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Grain Exchange Update – Markets on the Rise

On this short trading week there have been multiple events that have been making the market moves. Corn, beans and wheat have all jumped up significantly. A few reasons for the market moving contributes to weather, plant progress and more tariff talks.

Everyone who turns on the news hears the devastation across the U.S. about precipitation and severe weather. There is also plenty of weather between now and harvest to impact grain outcomes. Although Wisconsin has been wet, Wisconsinites seem to be more fortunate than the majority of the country. Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri seem to be getting the brunt of the rain inches and severe weather. One benefit of being a Wisconsin farmer in this wet weather is the seed traits and growing days seem to line up better with the weather we are seeing thus far, unlike grain that is grown to the south.

Planting progress is significantly behind the average on planting corn and beans. Roughly 38.4 million acres of corn are left to be planted yet.

See charts below for the most up to date planting progress.



It was tweeted by Trump that the U.S. will be enforcing the 5% tariff on Mexico starting June 10, 2019. As a reminder, Mexico is the largest buyer for corn and corn by-products. The U.S. also relies on Mexico to support the fruit and vegetable markets at times when the U.S. can’t produce enough.

On this warm sunny day, I leave you with a final thought. While markets are raising, don’t forget to reward the market. Although it seems like the prices should go up, there is no guarantee. Work with your grain marketing specialist to help capture the overnight trading hours and short-lived rallies in the market. Keep on planting, this could be the year that Wisconsin out yields the neighbors.

Kasey Baker

Posted in Blog, Grain

Landmark Welcomes Summer Interns

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, May 30, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is excited to welcome eight summer interns. The student interns started on Monday, May 20 and will have assorted roles in several divisions throughout LSC’s trade territory.

During the internship program the students will learn and practice skills in their desired areas of interest that will benefit them in their future careers. “We hope all of our interns gain general business acumen, a better understanding of agriculture, improve communication skills, and the confidence to follow their passions,” explains Brian Musser, talent acquisition partner of LSC.

Along with the internship experience, students are provided with several benefits that include a laptop for summer use, option to earn university credit, and networking opportunities with other employees and customers.

Jenna Keiser will serve as an animal nutrition intern, Jennifer Lintner will serve as an agronomy intern, Jordan Roberts will serve as a HR intern, Sammy Streich will serve as a grain/agronomy intern, Colleen Toberman will serve as a grain intern, Shelby Veum will serve as a marketing and communications intern, Jake Wagner will serve as an agronomy intern, and David Wolter will serve as an IT intern.

“I’m looking forward to gaining real world experience and the opportunity to network with professionals,” says animal nutrition intern, Jenna Keiser. “I hope to get as much knowledge about the feed and nutrition industry as I can.”

During the internship, students can spend a day or two in another department, getting a taste of the different job opportunities throughout LSC. “We connect all interns with a mentor outside their department to help with making connections and overall career advice,” says Musser. He continues, “Ideally, the internship is the start of a long, successful career with Landmark.”

All internship opportunities are posted around the beginning of the year at

Posted in Landmark News

Real World Entrapment Training Makes for Better Response

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, May 29, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative recently hosted the Madison Fire Department Heavy Urban Rescue Team (HURT) for grain entrapment training at their grain facility in Cottage Grove, Wis.

The training, led by John Schoenfeld, Landmark Services Cooperative’s Safety Manager and attended by the Madison Fire Department (MFD), consisted of touring the Landmark grain facility and practicing an entrapment rescue of MFD team members in a grain truck. The rescue teams used the grain rescue tubes also known as coffer dams, which act as a barrier, preventing any other grain from surrounding the victim. These coffers minimize pressure, giving the crew easier removal of the entrapped. The grain rescue tubes were donated in 2012 by Landmark after the MFD trained at Landmark Services Cooperative with Outstate Data, a grain tube designer and manufacturer.

“To be able to work with such a professional team made the entire experience tremendously rewarding,” explains John Shoenfeld, Landmark Services Cooperative’s Safety Manager.

The MFD HURT is comprised of 57 members, divided between three work shifts. They are trained for high angle rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, structural collapse rescue and grain bin rescue. This team is available to respond in the City of Madison and at the request of local fire departments throughout the area for these types of incidents.

“It is essential for our team members to receive information from someone knowledgeable in grain bins and silos, and receive hands on training in grain bin rescue,” says Lt. Jimmy Ahn of MFD HURT. He continues “You can watch all the videos and read all the books; however, you really don’t understand until you get hands on training, learning more in depth about the tools, techniques, hazards, and procedures.”

The Heavy Urban Rescue Team trains each Monday, selecting a different topic from a perspective discipline. Lt. Ahn describes, “there are unique tools and considerations with grain bin rescue and each year we add new members to the team. For our newest members, it is knowledge and training that is essential to develop their skill set on HURT.”

Employee safety is Landmark’s number one priority so collaborations like these truly benefit both parties. “I feel more confident after our training at Landmark, since it reinforces previous training and also provided valuable new insights and information,” states Lt. Ahn.

Posted in Landmark News

From the Field Updates

We can’t seem to catch a long enough break from rain for fields to be ideal for planting in Evansville, Wisconsin. We currently are experiencing the wettest 12-months on record in southern Wisconsin. This past week we have had a few short stretches where we were able to get in the field, even if the conditions weren’t optimal. For the corn that’s not in the ground you need to start thinking about lowering the maturity. If the corn seed is a 104-day or higher maturity on June 1st, we recommend changing maturities. Especially if the field is not yet planted, it’s most likely already a wet field. With the weather patterns we have been experiencing, it’s hard to say when you will be able to get on that ground. For the corn that was planted “early” in late April we are finding low stand counts. For example, 28,000 plants when planting population was set at 34,000. We are seeing low corn stand counts because we went through a long span with soil temperatures under 50 degrees and staying wet throughout that span causing the seed to emerge slowly and sit in the ground for 3 weeks. Soybeans don’t get a break when it comes to cool wet planting conditions either. If you are interested in doing stand counts yourself measure out a 1/1000th of your field in 30-inch rows that would be 17’ 5”, 20-inch rows 36’ 2”, 15-inch rows 34’ 10” count the number of plants in that row and then multiply by 1,000.

The last week was like much of the spring we have been having so far, cloudy rainy days with few days of heat and sun. The lack of sun has us behind in our GDU’s on average and compared to last year. Last year an outlier with around 400 GDU by this time last, while the average is around 290. Today we are sitting around 250 GDU’s, so about 20% less than average. This is starting to show up in the corn and wheat crop that has been slow out of the ground. Hopefully, the weather starts to turn around and we start to get some heat to help out the crop. Along with the lack of sun we have had above average moisture. This moisture is a part of the disease triangle, a host and disease being the other two parts. With a wet spring we could see vomotoxin and other wheat diseases start to show up soon. It might be a good call depending on the stand to think about a foliar fungicide treatment to protect the crop that you have out in the field today. A foliar micronutrient might also be a good compliment with that Funigicide. If you are interested more on if a fungicide is right for you, reach out to your local Landmark agronomist.

It’s been wet and cool. Soil temps are warming now, and corn and bean fields planted should have plenty of moisture to produce good stands at emergence.

Our area is reporting about 30-40% corn acres planted. Dr. Lauer of UW Agronomy Department has a good website to look over for delayed planting decisions. Generally, in our area of southern Wisconsin, a couple of dates can be considered. For substituting earlier hybrids, figure last week of May or June 1-5 to switch to earlier hybrids. June 10 is the usual date to consider another crop besides corn. A lot depends on what the corn use will be. Emergency feed needs might include late planted corn for chopping. Switching to early hybrids has a cost in terms of production potential. About 1.9 bu/a difference for every RM day is rule of thumb (i.e., if a 100-day hybrid produces 119 bu/a, switching to 90-day hybrid would make 100 bu/a.) Click on link for a good site to read for late planting tips.

The most important task is getting the seed into the soil right now. We can adjust chemical spray programs and broadcast fertilizer later as needed. Waterhemp has emerged (photo below), so we will need to spray as soon as weather permits. Please, stay in touch with your agronomist to report field conditions suitable for spraying.

Insect development should take off now that temperatures are steadily warmer. Best recommendation for corn hybrids is to use Bt genetics, since late corn is most vulnerable to corn borer pressure.

Disease pressure can increase with extra moisture and cool temperatures, so, for top production always use fungicide and foliar fertilizer products this season. Every farming task has been complicated by the excessive wet weather, so stay positive and remember all the things you love about farming, and be ready to act when the weather permits.


Check out this video to help clarify the crop insurance options that growers are facing with this wet, delayed planting spring.

Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain News – Markets continue to move higher

Markets continue to move higher with the ongoing rains pounding the farm fields. More than twice as much rain on average fell than was predicted over the last week. A lot of corn is planted in less than ideal conditions. Funds continue to exit their short positions as concerns of corn acres not getting planted. This is a critical week with many farmers making the decision to take prevent plant or switch to soybeans. Final planting date for corn is June 1st. If you choose to late plant corn you lose 1% coverage per day. Make sure you talk to your insurance agent before making any decisions.

Soybeans are trading higher following corn and wheat. Planting progress for soybeans is estimated at 28-34% complete vs 62% average. The 11-15 day forecast maps are hotter and drier. This should allow for soybean planting to continue.

Wheat is currently trading higher following the corn market. Expectations are that the wheat futures will eventually break due to increased world supplies.

The MFP program was announced with very few details. They want to keep the details quiet, so it doesn’t affect planting decisions. Farmers will fight to get a crop in but at the end of the day if that is not possible the insurance is there to get you through.

Continue to talk to your grain market specialist to keep them informed on your planting intentions and help you market into the rally. We are here for you!

Posted in Blog, Grain

From the Field Updates

Another wet day over here in Evansville Wisconsin, we received over two inches of rain from Friday to Sunday putting a hold on getting into the fields. Last week on the other hand was a productive week, we estimate over 60% of corn and around 30% of soybeans are planted in Landmark’s south hub. Something to keep in mind this year when planting is insects in your fields and this year with younger plants in the ground insects can cause more considerable damage than on an average year. Especially on ground with fields with cover crops or no-till ground with heavy weed pressure because army worms and black cutworms lay their eggs in vegetation in the spring. You should consider using insecticide in any form this year to protect your yields.

Last week was a pretty good week around my area. If the ground was dry enough to get into, something happened on that acre. A lot of corn was planted into the ground last week in pretty decent weather. But, that weather was short lived as more storms rolled in over the weekend with some areas getting around two inches of rain for the weekend.

As corn planting continues now might be a good time to talk with your agronomist about switching to a more mid-season maturity, to help maximize your return on investment. But, don’t make any drastic changes to maturity before June 1st, that could do more harm than good. Same goes for soybeans, look to shorten the maturity after June 1st. With late-planted soybeans also remember to keep the population up. Shawn Conley of UW–Extension says to shoot for a seeding rate of 154,000 seeds an acre. For more information on late planted soybeans, and soybeans in general check out Conley’s blog post.

With heat forecasted for the end of the week, it looks like spring might finally be around the corner.


The wet and cool weather has continued creating challenges for growers in our area. Soil temperatures are warming slightly, this morning reports 46F degrees. Growing Degree Day units have not accumulated very much. Normal on this date is 346 for our area. Currently, we are at 230 near Madison, which is also behind last year at this same time. What we hope to see is a sustained overnight temperature of 50F degrees, for best development of seeds in the ground. Warmer temps in the daytime help, but cool downs overnight keep things on the slow side. Thursday brought us half an inch more rain, and Friday through Monday brought another three quarter inches.

So, when should a grower switch corn hybrids and soybean varieties to earlier maturity choices? Not yet. If the weather permits and planting can continue by May 25, stick with original best selections of seed types for your farm. After that, perhaps earlier maturities could be selected. In general, we have plenty of season left to produce mature grain before our average first frost date, October 10, in southern Wisconsin. The important thing now is to get the seed into the ground, and growers are feeling pressure of insurance date of May 30 to plant corn. That may mean planting into soil in less than ideal conditions. Herbicide programs can be altered and weeds can be controlled post planting.

Landmark agronomy has been able to get into very few fields to continue fertilizer and herbicide applications in between rain events. Remember, that chemistry reactions are affected by temperatures, so cooler weather means the chemical applications are working more slowly. Be patient and realize the chemical will do its job over time.

Tough decisions to be made this week.


Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain News – Good News from Crop Progress Report

Happy Thursday,

What a difference a week makes! Last week prices just kept falling with no bottom insight and bad news on top of bad news. Fast-forward to Monday, the Crop Progress report came out and bam!

20-May-2019 03:01:44 PM – US CORN – 49 PCT PLANTED VS 30 PCT WK AGO (80 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

20-May-2019 03:02:25 PM – US SOYBEANS – 19 PCT PLANTED VS 9 PCT WK AGO (47 PCT 5-YR AVG) -USDA

  • WI 35% 5yr. Ave.65%
  • IL       24% 5yr. Ave 89%
  • IN      14% 5yr. Ave 73%
  • IA       70% 5yr. Ave 89%

The next farmer aid package is that payments will be based on historical planted acre averages with beans receiving $2 a bushel, wheat .63 cents a bushel with corn getting a 4-cent payment. It is hard to understand the reasoning behind the low corn payment but hopefully today’s USDA roll out will give more specifics on the process.

For farmers determined to plant corn and swap longer maturities for shorter maturities, seed companies are reporting widespread shortages of most varieties under day one hundred.  There seems to be no silver lining to this problem other than the rally in corn prices.

US and Chinese trade talks have been put on the back burner now that a farmer aid program is coming.  With no meaningful meetings scheduled until late June when President Trump and Chairman Xi meet at the G20 meeting, there is little hope for a new trade deal this summer or potentially this year.

I have been fielding a lot of questions and concerns this week due to the lack of planting progress. Your Landmark marketing specialists are here to help you with different options and ideas in the form of a good marketing plan for your operation. We can help you make quick adjustments to the plan to deal with the lack of planting progress or to take advantage of the current volatile markets.

Be safe out there,

Jim Flemming

Posted in Blog, Grain

Positive Dairy and Beef Markets

This past week two things happened that positively impacted markets for dairy and beef producers.

On the dairy front the US announced it was lifting tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico. All indications are that this will result in both countries removing their tariffs on US products, including dairy. Canada and Mexico are our largest trading partners for cheese and dairy products. Milk prices responded accordingly by trading up as much as $0.35/ cwt.

Mike North from Commodity Risk Management Group had this to say on the AGDay Newsroom Friday afternoon- North said, “When they {Mexico} retaliated against the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, their first step was to put a tariff on cheese. Now, as we talked in the past cheese is huge for this country, not just Wisconsin, where I’m from, but you know, as a country 48% of our milk goes to making cheese in this country in one way, shape or form, and Mexico is one of our biggest buyers of cheese as it leaves the country, so for us to be able to get past that discussion and to open up the border again to a free flow of cheese it pushes a lot of milk across the border that hasn’t been moving for the last 12 months. That’s a big plus for dairy men around the country. ”

On Friday Japan announced it was lifting restrictions on U.S. Beef. Some of these restrictions have been in place since 2003. This message from Japan is a significant boost in confidence of the quality and safety of U.S. beef and should help signal to other Asian nations that non-science-based barriers can also be lifted. The initial impact on U.S. Beef sales to Japan is estimated to increase by $200 million annually and open doors for additional trade between the two countries.

Posted in Animal Nutrition, Blog

Maximum Results with Tissue Sampling

Landmark Agronomy Account Manager Nick Troiola and Carly Edge of WinField United discuss how to best utilize tissue sampling on the farm and its benefits. Nick and Carly also review how Ag technology can help decide the best place to tissue sample to remedy any problem areas for maximum results.

To learn more about how to use tissue sampling to build a better nutrient management plan, contact your Landmark Services Cooperative agronomy team.

Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Landmark to Offer Interest-Bearing Certificates

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, May 15, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new interest-bearing certificate program available now that includes two options for Wisconsin residents:

  • Demand Certificate: Requires a minimum of $2,500 and bears interest at 2% per annum. The interest rate will be reviewed periodically and adjusted to market rates at Landmark’s discretion. Funds are available for withdrawal within five business days of execution of the demand certificate.
  • Three-Year Certificate:  Requires a minimum deposit of $5,000 at 3.25% interest.  Interest is accrued as simple interest, and the interest rate is locked for the three-year term of the certificate. There is an early withdrawal penalty of six-months of interest on the principle.

Additional details about each interest-bearing certificate can be found online at

Landmark members, that were previously enrolled in our former programs, have been contacted and sent all the necessary information that’s needed to transition to the new programs.

“One of the advantages of being a member and supporting Landmark Services Cooperative is that we’re owned and controlled by our members. That means that our members are at the core of our purpose. By investing in the patron note program, members and customers have a means to invest in their cooperative and earn interest at a competitive rate. Meanwhile, a program like this helps Landmark reduce our overall borrowing costs compared to commercial borrowing rates. It’s a win-win situation for our members and the cooperative as a whole,” explains Keith Arnold, chief financial officer of Landmark.

If you’re a member that would like to open a new certificate or a current member that has questions about your transition to the new certificates please reach out to us at 608-819-4201, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email us at

Posted in Landmark News