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5 Tips to Beat the Heat

With exceeding temperatures ahead, here are a few tips to keep you “cool as a cucumber” this summer.

  1. Shut the Door and Close the Blinds

Closing the door behind you or shutting the blinds during the day is an easy step to keeping the hot sun from beating into the house and preventing the cool air from escaping. Closing off unused rooms in your home can also minimize the amount of area your air conditioner has to cool.

  1. Check Air Filter

It will not only improve air quality by removing the dust and dirt but also improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. Replacing your air filter every few months could save you some extra cash when it comes to your utility bill and extend the life of your air conditioner.

  1. Turn Off Lights and Reduce Stove Use

Keeping the rooms in your home darker can prevent extra heat escaping from light bulbs and the dim lighting will make the room seem cooler. Cooking with an oven set at 400-degrees will increase the temperature of your kitchen and surrounding rooms. If possible, try out a new grill recipe instead.

  1. Clean Vegetation Away from Outdoor Unit

Planting flowers or tall shrubs close to an outdoor HVAC unit can restrict the airflow to the system and it will become unable to cool properly. Plants should be at least 2-3 feet away from the unit so that it is also accessible in the event of repairs or maintenance.

  1. Program your Thermostat

A programmable thermostat will maintain a suitable temperature depending on the time of day instead of running a continual temperature all day. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature of your home comfortable while still saving you money.

 

Landmark Services Cooperative’s team of heating and cooling specialists are here to answer your questions or be of service during these warm summer months.

Posted in Blog, Energy & Retail

Grain News Updates

Rain makes grain. Between yesterday afternoon and today, the crops got a much-needed rain fall. Crops are making some positive progress in the field, as corn starts to tassel, beans flower, and wheat turns gold.

Corn, beans, and wheat are down for both old crop and new crop. One of the major issues is the lack of sales in the grain market. The market needs some new sales to keep the market rolling. China’s crushing of soybeans is down 11% from previous years. Wheat is weaker, simply because the supply is increasing due to harvest time.

The anticipated phone call between China and the U.S. is scheduled for this afternoon. Hopefully good news will come from that.

Export sales were released. As you can see in the chart, they are lower but within range.

If you are harvesting wheat in the next few weeks stay safe and keep your elevator informed on your needs.

 

Posted in Blog, Grain

From the Field Updates

Another hot week over here in Landmark’s southern territory with temperatures in the 90’s and looking like it will continue throughout the rest of the week. With the dry weather, we have been able to get all caught up with spraying and topdressing corn and soybeans. We are also racking up GDU’s, getting closer to our average, especially helping the later planted corn. On the other hand, there are areas which really need a good shot of rain and the corn is starting to show stress. The stress that it is showing is a combination of two things, the plant is not able to take up enough water needed and due to the 90-degree temperature, the plant needs more water than is available causing wilting and rolling of the leaves. When you see this wilting occurring, it can decrease yield 3% per day it and during silking it can cause 8% yield loss per day. Something I never thought I would say this year, but we need a good shot of rain to combat these high temperatures and have good pollination.

On the alfalfa side of things, we are continuing to see very high insect numbers and nearly every field we check is above threshold in leafhoppers, one of the most destructive alfalfa insects. We need to get out and spray these stands as soon as possible after second cutting. Early this week, a few growers have attempted to harvest some wheat but it’s still not quite ready yet at about 16% moisture. With a few dry days, the wheat harvest should be underway.

 

Things are starting to slow down, as some of the first planted corn starts to tassel out. So, this is the perfect time to be out scouting fields for disease pressure. It has dried out a little in some areas, but some of the benefits of fungicide is keeping the plant alive and green longer. This could help capitalize on some late season sun that it could have missed out on early in the season. Talk to your landmark agronomist if a tassel fungicide application is right for you!

 

Increased heat this week has improved crop conditions and sped up growth. We gained about another 0.5 inch of rain over the last few days.

Final post sprays on field corn were completed this week.

Post spray on beans mostly complete, though, depending on the spray program, water hemp escapes are everywhere.

Insects are mainly becoming an economic problem in hay fields where potato leafhoppers are found. Threshold for spraying is about 1 per sweep in alfalfa that is 8-11 inches tall. 2 per sweep over 12 inch tall alfalfa.

Good chance to consider growth enhancing foliar feed at the same time.

Looking ahead, we should scout for insect pressure. Usually, soybean aphids show up about now. Populations need to be growing from now through August 10 and spray when counts reveal 250 aphids per plant.

In another few weeks, we will be spraying fungicide on tasseling corn with airplanes.

Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain News Updates

The week did not start out on a high note for grains, losing most of the gains from last week in one day. Grain started the week with a 3% loss on corn and wheat, and 1.25% loss on soybeans. The reason for the decline is weather related with less extreme heat and more moisture forecasted.

Export inspections for corn were at 26.6 mln bu and above the 22.7 mln bu needed to hit export estimate on old crop corn.

Soybeans were lower yesterday with weather being the driving force. Also, the crush report at 148.8 mln bu was below the 152.2 mln bu estimate. USDA crop progress report was mixed in ratings. The average came in a quarter bu better at 50 bpa. Only 22% of the crop is blooming, compared to 49% average. With less acres and potential for lower yields, soybeans have the potential to keep moving higher.

Demand news was mixed yesterday. Export inspections of 31.4 million bushels were near the level needed every week through August to reach USDA’s forecast for the 2018 marketing year.

Crop Conditions:
• U.S. corn conditions 58% g/e vs 56% expected (54-58% range), 57% last week, 72% last year – 1% improvement vs expected 1% decline, widespread corn belt increases
• U.S. soybean conditions 54% g/e vs 53% expected (51-55% range), 53% last week, 69% last year – 1% improvement vs expected unchanged, solid eastern belt/MO increases
• U.S. spring wheat conditions 76% g/e vs 78% expected (75-79% range), 78% last week, 80% last year – ND down 2%, but overall conditions essentially unchanged as 2% increase in excellent offsets 1% increase in fair and poor
• U.S. winter wheat harvesting 57% complete vs 62% expected (58-72% range), 47% last week, 72% last year, 71% average
U.S. and China officials are expected to talk later this week, with potential for meeting again next week in Beijing.

The market will be volatile with weather concerns and questions on true acres planted. Keep in touch with your grain market specialist to market into any rallies. As combines start to roll in wheat please take the time to be safe.

Have a great day!

Posted in Blog, Grain

Grain News – WASDE Report out at 11:00AM

Today at 11:00AM the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report will be released. Traders have been positioning themselves for the last few days ahead of the report. Yesterday the results sparked some technical buying for corn, soybeans and wheat, with a move higher. Uncertainty over USDA’s estimates for today’s report include not only production, which will be based off the agency’s surprisingly low forecast from the June 28 report. Demand is also in question for both old and new crop. China still has a huge book of outstanding sales on the books while new crop interest may be muted by African Swine Fever.

USDA is extending the deadline to report crops planted from July 15 to anew date of July 22, 2019 for a dozen different states due to wet planting conditions: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

All eyes are on the forecasts over the next week is development of an unusual system than originated over the Southeast and moved into the Gulf where it may become a tropical depression, bringing heavy rain to the Gulf Coast as it moves west. The system has potential to pull moisture up into the Delta, and perhaps even the Midwest.

Reuters, a law firm representing small U.S. refineries has urged the Environmental Protection Agency to keep refiners’ applications for waivers from the nation’s biofuel policy secret from the Department of Agriculture, arguing that the petitions include confidential business information. The request, made by Perkins Coie in a letter to the EPA dated July 5, adds to mounting pressure from representatives of the refining industry for the Trump administration to box the USDA out of the controversial waiver program.

Basis in the area continue to get narrower and narrower with end users trying to secure your corn. Have faith in your marketing plan at these profitable levels and don’t be trying to hit the home run. Remember that all it takes is a tweet or USDA report to turns things around in a heartbeat!

Have a great day,

Jim Fleming
608-295-8561
James.Fleming@landmark.coop

Posted in Blog, Grain

From the Field Updates

The weather is great outside, sprayers and spreaders are in the fields over here in Landmark’s south hub. We are currently in the stretch to finish up the bulk of our corn post herbicide applications and sitting well. We are chipping away at topdressing nitrogen on corn but with the extended forecast looking dry, we should be sitting strong by the end of the week. Corn is all over in size, there’s corn pushing 7 foot and there’s corn that hasn’t broken a foot tall yet but overall there is a lot of good-looking corn with dark green color in the area. It’s not time to let up on your corn yet, there are still a few things to keep an eye out for. Western bean cutworm flight is under way so it’s time to start looking for egg masses on the top 3-4 leaves of the corn plant. Tar spot has not been found yet in Wisconsin but it’s still a big topic of discussion. If you do see any in your field, let your Landmark agronomist know right away.

Soybeans are continuing to grow fast and we are under way for spraying our post herbicide applications. We are seeing Japanese beetles in fields with the highest populations on the edges of the field. Have yet to see anything at economic threshold of 30% defoliation before bloom and 20% defoliation after bloom. Soybean aphids are starting to show up and the best time to scout for them is in mid-July. Economic threshold for soybean aphids is 250 aphids per plant on 80% of the field. In hay, we are continuing to find insects and should continue to observe shortly after second cutting.

 

With hot and humid weather most of last week and a good forecast ahead, most of the area is starting to get back to normal GDU’s for a season. This is good news with a lot of the crop being put in later than normal. The late planted stuff is really off and running now with this great weather but with a small chance of rain for the first time, in a long time. Don’t forget to add a nitrogen stabilizer to your side dress or top dress application. This will help make sure you get the most use out of your application.

 

Continued work on second pass corn herbicides this past holiday week has been steady. Rain now and then, and each field gets scouted for conditions repeatedly. Many growers will get by with only the first pass applications this year due to fast growth of corn with wet, humid conditions. Corn plant development is rapid now and most canopies are closed. Final late fields are being sprayed.

Insect pest populations remain low and inconsistent but scouting for potato leaf hopper in hay fields will be important if populations grow this month.

Corn pests, like cut worms, have been found in localized areas. Japanese beetles are emerging and beginning to feed on various crop leaves. Economic thresholds must be scouted for and considered before spraying is considered a benefit.

Soybean fields are developing slowly. Late planting and shorter days/longer nights is our problem now. Plants are moving into reproductive flowering stages and giving less energy to growing taller. Chemical options become limited when plants are flowering and setting pods, though the good news is that this timing is better suited for fungicide applications and foliar fertilizers boosting crop yields than earlier applications. Bean insects, aphids, are being reported, but numbers are very low and inconsistent from field to field. Scouting should continue where aphids are present to determine when spraying will be economic. Consider 2020 seed choices already for waterhemp control strategies. Growers will have good NEW seed choices for using various herbicides genetic selectivity for next year. Discuss these with your agronomist to determine your best approach.

Wheat stands are heading out for the most part. Timely harvest should be considered because of the uncertain weather environment this year.

Area farmers are good stewards of the land. This year should be a banner year for monarch butterfly populations, in part, helped by farm owners allowing some non-crop production areas to bloom with common milkweed, the monarch’s favorite source of food! This kind of effort is important as we seek for better public relations between agricultural and non-agricultural people, while showing concern for our environment and pollinator insects.

Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Grain News Update

Grain markets are softer this morning. In the weekly crop progress report released Monday afternoon, the USDA said that U.S. corn conditions were right in line with expectations at 57% good/excellent. U.S. Soybeans are said to be 53% good/excellent. Soybean planting was listed at 96% complete vs 92% last week. Winter wheat conditions are at 64% good/excellent. Winter wheat harvest is behind last year’s pace at 47% complete vs 61% last year.

The United States and China are set to pick up trade talks this week after two months with little progress. It’s been a year since the trade war began, and we’ve seen little to show that the two leaders will come to an agreement. U.S. officials say that talks will resume with a phone call between U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The weather has finally given us a little break from the rain. The 6-10 day outlook shows warmer temperatures for the Midwest, with near normal precipitation for Southern Wisconsin and much of the corn belt.

Be safe and enjoy the sunshine!

Posted in Blog, Grain

Landmark Welcomes New Leadership- Lee Parker

Landmark Welcomes New Leadership
Landmark welcomes Lee Parker as vice president of energy and retail services

COTTAGE GROVE, WI, July 9, 2019 – Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is pleased to announce that Lee Parker has accepted the position of vice president of our energy and retail services division, effective June 17. In this role, Lee will be leading the energy and retail services team focusing on strategic planning, business profitability, and employee growth and development.

Lee comes to Landmark with vast experience in the agricultural industry, most recently serving as the vice president, energy operations at Central Valley Ag in Nebraska. He graduated from Kansas State University with degrees in agriculture technology management, ag economics, and natural resources/environmental science. Lee has a comprehensive understanding of cooperative energy services throughout the lower Midwest. His experience consists of managing cooperative energy divisions, creating and operating various energy LLCs, and leading the operations of family-owned independent energy retailers.

At LSC, he looks forward to continued change, and offering services to the members and customers that can assist and improve their operations. In his spare time, Lee enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his girlfriend, Bobbie Jo, and their four collective children.

Posted in Blog, Landmark News

From the Field Updates

Another day, another rainstorm over here in Rock and Green county. As we enter July with thunderstorms on the forecast for almost everyday for the next 10 days. The past week we have been seeing scattered thunderstorms with some severe storms but have been fortunate to find dry ground here and there. This has been a challenging year to make applications to say the least, thank you for being patient when waiting for Landmark to make an application and be sure to let your agronomist know if you think your ground is fit to go.

On the bright side corn is starting to get a strong foundation and is now in its rapid growth stage. The plant is rapidly taking up nutrients, so this is a good time to scout fields and look for deficiencies. The most common visual deficiency we are seeing in corn so far this year is sulfur. Sulfur is not easily moved through the plant, so symptoms of interveinal chlorosis and yellowing will be most pronounced in the uppermost leaves. Sulfur is key in plant nutrition having many different roles within the plant, it is crucial for good yields and cannot be overlooked.

Soybeans are continuing to get growth on them as they continue nodulation and greening up. The biggest challenge we are having so far this year in soybeans is weed control and will continue as tough broadleaves continue to pop up. Make sure your soybean post program is up to par, to control what weeds are growing in the field. In alfalfa we are seeing high counts of leafhoppers and alfalfa weevil. After second cutting your hay needs to be monitored because if you start seeing insect damage you are too late.

 

With all of the heat and humidity, this last week corn has been growing like crazy. With most of the area behind last year and the average in GDD, this is very helpful for keeping the corn on the right track. But, corn and beans are the only thing growing out there. Weeds like the this weather just as much as the other two. Now is a great time to get a second pass application on your corns and beans. And with that second pass on beans don’t be afraid to add some more residual to help control waterhemp.

 

It rained again.  2-3 inches accumulated this past week.  Temperatures have warmed up into the 80’s F this week, so the corn is growing fast.  6-8 leaf stage is common in many fields, and the canopy is covering.  So, the second pass herbicide applications on corn may come to an end.

The combination of early planting, delayed planting, constant wet soil conditions and continued rain have also made it necessary to change approach on nitrogen applications from pre-plant to post plant, top dressing and side dressing this week.

Soybean stands look good, though development will be slow now.  After June 21, solstice, the day and night length shifts. This causes soybeans to move more quickly into the podding, or reproductive phase, and plants put less energy into vegetative growth. This results in shorter plants, and uncertain yields at harvest.  The window of time for post herbicide applications is wide open for controlling weeds, and may be important, with the reduction in bean canopy, to continue spraying to control problem weeds all summer. This is a good chance to add foliar boost products to the tank mix for soybeans.

Insect populations are low, and the pressure on crops is minimal.  Though it is important to scout hay fields for leafhoppers, which left unattended, will reduce yields.  Hay making is still a challenge during wet weather.

Posted in Agronomy, Blog

Landmark Supports Local Farm Breakfasts

Wisconsin’s iconic farm breakfasts are a quintessential part of the annual festivities of June Dairy Month. Landmark Services Cooperative (LSC) is proud to sponsor several farm breakfast events throughout Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s farm families host breakfast on the farm events that bring the table-to-the-farm. These family-friendly events are open to the public and offer the opportunity to enjoy Wisconsin-made fresh dairy products, farm tours, wagon rides, kid-friendly entertainment and, of course, farm animals.

This year, LSC sponsored twelve dairy breakfast events including: Columbia Moo-Day Brunch hosted by Kessenich Dairy – Dan, Pam and family; Cows on the Concourse; Dane County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Klondike Farms – Kevin and Erika Klahn and family; Green County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Dave and Kathy Minder and family; Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast hosted by Mighty Grand Dairy Farm; Lafayette County Dairy Breakfast hosted by Cottonwood Dairy; Marquette County Dairy Breakfast hosted by Marquette County Fair Grounds; Richland County Dairy Breakfast hosted by Junction View Dairy; Rock County Dairy Breakfast hosted by Dennis and Barb Kersten; Sauk County Dairy Breakfast hosted by Melvin, Doris, and Greg Lohr Farm; Winnebago County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Knigge Farm; and Winnebago-Boone Farm Breakfast hosted by Luckey Dairy Farm.

“The Klahn family and Klondike Farms were so honored to be hosts of this year’s Dane County Breakfast on the Farm,” stated Erika Klahn of Klondike Farms. “The support the Dane County Dairy promotion receives from companies like Landmark makes the whole event possible.”

“Breakfast on the Farm is an important event because it creates a positive environment to share the agricultural story,” commented Yogi Brown, treasurer of the Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee. “It’s great to see thousands and thousands of folks enjoying themselves at the dairy breakfast and expose many non-farm and farm people to modern agriculture. Landmark has supported the Breakfast on the Farm for many years and understands the importance of helping promote community and telling the Ag story.”

Posted in Blog, Landmark News