral as we start off the Tuesday morning after a tough Monday. Yesterday President Trump encouraged U.S. citizens to practice social distancing, while active cases of the Corona Virus outside of China surpassed 100,000 overnight. While the spread seems to be slowing in China, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Iran have all reported at least 1,000 new cases. Exporters from Argentina are experiencing shipping delays at their ports because of confusion of COVID-19 mandated policies.

The livestock market has also been feeling the pain of the markets, as slaughter plants are trying their best to remain open. Staffing is a major concern as plants must keep enough employees on hand to complete the processes, inspections and administration activities that are necessary.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is working to pass a benefits package that would expand the paid family and sick leave for companies with less than 500 people to help combat the impact of the virus. Wisconsin has now followed suit by closing schools to help control the spread of the virus.

The 6-10 day forecast is showing below normal temperatures and widespread precipitation for the U.S.  Argentina should see some rainfall today but will then be dry the rest of the week. Southern Brazil should also see some rain that will bring a little bit of relief to their second corn crop. Locally, we’re expecting to see a storm system move in across much of the area late this afternoon and into tonight.

Have a great day!

 

Choosing the right way to deliver your cattle supplement

When it comes to selecting the right supplement for your cattle, there are two preferred methods of mineral supplements designed to provide consistent intake: loose minerals and mineral tubs.

Feeding free choice loose mineral

Feeding minerals free choice in loose form is the most commonly used method. Loose mineral works great in most cases, but may be dispersed or damaged by wind and precipitation, and can cake if it gets wet. It’s usually cheaper per head per day, and many different forms are available. Make sure that you use the correct mineral depending on the time of year and what you’re using it for. Use a covered feeder to help reduce the amount of rain and snow that gets in the feeder, and clean your feeders often.

Mineral tub

Mineral tubs are weather resistant and often promote a more consistent intake of minerals. You can move tubs to different areas in the pasture with ease, thus enticing your cattle to graze under-utilized pasture ground. Certain tubs also contain protein, which is especially beneficial if you have lower quality forages or pasture.

Both loose mineral and mineral tubs have their place on certain farms. Every farm is different, and what works for the neighbor may not work for you. Consider the best placement of the tub or the loose mineral feeder. If possible, move the mineral or tub often as animals will often hang around areas where the mineral is offered. Be mindful to keep mineral and tubs at least 50 feet away from a water source—this will help reduce over-eating. And always offer clean drinking water.

Using the correct mineral and nutrition is vital to reproductive health and also cow/calf health. Pastures are often lacking in calcium, phosphorus, and salt, and at certain times of the year, they may be lacking other minerals, as well. Talk with your Landmark nutritionist and ask questions to help build the correct feeding program that best suits your cattle’s needs.

Grain Exchange 3-12-20

With all the breaking news surrounding the virus it is easy to see why grain markets are lower today, markets in general moving that direction.  Asian equity markets down, European equity markets lower and of course our domestic market experienced a decline.   Travel bans and reducing travel is certainly not bullish energy/ethanol.  As we move through the virus issue, we will still need to define S/D, watch the northern hemisphere planting progress and restock diminished supply where virus interruptions have occurred.

China published a list of 88 U.S. suppliers that can now export DDGS to the country.  This indicates that China will allow imports of US DDGS for the first time since 2017.  This follows talk this week that China is interested.  This week printed strong corn and Sorghum sales while wheat was a disappointment.  Soybean exports sales included Chinese net cancellations. No USDA sales announcements this morning.  Ethanol stocks where lower this week as well.  Rosario Grain Exchange lowered their estimate of Argentina’s soybean crop and held corn steady.

 

Grain Exchange 3-10-20

Grain exchange update with Kasey Baker

Weather outside has us thinking SPRING! It’s a great feeling to see the sun and have the snow starting to dwindle away. To top if off Pike County Illinois has posted to Twitter the start of bean planting. Are you getting ready??

Corn is up 4 after quite the dive yesterday. Wall Street appears to be stronger despite the Coronavirus scares across the world. The WADSE report was released with no change in predicted planting or harvested acres. There was also no change in beginning/ending stocks for corn from February to March. The report suggested the average price will go down 5 more cents from February to March for harvest delivery corn.

Beans are up 7-9, also recovering from yesterdays losses. Brazil is about 50% complete with their harvest and the vessels are lining up to export the beans. WADSE also reported for soybeans no change in planted or harvested acres from February to March. There was again no change in the beginning/ending stocks. Like corn the soybeans price average price did go down 5 cents as well.

Wheat is down 1-4 cents. Reports of down production in Texas. Chatter about China purchasing wheat but the place of origin is still unknown. There was also no change the WADSE Report for the wheat from February to March.

Have you talked to your originator since the winter meeting? Now is a great time to get your marketing plan and offers for new crop in place. Your originator has a few tools in the shed to help your farming operation in 2020. If you have written check for your grain inputs, you should be thinking about a sale of grain to cover those costs.

Enjoy the sun & stay safe