Weekly Grain Update – November 9, 2017

USDA Crop Report

The USDA will be out with its November Crop Report Today, November 9, at 11 am.  I get the feeling that we could see the USDA raise the corn yield by 1-2 bpa and leave the bean yield either unchanged or lowered by up to ½ bpa.  We have seen some extraordinary corn yields across the Corn Belt this fall as harvest has progressed thus far.  Consequently, later bean yields have not improved like corn throughout the entire Corn Belt.  If the above changes in yield are pegged by the government tomorrow, we could see the corn carryout approach 2.5 B Bu which we have not seen since the huge CCC days in the mid 80’s.  However, beans are another story.  If their yield gets trimmed, we could see carryout reduced from 430 M bu down to something less than 400.  Folks, if this happens, we will see fireworks tomorrow at 11 am.  The market is, and will continue to be, very sensitive to any reduction in bean carryout.  This is especially true since Brazil and Argentina are having weather issues with either being too dry or too wet for optimum bean planting conditions down there.  Any sort of change in the bean Supply and Demand table and the market will react accordingly, and possibly very violently depending on the scope of the change.


The Fall Versus Spring Nitrogen Debate

nitrogen management

Nitrogen management is critical for growing healthy corn and farmers are sensitive to their role in helping build a more sustainable world. They are faced with the often-daunting question of whether fertilizer applications can be both profitable and sustainable. Often, the delicate balancing act begins with the decision of whether to apply N in fall or hold off until spring.

BMPs and the 4Rs

Corn producers understand there is no blanket practice. There is, however, a disciplined application approach that has long proven effective.

“When we talk about sustainability in agriculture, specifically as it relates to nutrient management, it really goes back to a foundation of best management practices (BMPs) in conjunction with the Fertilizer Institute’s 4R Program,” says Eric Scherder, field scientist, Ph.D., Dow AgroSciences, from Huxley, Iowa. “We can address some of the challenges we’re facing with nitrogen leaching and surface application runoff more effectively using this approach.”

As most growers are aware, the 4R program is a concept to help them select the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement. While source, rate and placement are important, often the most scrutinized decision — both from an economic and sustainability standpoint — is timing. (more…)

Weekly Grain Update – October 31, 2017


We are constantly looking for ways to add value and profitability to your farming operation.  One way we can do this is by offering unique contract alternatives that will allow you to diversify your grain marketing portfolio, spread out your risk, and add another layer of pricing protection to your operation.  We are again offering the CHS ProAdvantage grain contract this year.  This contract is a very simple approach to allowing our trading professionals at CHS to market your grain for you.  Basically, you will hand over a portion of your grain to them to squeeze as much money out of the market as they can.  They will do many trades behind the scenes to generate as much profit for you as possible and when the program is over, their profits will be added together and given back to you in the form of a price that should be higher than the prevailing price at that time.  You don’t have to worry about the trades that they do, or any complex marketing strategies to learn.  This is easy folks.  Just give them a portion of next year’s grain production, and allow our marketing professionals to make money for you.


Troy Brown Joins Form-A-Feed as Forage Product Manager


Troy Brown of Reedsville, WI joined the Form-A-Feed team as the Forage Product Line Manager in September 2017.

Troy has over 30 years of practical forage management experience that he brings to the Form-A-Feed team, and has a deep understanding of all aspects of forage best management practices, fermentation, and forage microbial technology. His role at Form-A-Feed will be to manage the various forage products, services, and programs that Form-A-Feed offers.

“I am very excited to be joining the Form-A-Feed family,” Troy explained. “My goal is to develop a deep understanding of our customer’s needs. Form-A-Feed has an excellent reputation built on a foundation of honesty and integrity. These values made it easy for me to join the Form-A-Feed team.”

Doug Fjelland, Form-A-Feed Executive Vice President states, “the addition of Troy Brown to the Form-A-Feed team will bring even more customized forage services to the progressive farmers we serve throughout the United States. Improving forage quality improves productivity and profitability for both the animal and the farm. We couldn’t be more pleased to have Troy be a part of our team to help farmers maximize their forage program and profitability.”

Have a question for Troy about his services with Form-A-Feed? You can contact him at troybrown@formafeed.com.

Original Source: Form-A-Feed

Advantages to Fall Fertilizer

Many ask what are the advantages of fertilizing in the fall over spring? Usually in the fall there is less moisture to deal with then in the spring, which means less compaction from machinery. You also have less of a chance of runoff due to less rain fall compared to spring.

Fall Fertilizing is also more manageable. Your cooperative is more available with having more time, people and machinery to use and run in the fall. One of the greatest advantages as the Farmer is you don’t have to hold up spring planting while waiting for your fertilizer application.

In addition, fall tillage ensures that the fertilizer is incorporated into the root zones. All in all, fall tillage can save you time, money and the stress of getting your fields prepared and planted.

Lastly, you have a great opportunity to save money with our Fall Fertilizer financing programs. Contact your Agronomist today to ask about our Fall Fertilizer programs or to schedule your application.

By Matt McKown, Agronomy Sales Manager


Weekly Grain Update – October 24, 2017



Many of you have interest in storing your corn or beans at the co-op, and I thought I would take a minute to summarize our storage programs again for this fall as many are asking about specific details.  Please remember that Delayed Price is your most economical choice for us to store your grain.  For grain placed into Delayed Price, the grain is only shrunk down to 13.0% on beans or 15.0% on corn, the storage rate is cheaper, and the monthly storage charge follows the grain and is not invoiced monthly.  Monthly storage charges are simply taken out of the settlement when the grain is sold.  The biggest disadvantage to Delayed Price is that you give up title to your grain in exchange for the above benefits.  This allows us to move your grain out of our facilities if you have not priced it yet, and it keeps us from plugging up with grain.  There is no time restriction for grain placed into Delayed Price.  You may keep your bushels in this program for as long as you wish.  There is no “dumping” fees or any other service charges associated with Delayed Price.  Here is a summary of what storage programs we are offering this harvest:

DELAYED PRICE:    Beans will be shrunk and dried to 13.0% moisture and corn will be shrunk and dried to 15.0% moisture.  Delayed price charges will be 4 cents per bushel per month until 10/1/18, and deducted from grain settlement.

OPEN STORAGE:    Beans will be shrunk and dried to 12.0% moisture and corn will be shrunk and dried to 14.0% moisture.  Storage charges will be 5 cents per bushel per month until 10/1/18, and invoiced monthly.

GRAIN BANK:    TO BE USED FOR FEED ONLY.  Beans will be shrunk and dried to 12.0% moisture and corn will be shrunk and dried to 14.0% moisture.  Storage charges will be 5 cents per bushel per month, and invoiced monthly.


Filter Prices Got You Down?


Preventative maintenance like engine oil and fuel filter changes are part of farming, but having to change a fuel filter between oil changes, can not only be a pain in the keester, it can get expensive too!  As we have discussed previously, the high pressure and heat from the new engines are causing fuel to “cook,” creating a gum like substance and carbonaceaous deposits.  These two items will plug up a filter quicker than you can say “I don’t have time for this!”  The injection stabilizer in Cenex fuels helps prevent the fuel from “cooking” thus keeping your filter cleaner for longer.

With the average cost of a tractor fuel filter being $100, don’t you owe it to yourself to use a fuel that will give your filters the long life they deserve?

Please listen to Joe Trudeau, as he explains how one small change in fuel made a huge difference for his business.

By Kim Leisner, Energy Sales Manager

Enrollment open for CHS Pro Advantage contracts

CHS Pro Advantage open enrollmentCHS has announced open enrollment for corn and soybean marketing contracts through CHS Pro Advantage now through December 13, 2017. New this year, contracts for spring wheat are also included in this enrollment period.

CHS Pro Advantage gives growers access to industry experts at Russell Consulting Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CHS, to price and sell their grain. This helps to manage risk while delivering superior profits even during a tough market.

“With wheat futures falling from three-year highs seen just a few months ago and volatility following USDA’s August report, now is the time to commit bushels for professional management and marketing by our hedging experts,” says Kent Beadle, director, Russell Consulting Group.

Growers can enroll 2018 and 2019 bushels. Bushels in the one-year program will be priced between December 18, 2017, and August 24, 2018. Bushels in the two-year program will be priced between December 18, 2017, and August 23, 2019.

If you’re interested in knowing more, contact your local CHS grain team for more information or visit the CHS Pro Advantage website.

Fuel Injector Problems Are No Problem for Us!

Fuel injector deposits have become a regular occurrence in Tier 3 & Tier 4  engines.  Injector deposits create power loss, fuel economy reduction and even complete injection failure.  As we all know, there is not time for any kind of failure when you are planting or harvesting your crops.

Cenex fuels are specially formulated to prevent injector problems due to the new engine standards. Our detergents keep the fuel clean, while injection stabilizers make sure the injectors stay clean, then there is the corrosion inhibitor that helps keep the rust away.

Look at the difference Cenex fuel can make on your injections…

Fuel injector

Fouled Injector

Fuel injectorEnhanced Cenex Premium Diesel®


Please watch as some of our friends from the West talk about their experience with standard #2 vs Cenex fuels.


Weekly Grain Update – October 17, 2017


The USDA was out with its October crop report last Thursday and gave the market some numbers that were not expected.  In corn, they raised this year’s yield by 1.9 bpa to 171.8 which raised total corn production by 95 M bu up to 14.28 B bu this year.  They also raised feed usage by 39 M bu for last year.  When the dust settled, corn carryout for old crop was lowered by 55 M bu to 2.295 B bu but the carryout for next year was left virtually unchanged at 2.34 B bu.

On beans, the USDA lowered this year’s production by .4 bpa down to 49.5, and also reduced last year’s production by .1 bpa down to 52.  This reduction in yield trimmed last year’s production by 11 M bu down to 4.296 B bu and they also increased seed and residual on last year’s crop by 23 M bu.  After the changes were made, the bean ending stocks from last year was reduced by 44 M bu from 345 M bu down to 301 M bu.  This 44 M bu reduction in ending stocks virtually flowed straight through this year’s S & D table to reduce it as well by 45 M bu from 475 to 430 M bu.  These changes in the bean complex surprised the market and caused the funds to add to their already long position.  We have seen this time and time again where the bean ending stocks starts relatively big, near 500 M bu and by the end of the crop year, it gets trimmed down to 300 M bu or so.  This is a relatively big change for beans and will likely add a layer of support under the market long term.  The real test will be determined if the Chinese and others continue to buy our beans.  Bean exports remain relatively good this year, and if this continues, ending stocks could continue to be trimmed further.

Forward Contracts

Folks, our corn crop is big and getting bigger.  Unlike beans, we do not have much of an export program this year.  Corn is being tucked away, off the market, in any place possible by the farmer.  Big crops generally get bigger and I see the same thing this year.  The market’s job is to press the nearby price low enough to stimulate additional demand.  This process of lowering the cash corn price while leaving deferred prices the same puts big carries in the market.  You can take advantage of this by forward contracting much better prices in the corn market for summer delivery or forward contracting for next fall delivery today.  However, you must sell these levels relatively soon, and not wait until we get to that point on the calendar as the carry will evaporate, and the cash price will remain basically the same level it is today by the time we get to July.  In order to lock in the premium for your farm, you need to forward contract these levels today for delivery sometime in the future.

In beans, the market has given you a wonderful opportunity to sell additional bushels needed for cash flow until you move your corn.  Isn’t it amazing how November bean futures rallied to exactly the 10.02 level on Friday which is basically the exact level of the 61.8% retrace of the entire July – August slide?  The real test for the bean market now remains.  Most times, once a market retraces 50 to 61.8% of a move, it will resume the previous trend.  In this case, the previous trend was lower, and judging by the amount of beans we purchased as well as what all commercials purchased on Thursday and Friday, we saw significant farmer bean selling after the report.  All of this selling weighed on futures at the close on Friday.  If you still need to sell beans this year, I would seriously look at this opportunity.  The high water mark of November bean futures of $10.02 reached on Friday could well remain the high level for nearby bean futures for months to come.

Focus on Targets

In the meantime, I encourage all of you to use targets to generate more profits for your farming operation.  Let’s figure out what level you feel comfortable selling, and then either call us or simply use our online target system where you can place a target all on your own.  I firmly believe in rewarding the market when it rallies, and if a target gets filled, simply place another target on beans 20-25 cents higher or 10-15 cents higher on corn or wheat.  Our online target system is simple, easy, free, and we have many people using the system today.  If you have interest, please click here and it will direct you to our online offer center.  If you have any questions, please call us at the Readfield office, and we will be happy to walk you through this process.

As always, if I can help you with anything, please call me at Readfield.



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