Weekly Grain Update – Aug 21, 2017

August 21, 2017

One way our co-op can help add value to your farming operation is to communicate when different opportunities come about during the grain marketing year.  In an attempt to add value to the grain marketing services we provide at CHS Larsen Co-op, I will begin to write a Weekly Grain Update in which I will try and highlight significant events that have occurred in the past week and share them with our customers through email and posting on the web.  These weekly comments will be located on a tab directly below the grain bids tab on the CHS Larsen Co-op website.

The grain markets have been trading in one direction since the USDA released its August crop report on August 10, 2017 .  The government pegged the average corn yield at 169.5 bu and the beans at 49.4 bu.  Immediately once these numbers were released, the market sank to new lows and it has not looked back.  Frankly, these numbers shocked the market, and caused the funds to sell, and sell in a big way.  After having moderate long positions, the funds now have blown out of the long positions and are now slightly short.  All of this selling has been a constant downward pressure on the market, and the path of least resistance has been down.

However, I get the sense that this market is very oversold and the funds are looking at various buying opportunities to purchase value.  I get the sense that we have pressed this market enough, and we are due for a bounce of some kind.  Some supportive justification could be the results from the Pro Farmer Tour, which starts on Monday, August 21, 2017, which find yields not as good as once thought.  Additionally, harvest is beginning in the south and much more accurate yield results will start to come in.  If there are any surprises, this will add support.  However, the trend is clearly lower.  If we get a bounce, please view this as an opportunity to make sales on bushels which must be moved to town this harvest.  It is very unlikely that this trend will change anytime soon and a bounce is a selling opportunity, and not the opportunity to become bullish.

As I look at the charts today, we have broken below previous low points.  This in itself is bearish.  Once we hit solid support, we will likely bounce back until these previous lows now become resistance points.  Now, Dec 17 corn futures are trading at $363 and it broke down through previous support at $374.  This tells me that you should have selling targets in at $372 vs Dec 17 corn futures.  On beans, the previous support on Nov 17 beans was $955.  I would have targets at $950 vs Nov 17 bean futures for bushels that still need to be sold for this harvest.  If we get to these levels, I would seriously consider selling.  It could likely be one of the last opportunities we have before harvest to take advantage of a nice pop in the market.

If I can be of further assistance to you, please call me at the Readfield office.

Thanks,

Marcus

Fine-tune your calf barn cleaning procedures

Calf Sleeping

What sets farms with great calf health apart from those that struggle to get calves started? Sanitation. It is a bigger investment of time than money and is certainly near the top of the list of important criteria for getting calves off to a good start.

The fewer disease-causing organisms the calf is exposed to, the lower the risk she will get sick.

Manure is the enemy; scours organisms spread by manure of an infected calf getting in the mouth of a healthy calf. The more exposure, the more likely the calf will get sick. Exposure starts in the calving area with manure from adult cows getting in the calf’s mouth, or from it touching the walls, bedding, the cow’s flank – and even from the calf licking itself.

Hands are another common source of infection. Make sure employees caring for newborns have disposable gloves to put on when handling the calf. The hands that helped move the cow into the calving pen probably carry manure from the hair coat of the cow.

Using those same hands to get the nipple in the calf’s mouth is an easy way for bacteria to spread. Make sure gloves are readily available in the maternity area and employees use them when handling the newborn calf.

In addition to exposure in the calving environment, sometimes there is a piece of equipment not getting cleaned thoroughly and transferring bacteria to calves. It may be the colostrum collection bucket, the bottle or nipple colostrum is fed with, the walls of the newborn calf pen, the warming box floor, etc.

The feeding equipment used every day also needs to be cleaned and sanitized between uses. When we see calf after calf coming down with scours at about the same age, we search for something every calf comes in contact with to find the source.

It is often something simple which has been overlooked in the cleaning process. If you’re struggling with sick calves, reduce exposure by fine-tuning your cleaning procedures.

While cleaning calf equipment sounds like an easy task, milk is a difficult substance to clean off of surfaces. You need hot water to remove the fat, but the heat bakes the protein onto the surface. Using warm water to get rid of the protein leaves a film of fat.

When fats and proteins stick to the surface of equipment, they form a biofilm, a nutrient-rich layer in which bacteria grow.

The biofilm protects bacteria from the cleaning process and results in equipment that appears clean but has bacteria on the surface. The cleaning process not only needs to remove fat and protein from surfaces but prevent the formation of a biofilm.

Dr. Don Sockett at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory recommends producers follow a six-step procedure. First, rinse with warm water. Soak in hot water (140ºF) that contains a chlorinated alkaline detergent, then wash in hot water (140ºF) with a chlorinated alkaline detergent. Be sure to scrub with a brush inside and out.

You’ll need more than one brush. Invest in a brush for the inside of bottles, one for nipples, one that fits the tube of the tube feeder and one for buckets or flat surfaces. Next, rinse with cold water containing 50 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine dioxide.

Finally, allow equipment to dry thoroughly. Use a rack or hang equipment so water can drain out and air can flow in.

Before using calf equipment, spray it with a 50 ppm solution of chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide sprayed on feeding equipment is safe for the calf and does not need to be rinsed before using. The process to wash calf pens and maternity areas is the same – rinse, wash and scrub, rinse and sanitize – use a 100 ppm solution of chlorine dioxide to sanitize.

Chlorine dioxide is different than household bleach and is the preferred sanitizer for calf equipment. Many farms now use chlorine dioxide for calf-feeding equipment and to disinfect calf pens or hutches after washing. Your calf specialist or animal health supply company will be able to direct you to a supplier.

Raising healthy calves starts by using good sanitation practices to reduce exposure to pathogens in the environment. Cleaning may not be a favorite job on the farm, but to quote Sockett, “You cannot disinfect filth.” In order for the disinfectant to do its job, the surface must be clean.

The investment in time and effort pays off in healthy calves. Get yourself or your team set up with the equipment needed to make the job efficient and make proper cleaning and disinfecting part of the daily routine.

Written by: Dr. Anne Proctor, Form-A-Feed Dairy Technical Specialist

Article originally written for and published by Progressive Dairyman.

In a Weather Market

 

It’s been just over two weeks since I started as the Grain Department Manager at CHS Larsen Co-op.  We have accomplished many things during this period.  I have been able to visit all of our grain facilities and nearly all of our employees.  Wheat harvest is all but over, and we were blessed with decent yields and good quality.  The Readfield area received nice rains over the last three days, and this was the perfect answer to the crops planted on sandy soils.  These rains will put additional corn and bean bushels in the bin and even though the crops are later than normal, these rains should make final yields quite desirable.

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Feed Mill Modifications Fiscal Year 2018

Feed Mill

Effective September 1, 2017

The sale of baby chicks will no longer be offered at the Weyauwega Feed Mill. They are still available to order and pick-up at the New London Farm Store  (1104 Mulligan Dr., New London, WI).

We will be phasing out the tying of poly bags. All bagged feed will be sewn shut in bags effective September 1, 2017. This will allow us to attach a paper label to each bag helping us to adhere to FDA regulations for labeling of feed. Both Poly and Paper bags will still be available. One ton poly totes are also available; however, they are not returnable, and are designed for one time use.

We will also be enacting a 1 ton minimum order on all custom mixed feeds bagged or bulk. If you cannot utilize a whole ton of feed at one time, we encourage you to consider our expanded CHS Larsen branded floor stock line-up. The bulk of our custom mixed feeds are very close in analysis to our floor stock feeds, consolidating these mixes helps us streamline our process. If you need help selecting the appropriate floor stock item for your application, please feel free to contact Ben or Dustin.

If you currently use grain bank in orders less than one ton, we encourage you to market your grain in exchange for the grain in our floor stock items. The costs of our floor stock items follow grain markets, and will be comparable to selling the grain outright.

We will be expanding our floor stock line up to include:

  • Sheep feed
  • Poultry
  • Pig feed
  • Calf feed
  • All Purpose 17% Non-Medicated, Texturized feed
  • Minerals
  • Grain Products

Consolidating our lineup will result in labor efficiencies, regulatory compliance in labeling, and optimized warehouse space, all things that will allow us to lower our price point on our floor stock lineup.

We will be reinforcing a time frame on ordering. Any orders that are needed same day will need to be placed on our answering service by 8 a.m. of that business day, this includes pickups of floor stock items, as well as delivery of bagged or bulk feeds. If we do not have an order for you, we cannot guarantee that we will have items in stock, or the ability of delivery. In emergencies we will provide same day delivery, but are asking for your cooperation to help us adhere to FDA regulations regarding sequencing of feed.

Partnering with ASA for Agronomy Training Development

agronomy training

CHS has partnered with The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) to collaborate in creating a dynamic, online-learning program focused on improving sustainability practices and standards in production agriculture. The curriculum will be designed for agronomists and agribusiness professionals and will establish a recognized, industry-wide standard of education to help agronomists and other agriculture professionals truly implement sustainable practices in the field.  (more…)

Welcoming Marcus Cordonnier

 

Starting Wednesday, July 19 2017, CHS Larsen Cooperative welcomes our new grain department manager, Marcus Cordonnier. Marcus brings with him 22 years of experience, managing country elevators and rail terminals.  He has worked for ADM and Bunge as well as being the Grain Manager of several co-op’s.

Growing up in western Ohio, Marcus was raised on a grain and beef farm. He milked cows for his uncle during his high school years and drove a milk truck on the weekends to help pay for college.  Marcus attended The Ohio State University and graduated in June 1994 with a degree in Agricultural Economics.  He later received his MBA from Ashland University in May 2004.

Marcus has a deep passion for the grain business and loves to manage the grain position.  In addition to trading grain, he has much experience with managing rail terminals, building relationships with end users, and helping customers market their grain.  He takes the harvest planning process seriously and has a lot of experience with operations and logistics, especially during harvest.  There is nothing more important to him than to keep all facilities open and ready for business during the harvest push.

Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself to meet Marcus in person. He is very excited to start meeting the employees and customers of our co-op and to learn how we conduct business.  His door is always open and willing to work with any employee or customer.  He enjoys conversations about all possibilities in the grain markets.

Marcus will be relocating to the New London area, where he plans to find his new home. He enjoys fishing, watching football, and spending the summer months going to tractor pulls.  Marcus is an avid Buckeye fan and cannot wait until the Badgers play the Buckeyes this fall.  But don’t worry; he’s already a loyal Packer fan!

Please help me in welcoming Marcus to CHS Larsen Cooperative. With a sales territory that is so large I have decided to communicate these messages through this memo; however, group or in person meetings with me are available upon request. Also, I would like to thank everyone for handling this transition period well.

Thank you,

Todd Reif

General Manager

CHS Larsen Cooperative

CHS reports fiscal 2017 third-quarter results

Underlying business performance stable, one-time events cause quarterly loss

PAUL, MINN. (July 14, 2017) – CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, announced a net loss of $45.2 million for the third quarter of its 2017 fiscal year (three-month period ended May 31, 2017), compared to net income of $190.3 million for the same period one year ago. Consolidated revenues for the third quarter were $8.6 billion, compared to $7.8 billion for the third quarter of 2016, representing a 10 percent increase.

“Despite the economic challenges in agriculture and energy, several of our underlying businesses are having a solid year,” said CHS President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Debertin. “Unfortunately, we’ve experienced three negative one-time events this fiscal year that have resulted in charges leading to a loss in the third quarter and a significant earnings decline for the year to date. In response to these events, we are implementing measures to better identify risk management gaps in some of our processes and when necessary enhance our ability to effectively manage our risks.”

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5 Considerations for Effectively Applying Herbicides

applying herbicides

Soil Science

There are several factors to consider before and during herbicide spray application. Taking the appropriate steps to prepare for a successful application can save time, money and effort. While spray requirements may vary based on crop, location and herbicide formulation, there are steps that should be taken to ensure the best protection against weeds during the current crop season and to protect the effectiveness of the herbicide long term.

Mother Nature plays an important role in the success of herbicide application. In addition to the preventive and arbitrary actions necessary to increase herbicide effectiveness, working with natural conditions is extremely beneficial and mandatory since we do not control the weather or other natural factors. (more…)

Improving Plant Nutrition: Understanding Nutrient Effectiveness

© 2017 CHS Inc.