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Grain Exchange – Energy Markets in the News

Markets are softer today with some turn around Tuesday action. Yesterday’s crop progress report showed better than expected numbers for corn. The USDA said that corn is still 55% Good/Excellent which is unchanged from last week. However, last year at this time we were at 68% G/E. US Soybeans are said to be 54% Good/Excellent, down just one percent from last week. The corn crop is said to be 68% dented,18% mature and 4% harvest. The US soybean crop has 95% setting pods and 15% dropping leaves.


Weather remains bearish for the markets as the 16 day forecast isn’t showing much for cold weather threats. The Midwest is predicted to see average rainfall for the next day days with above average temperatures.


Energy markets have been making the news recently. Trump is said to back a new plan that would boost biofuel quotas by 10% in 2020. This plan is aimed to compensate for refinery waivers and would increase quotas by an amount equal to the 3-year average of past waived volumes. This should give some boost to the ethanol markets. Crude oil markets have seen huge volatility so far this week with Saudi Arabia announcing that half of its oil output, which equal about 5% of total world output, was halted on Saturday due to a drone attack in its Abqaiq processing facility. This caused a huge jump in oil prices yesterday, followed by lower prices today after announcements today that Saudi Arabia oil outputs should be back to normal in 2-3 weeks.


Trade talks continue to say that China will source 3-5 mmt of US Soybeans, however Lighthizer hasn’t confirmed that early October talks will produce a deal. US Soy products are cheaper than South American soy at the moment, which should push China into making some purchases.


As we get closer to the 2019 harvest, now is a good time to look forward to 2020. Get your target prices in so that you can take advantage of any spikes in the market! Give us a call if we can help with any of your marketing needs!


Posted in Blog, Grain

Building Excitement in Evansville

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, September 17, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative is excited to announce it will break ground on its new 28,000 ton dry fertilizer building at 2:00p.m. Tuesday, September 24, 2019. The new building will be located at 750 South County Road M in Evansville. The project will start this fall with an anticipated completion of early summer 2020.

At the June board meeting, the agronomy senior management team presented the opportunity to build a 28,000 ton dry fertilizer plant in Evansville, which was unanimously approved by the board. “This new expansion will bring additional dry fertilizer storage capacity, while improving customer service, operational efficiency, and speed of service for our members,” stated Todd Kronberg, vice president – agronomy of Landmark. “We’ll also be able to take larger product positions and capture freight savings.”

The new plant will allow faster loading, resulting in shorter wait times for the tender fleet and members getting direct loads. Loading time of tender trucks and semi-trucks will be under ten minutes versus 30 minutes in the past. Other key benefits for Landmark members include:

  • Blending 250 tons per hour.
  • Receiving product at 600 tons per hour.
  • Flexibility of fertilizer delivery to Landmark by rail or truck.
  • Cost savings related to insurance, utilities and repairs with older facilities.

“As our membership continues to grow, we remain focused on our ability to serve members’ operations of all sizes in the most timely and efficient manner,” said Landmark CEO & President Jim Dell. “Landmark is proud to be committed to our members’ current and future needs.”

For more information on Landmark Services Cooperative’s programs, contact Chrissy Long at or 608-819-3126.

Landmark Services Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality products and services. For 85+ years, Landmark has provided farm-related products and services to its more than 11,000 members in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Employing more than 300 full-time people and reaching sales in excess of $373 million, Landmark provides a customer service-oriented approach in the communities it serves. For more information, visit, or call 800-236-3276.


Posted in Landmark News

Fall and Winter Calf Feeding and Management Tips


The thermoneutral zone of a newborn calf is between 55-78° Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops below 55, a newborn calf is going to begin to experience some degree of cold stress. The first step in winter feeding is to create a comfortable environment.

  • BEDDING  Between week 1 and week 6 of life, a calf spends 73-81% of her time lying down. Due to the fact that she is spending close to ¾ of her time lying down, it is crucial that we provide her clean dry bedding. Keep in mind that the rate of heat transfer in wet bedding may be 3 to 10 times that of dry bedding. Ensure bedding is dry where calves are lying and supply straw allowing calves to nest. Check to make sure there is enough bedding underneath the calf so she is not losing heat through the ground.
  • CALF JACKETS  Putting a jacket on a calf can help decrease heat loss by up to 15%. With the combination of dry straw bedding and calf jackets we can reduce heat loss by up to 30%.
  • HOUSING  Whether calves are housed in a barn or outside we need to be sure they are well ventilated yet draft-free. You may need to close vents in hutches or raise curtains on condos to reduce draft. Ventilation in calf barns may need to be adjusted from what was working in the summer months to diminish drafts in the winter. Protect calves from lying against concrete walls which can absorb her heat.
  • NEWBORNS  Get newborn calves dried off quickly to prevent immediate cold stress. The use of a warming box or heat lamp can help (as long as they are kept clean). Give calves good quality colostrum quickly. Monitor temperature of the colostrum to ensure it is being fed at nothing below body temperature.
    • Go into a pen where you see a calf has been lying down.
    • Kneel down on one knee for at least a full minute.
    • If your knee gets warmer it is ok, if your knee gets colder the calf is losing heat down into the ground. In this case more bedding should be added.
    • Feel if there is any draft where you are kneeling.
    • Check to see how dry the bedding is in that exact spot where she has been lying.


As the temperature drops our calves require more energy for maintenance. Unlike older calves who can just eat more grain, young pre-ruminant calves do not have that option. Calves under three weeks of age are particularly stressed because they do not have much energy stored (3-4% body fat) and are eating very little calf starter. For every 1 degree drop in temperature below 50 F, a calf requires one percent more energy. By the time the temperature reaches zero, a calf should receive 50 percent more energy (calories) just for maintenance.

So what are the options for cold weather feeding?

    • If you would like to stay with the same mix, you can feed larger volumes to increase the calf’s caloric intake.
    • Feed at least 3 quarts or 3 ½ quarts per feeding of milk or milk replacer at recommended solid levels.
    • This also allows calves to get more water, decreasing chances of winter dehydration.
    • If you have the ability, adding an extra feeding has proven to be very successful.
    • To save time, you can target younger calves (~three weeks and younger).
    • Make sure you time feeding accordingly and stick to a routine once you start.
    • You can increase the solid level to 15-18% solids.
    • Ensure you have free choice water available because calves may be thirsty due to the increased dry matter content.

When feeding calves in winter be very aware of the temperature at which you are feeding the milk. Milk or milk replacer should be fed at 100°F- 102°F. If it is any colder calves will have to use energy to bring milk back up to body temperature. Often calves fed last will get much colder milk than calves fed first; In this case you may have to adjust your mixing temperature a little higher.

Watch for winter dehydration. It is very important that you still feed free choice water to calves in the winter months. We all know that it is crucial for grain intakes, but it also helps prevent calves from getting dehydrated in the winter, especially if you increase solid content.

Posted in Animal Nutrition, Blog

Grain Exchange – Today is Another Report Day!

Today is another report day! The WADSE Report will be release at 11:00am. Professionals have been estimating a slight decrease in yield. Other than the minor change in yield thoughts are that it will not be a market mover report. There is always opportunity with a report. However, the bean market can not move more than $0.65 in one trading period and corn can not move more than $0.25. Knowing those limits, setting realistic offers is still extremely important.

Corn is trading slightly higher. There are many talks about ethanol slowing down, but we haven’t seen numbers to support this yet. Trump met with biofuel producers yesterday in hopes of boosting the biofuel industry in the future.

Soybeans are up 7-8 cents this morning. US weather forecast has been predicting the first frost to be a little earlier than normal. Trump and China are continuing discussions and Trump released the following tweet:

Wheat is trading even but at a much better price than a week ago as they wind down harvest.

Judy Uhlenhake with Landmark grain was nominated through the WI Farm Bureau to attend the Washington DC Fly. She will be sharing what farmers are doing and the effects of the Whitehouse in rural Wisconsin. We are excited to hear and share her experiences from her trip.

After the report there will be a text release through Landmark about the results. If you are not signed up reach out to your grain marketing specialist.

Have a great day!

Kasey Baker


Posted in Blog, Grain

From the Field Updates

It has been a challenging year with delayed planting, poor planting conditions, and now cool temperatures. I’m seeing a lot of compaction issues in corn fields from being worked and planted to wet, but there weren’t many options. This has led to limited root growth and poor uptake of nutrients. Nitrogen in many cases has been washed out of the root zone and deficiency has really been showing up in the last month, especially on fields not side dressed. The cool August has slowed down corn maturity but has also slowed disease development. We started to see Grey leaf and northern leaf blight show up in late July early August, but I haven’t seen those diseases explode like in previous years. I’m hearing of some tar spot showing up in the area but I have not seen any to date. Overall there’s a decent crop of corn out there, we just need to get it finished. Silage harvest has begun with some guys taking shorter season hybrids, but it’s off to a slow start. I think that will change this week. Call your Landmark agronomist and have them do a test to see where it’s at.

Beans, like corn, are all over the place. Some early planted fields are starting to turn and I’m still finding flowers in other fields. Aphids and Japanese beetles have stayed in check for the most part. The last few weeks there have been some sudden death and brown stem rot showing up in fields. It’s looking like a late bean harvest which could make it challenging to get wheat planted before the insurance date.

I’ve had a lot of calls all summer from guys wondering why their alfalfa hasn’t been producing. A lot of the alfalfa stands that looked like they made it through the winter really didn’t. They’re dead and they just didn’t know it. You can really tell a lot about your stand by walking it two-three weeks after cutting. If you see plants with a lot of variability in height there is a problem. Call your local Landmark agronomist and have them dig some plants and look at the difference in crown and root health. If that field didn’t produce this year even after fertilizing it, it’s probably time for it to go. These fields could be a good options for getting some wheat in.

Thanks and have a safe harvest.


Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain Exchange – Markets are moving up and so is the temperature

Markets are moving up and so is the temperature. A little heat this late will hopefully dry out the fields in preparation for harvest.

Corn is up about 7 cents so far today. The USDA weekly progress report release condition of corn is still going down to about 55% good/excellent. Last year good/excellent corn was 68%. Corn is started to dent across the country but from the percent dented we are about 22% behind last year at this time. There was also export sales made to Mexico to support the market.

Soybeans are up as well today between 15-17 cents. There are a few factors in the rally. Crop progress indicated also 55% good/excellent condition which is below the 5- and 10-year average. Setting pods is at 92% not far behind last year. Then it was announced that China is expected to buy more agriculture products in hope for a better trade deal with the US.

Wheat has taken a positive jump up about 10 cents after hitting lows on the previous day. Spring wheat harvest is about 71% complete.

As grain is starting to move up again make sure you speak with your marketing specialist to add open offers. Once you have the offers in place its best to not pull the offer in hopes that the market will go higher, as we have seen the highs do not last forever.

Have a great day!

Kasey Baker


Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain Exchange – Cooler Forecast

A much cooler forecast after September 20 showed up at noon yesterday which rallied corn from the lows. Early freezes only occur about 8% of the time but the crop still needs later than normal first frost to help the delayed crop.

The pork prices in China shot up to new all-time highs Tuesday with widespread shortages now being reportedThe enormous deficit that world pork producers now face is roughly 20% of the world’s pork supply. This is a result of the ASF virus still not being contained. The EU and the U.S. are the only two major producers with enough infrastructure to quickly expand breeding facilities. Unfortunately solving this problem will take years. An immediate return of this feed demand is not likely in the near future.

Crop conditions from Tuesday’s crop conditions were mixed as corn was up 1% G/E to 58% while beans were unchanged at 55%. Both were expected to be 1-2% better so the flat position rating is a little bit of a surprise. The delayed maturity of the crop remains the key concern in these numbers.

China filed a grievance against the U.S. with the World Trade Organization over the latest tariffs which will likely take 12-15 months to process. That would go past the 2020 Presidential election which is probably not a coincidence.

Only 86% of the nation’s soybean crop is setting pods. This is the smallest percentage for this date on record. 41% of corn is in dent, which is the 6th smallest percentage on record – 8% below the 1993 year. You would have to think this immaturity is detrimental to soybean yield; and leaves a big chunk of corn yield vulnerable to an early frost.

(CNBC) President Trump wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods last month after Beijing’s latest retaliation in the trade war before settling on a smaller increase, three sources tell CNBC. Trump was outraged after he learned August 23 that China had a formalized plan to slap duties on $75 billion in U.S. products in response to new tariffs from Washington on September 1. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer then enlisted multiple CEOs to call Trump and warn him about the impact of such a move would have on the stock market and the economy.

Next Monday (Sept. 12) at 11:00AM will be the release of the USDA Supply and Demand report. Have a plan in place to be able to react to the markets. Your Landmark grain marketing specialist can assist you with a plan through various marketing options tailored to your specific operation. Give us a call.

Jim Fleming


Posted in Blog, Grain

From the Field Updates

We have a record amount of prevent plant acres here in the far east. There were really three windows of planting in our area – a few days at the end of April, a couple days mid-May and on into June.

Corn planted early is denting. The later planted corn will need 30 to 45 days to mature. Hopefully we can get a warm September and first half of October to get this crop mature. Cases of disease in the area have been relatively low. We are starting to see some of the early planted corn running out of N do to all the rain after application. There have been some challenges with this corn crop, although most of the corn in the area does look good.

It looks like we could sneak out an average crop of soybeans in our area. No real aphid or Japanese beetle pressure to speak of around here. Weed pressure is a huge concern. Waterhemp and Marestail are running rampant. With the approval of Enlist trait there will be some more options for next year. E3 beans will be tolerant to Roundup, Liberty and Enlist. Enlist is a new less volatile version of 2-4-D. Talk to your Landmark agronomist for more information on this new technology.

The wheat harvest is all wrapped up. Yields were down for most farmers ranging anywhere from 55 to 90 Bu/ac. The best yields were seen with split application of nitrogen where we spread urea and AMS early in March, then came back in late April with a 28% and herbicide application. The better wheat also had a fungicide pass for head scab at Feekes 10.5.1., which is beginning to flower. Although grain yields were down, straw yields were seen as being very good!

Cover crops have been a big topic here with all the prevent plant acres. The question we hear all the time is “What should I plant?”.  Well you must decide what your next cash crop is and your goals for that cover crop. There are many options out there and those options may be different for everybody but remember something is better than nothing! Talk with your Landmark agronomist to sort through all the options.

st 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 – New Month, New School Year

Welcome to September and the start of a new school year! Thank you, Hurricane Dorian, for helping place a ridge with higher temperatures in the Midwest; getting us very close to maturity. The USDA will come out their updated production on September 12th.

Corn ratings are expected to improve this afternoon, with rain moving thru the Midwest.  Brazil reported 7.65 million metric tons (mmt) were exported in August, new record amount.  South America corn values continue to dominate the export market.

Soybeans are quiet on export markets all around.  Brazil only shipped 5.3 mmt vs last year at 8.12 mmt with slowing demand from China.  Trade is not looking for tariffs to change until late 2020.  Chinese goods get higher tariffs this week.  Weather is playing to a good crop of beans.  Privates are leaning towards the projection that USDA August production numbers will be right in line.

Wheat in the EU is to be better than expected at 142.7 mmt from 141.3 mmt last month.  Harvest is putting pressure on the world prices of wheat.

Make sure to talk to us for options as we get closer to harvest and look past this fall into Spring 2020 and beyond.  As you meet with your seed/agronomy people and talk 2020 crop, we are ready to make marketing plans for you.

Have a great day!

Posted in Blog, Grain