Propane Safety on the Job

Whether you’re deciding where to place the tank or how to protect it during a storm, proper propane use is critical to fueling busy projects.

Propane can be found on job sites year-round, keeping workers warm and powering tools and equipment. And just as with any fuel or material for construction, following code and manufacturers’ instructions is key to ensuring workers stay safe and are productive. Your propane supplier can help you pick the right type of tank for each application and correctly size, place, and use it. But construction sites are busy places and change is always happening. That means you need to know the rules, too.

Below are six tips to help you and your site crew keep proper propane use top of mind.

Weekly Grain Update – May 17, 2018

5/17/18

Corn & Bean Planting Progress Increases Rapidly.  China Negotiations Continue.

The USDA came out with it’s monthly crop report last Thursday and gave the industry its first look of the ‘18/19 grain supply and demand picture.  As we will see, there is very little room for error in the corn market and it offered a tighter bean picture than most traders thought.  Let’s look at the details.

In the corn market, the USDA did not make any changes to this year’s supply and demand table, and left this year’s corn carryout at 2.18 B bu.  The market was a little surprised that the export number was not raised, and the corn used for ethanol was not raised, to reduce the carryout this year.  We continue to have the cheapest corn in the world, and exports remain high.  However, these numbers indicate that we still have a huge amount of old corn in the country, and we will not run out anytime soon.

Next year’s corn crop is a different story.  The USDA pegged the ‘18/19 corn carryout at only 1.68 B bu, which is a huge drop from one year to the next.  They used 88.0 M acres with an average yield of 174 bpa.  Even though the big reduction in carryout stocks from this year to next, the market was expecting a lower carryout number from the USDA for next year.  We expect exports and ethanol to continue to be strong users of corn next year, but the real key is to get all of the corn acres planted in the next 2 weeks.  Most of the Corn Belt has their corn crop mostly planted and is in good shape.  However, we continue to have problems in northern IA, southern MN, SD, and WI.  These acres continue to struggle with wet conditions and are having a difficult time getting their corn planted.  However, this week’s weather will be a huge factor in how much corn will get planted.  Locally, they have pushed the rain off until Monday, which is huge.  As I speak, almost everyone locally is planting corn on their drier fields.  If the rain holds off until Monday, a massive amount of corn will be planted locally by Monday.  With the very warm soils, this corn should germinate very quickly and explode out of the ground with very good populations which should create better yields.

So, there is very little wiggle room for the corn market next year.  Ultimately, mother nature will decide how much corn will get planted in the areas listed above.  We all know the farmer can plant more corn acres in one day than any time in recent history, so even if the conditions are not perfect, many will figure out a way to get the corn crop planted.  What the market does not want to see happen is a bunch of corn acres in the north not get planted to corn but to beans instead.  This will cause an already tight corn scenario for next year to get even tighter, and a soft bean scenario to get even softer.  All of this will be determined in the next 2 weeks.

That being said, you can sense that the market is getting more comfortable with the corn market each day that it does not rain.  The USDA pegged the corn planting progress Monday night at 62% planted with the 5 year average at 63%.  After a slow start, we are now caught up.  Additionally, we are over 50% and on the downhill slide.  As I said before, once we pass the 50% mark on corn planting, the market starts to get more and more comfortable and starts to take the risk premium out of the corn market for planting problems.  You can see this happening this week in the corn market.  The forecast is now clear for the majority of the Corn Belt until this weekend, and the market is getting less and less worried each day that we will have a problem.  The risk premium is being taken out of the market, and down we come.  With Dec ’18 corn futures now at $4.20, I cannot see a scenario developing that would justify Dec corn over $4.50.  The corn crop will pollinate around July 15th on average, so a hot period during this time will cause a rally.  If we start to have dry conditions in the Midwest during July, this will support futures as well.  However, I don’t see a scenario where we can justify Dec corn over $4.50.  Frankly, a simple and easy way for you to protect your farm and take advantage of a summer rally is to sell 15% of your corn crop at every nickel increment of Dec ’18 futures, starting at $4.20 all the way to $4.50.  This is simple, easy, and will protect your farm and allow you to lock in premiums as the market rallies on any weather issue this summer.

The bean market is a little different.  The USDA increased crush on old crop by 20 M bu and this was the only change to the old crop bean supply and demand table.  This year’s bean carryout dropped by this 20 M bu down to 530 M bu.  This is still a huge amount of old crop beans.  The USDA did not change their old crop bean export number and left it at 2.065 B bu.  The big risk for the bean complex is what the future holds for our trading relationship with China.  Will the 25% tariffs be enacted?  Will the US and China be able to get a new deal hammered out?  Will the Chinese buy any more old beans?  Will the boats already on their way to China with beans be able to be unloaded in China or will they be diverted away to other countries?  Will China buy a huge amount of October beans from the US like they normally have been?  If not, will this create a huge inability for the US to ship beans out of the Gulf while we are harvesting beans this fall?  And the questions go on and on and on….  So many questions, and very few answers.  The fact is that China’s delegation is in Washington this week through Saturday to pound out a new deal with the US.  However, very little news is coming out of the meetings.  Each day that no deal is announced, the market is getting very nervous that no deal will be made.  If no deal is made, the bean market has a huge problem on its hands.  The above export projection won’t mean anything.  Next year’s export numbers won’t be right.  The fact of the matter is that if we cannot ship beans to China this fall, our bean market is terribly overpriced.

The USDA pegged the ‘18/19 carryout at only 415 M bu and the market dismissed this projection almost immediately.  The USDA is using only 89 M acres with a yield of only 48.5 bpa.  The USDA pegged the bean planting progress at 35% on Monday night, and the 5 year average is only 26%.  This means that the US farmer is planting beans much earlier than normal this year at a much faster rate than in the past.  All of this should correspond to bigger yields this fall, and pushes forward the pod filling stage from August to LH July.  Thus, we very likely could have corn pollination and bean pod filling at the same time this year during LH July.  Make no mistake, the weather during LH July this year will be critical as both corn and beans will be affected.  So all of this proactivity in bean planting will cause more bean acres to get planted, especially if there are some northern acres that cannot plant corn and plant beans instead.  This means that instead of 89 M acres of beans, the total could be closer to 91 M acres.  The market also disagrees with the yield of 48.5 bpa.  Most traders feel that this should be closer to 50 bpa with the early bean planting.

So, if you plant the bean crop earlier, you gain more bean acres from the north that cannot plant corn, you gain yield due to the early bean planting, and now you have the potential for exports on both old and new crop to crash if we cannot get a deal pounded out with China, what do you think will happen to the carryout numbers that the USDA put out?  Will they stay at 530 M bu and 415 M bu?  I think not.  The path of least resistance is for these numbers to grow, and possibly quite significantly.  And if this happens, this puts a huge amount of lower pressure on bean futures.  We have already started to see this happen.  Nov ’18 bean futures made a high of $10.60 earlier in the year and are now trading at $10.15 or 45 cent lower.  The path of least resistance is lower in the bean market and possibly significantly lower.

A possible silver lining is an increase in crush which can help offset these increases in production or losses from exports.  The current bean crush margin is just huge at over $2.00 per bushel.  If these crush margins are not an absolute record, they are very close, and they have been stout for many weeks led by the strength in bean meal.  When the processor or makes big money, this will cause the basis to firm on old beans, especially since the farmer is planting and not delivering beans to him.  The beans used in crush will continue to grow.  However, the biggest factor in determining the price of beans is if we get a deal pounded out with China.  Frankly, the bean complex will patiently sit and wait until we know what will happen.  But make no mistake, the decision will impact bean prices either one way or the other.  Talk about gambling.  This is a high stakes poker tournament with the banker sitting right beside you watching your every move.  Sometimes taking your money off the table and selling beans now is the best option for your farm, so you can sleep at night, and a lot less risky.

Targets Produce Success and Protection For Your Farm

Before long, weather markets will push the market around like a yoyo and produce unprecedented volatility.  However, volatility can be your friend if you have a solid marketing plan and know how much and at what price you feel comfortable selling when the right opportunities present themselves.  If you are not working with one of our grain originators today, please give us a call.  We will gladly sit down with you to create a plan and help you protect your farm.  For a list of our grain originators and the one closest to you, please click here.  These types of volatile markets are a grain marketer’s dream.  The volatility present selling opportunities that are very short lived.  For the disciplined marketer, who knows exactly what commodity he needs to sell and at what level, this is a perfect scenario.  You simply place target orders in our system and at 3 am in the morning next Thursday while China makes an announcement when we are all sleeping, the markets ramps up, hits your target, locks in your contract price, all automatically while you are in bed.  How fantastic is that!  I encourage all of you to start using our online target system.  Its free, easy, and will protect your farm.  Please click here for more information.

What Are The Charts Telling Us?

Here are the support and resistance levels for cash and new crop grains.  These are all futures levels as traded at Chicago:

Cash Corn – July 18 Corn Futures – Support at $3.94, Resistance at $4.08, Place Targets at $4.05

New Corn – Dec 18 Corn Futures – Support at $4.12, Resistance at $4.23, Place Targets at $4.20

Cash Beans – July 18 Bean Futures – Support at $9.94, Resistance at $10.27, Place Targets at $10.17

New Beans – Nov 18 Bean Futures – Support at $9.97, Resistance at $10.25, Place Targets at $10.16

New Wheat – July 18 Wheat Futures – Support at $4.86, Resistance at $5.10, Place Targets at $5.05

To see where grain futures are currently trading, please click here.

Have You Sold Enough New Beans Yet?  Make Values Even Better With Cash Plus Contracts

I can build a solid case why beans will move lower in the coming weeks as more acres get planted and less corn.  In addition, the bean planting window is not nearly as tight as the optimum corn planting window.  If you still have new beans to sell, please check out our Cash Plus Contracts.  We can add a premium to your new crop bean sales price in exchange for an offer to sell more new beans if November Bean futures close above a certain level on Oct 24th.  These contracts will allow you to sell new beans today with a 22 cent premium added to the new crop cash price in exchange for an offer to sell the same quantity of new crop bean futures around $10.50 if on Oct 24th, the November bean futures close at or above this level.  If futures close below this level, you get to keep this entire premium, and you don’t have any other obligation.  So it is a win-win for you.  You get to keep the 22 cent premium paid to you on top of the current new crop bean price, and if on Oct 24th, depending on what November bean futures trade at the close on this date, you might be able to keep this entire premium free and clear.  The worst case is that you would have the same bushel commitment in another new crop sale where November futures were locked in at the $10.50 level.  Taking off the basis of 69 cents under the November futures for delivery into Readfield, which is our current posted new crop bean basis, you would have a new crop bean contract at 10.50 – 69 = $9.81  The worst case is that you would have another set of new beans sold at $9.81 for Oct / Nov ’18 delivery into Readfield or Center Valley.  This is a great price considering our posted new crop price is at $9.44 or so today.  Please check this out.  We have been writing many of these contracts as of late, and they work really well.

Condo Corner

The co-op did trade 5,000 bu of Condo space this week.  I won’t disclose the patrons or the prices, but we were able to put two buyers and a seller together and completed the transaction.  This was done by information placed on our web site.  Do you own Condo space and wish to sell it?  Are you interested in buying Condo space?  If so, this is the right place.  Condo Storage is also known as our Long Term Storage Agreement.  We have listed this on our web site.  If you are interested, please click here.  Please call the number listed and talk to Todd.  He will inform you of all the details and who is selling their Condo Space.  In the future, this site on our web page will be updated with buyers and sellers of Condo space for our co-op.  If you own Condo space and would like to sell, or if you would like to buy Condo space, please let us know and we can post your information for you.  We want to make this a useful site to trade Condo Space.

As always, if I can help you with anything, please call me at the grain office in Readfield at 920-667-4955, ext 2 or send me an email at marcus.cordonnier@chsinc.com.

Marcus Cordonnier

Start the New Season with a New Grease

cenex grease

Using the right grease is one of the most important decisions you can make as you prepare equipment for the high-pressure planting season. But recent updates in grease formulations might make you do a double take as you get ready for spring.

“When you put the grease into your grease gun and on bearings, you’re going to notice it looks different,” says Andrew Hamilton, director of technical services and quality for Cenex® lubricants and refined fuels. “That is on purpose. You’re getting a better grease.” (more…)

Weekly Grain Update – May 9, 2018

5/9/18

USDA Report On Thursday.  US Corn Planting Makes Good Progress.

The USDA will be out with its monthly crop report on Thursday morning at 11 am.  This report will include the first estimate for the 18/19 crop that is being planted now.  The market expects next year’s corn ending stocks to shrink from the current 2.18 B Bu down to 1.75 B Bu or so for next year.  This is the reason why the corn market is being so sensitive to the late corn planting this year.  As I have said many times, once corn carryout drops much below 2.0 B Bu, the corn market gets uncomfortable and when this happens, the market puts additional risk premium in the market to encourage more production from the farmer.

On beans, the current carryout is 550 M bu and the market is expecting roughly the same number for next year’s carryout.  Again, any bean number over 400 M bu or so puts the market in comfort mode, so we have more than enough beans this year and next year.  Bean planting is off to a really good start and is not lagging like corn.  So the likelihood that we will have a bean problem seems to be diminishing by the day.  This is a big reason why we witnessed a big sell off on Monday.  After weeks of adding length to their already long futures position, the funds decided to reduce their length, especially after a huge weekend of corn and bean planting.

We all need to be anticipating a “curve ball” from the USDA on Thursday to shake up the markets and for you to take advantage of it.  On corn, if the USDA pegs next year’s carryout below 1.7 B bu, this will be extremely supportive to corn futures.  All of you need to in position to take advantage of this situation if this occurs with target orders working to sell cash or new crop bushels for this fall if the market pops higher on Thursday.  Personally, I would have working targets in the system to sell both cash and new crop corn at 5 to 10 cents higher, entered prior to 10:30 Thursday morning, and let them work all day Thursday.  Again, it is simply amazing how much these electronic markets can gyrate in a few seconds time.  The opportunity to sell a nice pop could be here for 3 seconds right after 11 am when the report is released, and then gone.  The only way you could have taken advantage of this opportunity is to have a resting target order in the system working PRIOR to the report.

On beans, unfortunately, the surprise could be bearish, and not supportive to prices.  The surprise could be a much bigger carryout to next year’s bean crop than this year.  If next year’s number grows considerably larger than 500 M bu up to 6 or 700 M bu, this will weigh on cash, this year’s new crop levels as well as new crop ’19 levels as well.  On thing about the bean market, when it moves, it moves in a big way, usually 2-3 times what corn does.  It will not be out of the question to see a 30 cent move on beans on Thursday.  I just hope it is up and not down.  Again, targets work well in this situation, and encourage all of you to use them and put many out there for the slim chance beans could explode higher.  Let them work for you and make money for you.  I encourage all of you to start using our online target system.  Its free, easy, and will protect your farm.  Please click here for more information.

We have made great progress in planting corn as of late.  The USDA pegged the average US corn planting at 39% Monday evening vs 44% on average.  IL planted 42% of their corn crop last week and now have 74% of their corn in the ground.  IA was 40% complete vs 48% on average.  The market is concerned about the lack of corn planting in the northwest portions of the Corn Belt (MN, SD, ND).  MN is only 9% complete vs 44% on average.  If this situation persists, it should be supportive for corn and bearish for beans as these acres will be switched to beans and make the corn complex tighter and continue to make the bean complex more flush with beans.  This being said, the market believes that a great amount of corn acres were planted on Sunday and Monday at are not included in this total.  With the huge size of modern planters and planting speeds, it is just incredible how many acres of corn can be planted in a single day.  Going forward, getting an accurate estimate each Monday is a challenge for the USDA as the volumes get larger and larger, and planting windows get smaller and smaller.  Thus, the market feels these numbers are understated, and the average corn planting volumes will be right at average next week as we hit the May 15th date on the calendar, when it should be wrapping up.

On beans, the USDA pegged the average at 15% vs 13% on average.  IL was 29% done vs 12% on average.  Thus, bean planting is not behind and is actually ahead of normal.  There is a push this year to get more beans planted earlier than in the past to improve yields.  More and more farmers are planting beans and corn at the same time.  If there is a yield advantage, the farmer will do anything to get it this year as many are struggling financially to cover all of their costs.  Getting the bean crop planted early will also allow them to hit a premium bean market in their area.  Many times, the bean processor will put a big premium on early delivery beans into the plant to encourage the farmer to start cutting beans.  Early beans will be able to be sold for more money, and the yield boost will also add a layer of profitability as well.

Locally, we are struggling to get our crop planted on time.  The wet and cool conditions have pushed everything back 2 weeks.  Areas to the south towards Oshkosh have not turned a wheel yet.  If we get no rain, these areas will go by Friday.  Areas to the north of New London to Clintonville are starting to go.  The sandy areas to the west are going as well.  We just need the rain to hold off for 2 weeks to allow us to get the corn planted.

The other big news event continues to be the potential trade disruption with beans sold to China.  Last week, the US sent a team to China to help pound out a new deal.  Both parties agreed to keep talking, but nothing concrete was established.  Next week, the Chinese delegation will be visiting the US to continue talks.  Approximately 6 weeks ago, China placed a 25% tariff on beans purchased from the US making the internal Chinese bean buyer penalized for using US beans.  Since then, the amount of beans sold to China has virtually stopped in their tracks.  Brazil is now supplying nearly all of the beans to China even though they are paying a heathy premium for those Brazilian beans.  The Chinese buyer will not buy any more US beans until a deal gets worked out with the US.  In the process of negotiation, the US has demanded that US ag exports not be penalized.  However, no agreement is finalized yet, and it remains to be seen how all of this will work out.

Make no mistake.  The market is very concerned about this issue.  China has been a huge buyer of US beans and if they stop buying our beans, this will have wide and lasting results on our bean market.  China also buys many new crop beans during October from us.  If this stops, this will have a huge impact on our harvest operations and market values during this fall for grain elevators and shippers.  Unfortunately, there are many questions, and not many answers at this point.  From your point of view, your biggest concern should be if an agreement is not made with China.  All of a sudden, beans could start stacking up in this country like we have never seen before.  We already have a huge bean carryout, and bean planting is now ahead of schedule.  If a deal cannot be pounded out, the US will be floating on beans, and harvest values will plummet.  Again, the path of least resistance on beans could very likely be much lower in value.  Is your farm correctly positioned for this potential lower move?  Please click here to see where our new crop prices are at.  If you would like to sit down with one of our grain originators to set up a marketing plan, please click here.  We would be glad to sit down with you and set up a plan.

What Are The Charts Telling Us?

Here are the support and resistance levels for cash and new crop grains.  These are all futures levels as traded at Chicago:

Cash Corn – July 18 Corn Futures – Support at $3.99, Resistance at $4.08, Place Targets at $4.05

New Corn – Dec 18 Corn Futures – Support at $4.15, Resistance at $4.22, Place Targets at $4.20

Cash Beans – July 18 Bean Futures – Support at $10.10, Resistance at $10.34, Place Targets at $10.30

New Beans – Nov 18 Bean Futures – Support at $10.16, Resistance at $10.32, Place Targets at $10.28

New Wheat – July 18 Wheat Futures – Support at $5.06, Resistance at $5.38, Place Targets at $5.28

To see where grain futures are currently trading, please click here.

Condo Corner

Do you own Condo space and wish to sell it?  Are you interested in buying Condo space?  If so, this is the right place.  Condo Storage is also known as our Long Term Storage Agreement.  We have listed this on our web site.  If you are interested, please click here.  Please call the number listed and talk to Todd.  He will inform you of all the details and who is selling their Condo Space.  In the future, this site on our web page will be updated with buyers and sellers of Condo space for our co-op.  If you own Condo space and would like to sell, or if you would like to buy Condo space, please let us know and we can post your information for you.  We want to make this a useful site to trade Condo Space.

New Arrive Delayed Price Rates have Been Reduced

We have reduced our Delayed Price rates for new arrive corn and beans into Readfield and Center Valley.  These rates are for new arrive bushels only, and the rate will be in effect until Oct 1st 2018 when new crop storage rates will go into effect.  The new Delayed Price rate is now 60 days FREE, and then 3 cents flat per month thereafter.

We have also updated our web site with the grain storage options that we offer at the Co-op.  Please click here to see what storage options exist for our patrons, and to see what option is the best fit for you.  Many of you have interest in using Delayed Price as an economical way to store your grain.  However, many of our patrons have had questions regarding Delayed Price and how it is different compared to Open Storage.  We have created an information sheet that compares Delayed Price to Open Storage, and lists every advantage and disadvantage of the program.  I encourage all patrons to read this and it is very informative and will help you to understand our program.  Please click here to see this comparison of Delayed Price to Open Storage.

Still Own Old CORN?  Tired Of Paying Storage?  Check Out Our Cash Plus Contracts

Do you still own old corn in the bin or on Delayed Price at the elevator?  Do you need the money now and tired of paying storage?  Please consider our Cash Plus contracts.  These contracts will allow you to sell corn today with a 13 cent premium added to the cash price in exchange for an offer to sell new crop corn futures around $4.40 if on Nov 14th, the December ’18 corn futures close at or above this level.  If futures close below this level, you get to keep this entire premium, and you don’t have any other obligation.  So it is a win-win for you.  You get to keep the 13 cent premium paid to you NOW on top of the cash price, you stop the storage charges, if hauling from the bin you get to haul them now, you create cash flow now, and if on Nov 14th, depending on what December corn futures trade, you might be able to keep this entire premium free and clear.  The worst case is that you would have the same bushel commitment in a new crop offer where December corn futures were locked in at the $4.40 level.  Taking off the basis of 40 cents under the December futures for delivery into Readfield, you would have a new crop corn contract at 4.40 – 40 = $4.00  The worst case is that you would have new corn sold at $4.00 for Oct / Nov ’18 delivery into Readfield or Center Valley.  This is a great price considering our posted new crop price is at $3.78 or so today.  Please check this out.  We have been writing many of these contracts as of late, and they work really well.

As always, if I can help you with anything, please call me at the grain office in Readfield at 920-667-4955, ext 2 or send me an email at marcus.cordonnier@chsinc.com.

Marcus Cordonnier

Add Fuel Maintenance to Your Spring Planting Checklist

From checking spare parts inventories to squeezing in one more maintenance check, equipment is always top of mind as you prepare for spring planting. And, while it’s crucial to ensure engine components and moving parts are operating at peak performance, checking your fuel practices should carry equal weight. Your equipment is only as good as the fuel used in it, so it pays to get into the habit of keeping fuel clean.

Two key things affect the quality of your fuel supply: Keeping bulk fuel storage up to snuff and choosing the right fuel.

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Weekly Grain Update – May 2, 2018

5/2/18

Corn vs Beans, Planting Decisions, and Weather

The market is still concerned about the delayed planting progress of the US corn crop.  On average, we are 10 days behind from a normal year.  Although true, we have made tremendous progress planting corn over the weekend and the first part of this week.  All efforts were made to push as much corn into the ground prior to the rain system that moved into the Corn Belt mid-week.  The USDA pegged Illinois with 32% of its corn planted and Iowa with 17% of its corn planted.  Make no mistake, the market will have its eyes squarely focused on these two states and will closely monitor their corn planting progress as the bulk of the US corn is produced there.  Many feel that these planting numbers could be on the low side as many acres were planted on Sunday and Monday that were not included in the total.

Why is the market so concerned about corn planting?  It’s because our margin for error, our cushion, is now gone.  Let me explain.  The USDA pegged the corn acres at roughly 88 M and the bean acres at 89 M.  Even if we plant 88.5 M corn acres, and if we have no production problems and have an average yield of 176 bpa, with our current demand structure, it is very likely that corn carryout next year will fall from 2.1 B bu this year to 1.8 B bu or so next year.  The market gets in comfort mode anytime corn carryout starts with a 2, or close to a 2.  Anytime corn carryout falls much below 2 B bu, the market gets uncomfortable, and when the market gets uncomfortable, it will put a big carrot out in front of you to make sure you do everything possible to get your corn planted.  It puts more risk premium in the market to encourage you to spend the extra money, extra time, the extra whatever, to make sure you get it done.  This explains why we are seeing corn react positively in the last 2 weeks.  The market knows producers make planting decision based on the current market and it is making the corn market as positive as possible right now.

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Weekly Grain Update – April 26, 2018

4/26/18

Weather and China Remain Central Focus

After trading subdued for the majority of last week, the grain markets hit support, bounced back, and seem to be in rally mode the majority of this week.  We are seeing volatility ramp up a bit this weeks as the trade continues to be concerned about the ability of the US farmer to get enough corn planted in the north ½ of the Corn Belt.  The southern ½ of the Corn Belt is either very close to or should be planting corn now or by this weekend.  Many predict that on Monday’s planting progress report that we could have as much as 20% of the US corn crop planted by then.  If this occurs, this will take a lot of the fuel away from the bulls as the planting risk goes down dramatically once 50% of the corn crop gets planted.  Once we get past 50%, any bullish momentum that was developed by slow planting progress seems to dissipate very quickly.

However, the concern is when the northern areas such as MN, WI, northern IA, the Dakota’s, and MI finally get their corn planted.  Last week, many of these areas received huge snowfalls, and some of this snow is still not melted and the soil temps still need to warm up to 50 degrees so corn can germinate.  The real concern here is timing.  When will these areas have soil temps at 50 degrees and will it be easier for the farmer to plant beans and forget about corn?  This is what the market is concerned about.  For the grower, the market still has a nice premium for new crop corn to encourage all of you to get after it.  This is usually the case.  The marker is willing to place a carrot in front of you to make sure you do everything in your power to plant every last acre of corn that you can.  However, many times the market quickly pulls the rug out from under you once it sees that enough acres will get planted and unfortunately, you are so busy doing your job, that the majority of the premium vanishes before you have a chance to react and sell your planted crop.  The market is a ruthless animal.  It could care less if you sell your corn with a premium.  It’s job is to make sure you plant all of your corn.  It could care less if you took advantage of the carrot it placed in front of you to do the job.

Frankly, this is where we can help you.  Our grain originators can help you manage this pricing process BEFORE the opportunity slips away.  We have been busy working with area growers and developing marketing plans and watching the markets for you so you can concentrate on your job.  This is also why targets work so well.  Targets allow you to place firm orders to sell your crop with a premium and will execute when the market reaches your selling price, so you don’t have to watch the market.  These targets work great, are free, and allow you to be more productive during your busy times.  I encourage all of you to pay attention to the new crop corn and bean markets in the next 2 weeks.  Once we get past the 50% mark on planting corn, many times the premium comes out of the market.  You need to sell corn prior to this time as the market gets comfortable.  You need to sell when the market is uncomfortable and is willing to pay you a premium.  I encourage all of you to start using our online target system.  Its free, easy, and will protect your farm.  Please click here for more information.

In addition to potential slow corn planting, the other big news pieces this week are:

  • China has not purchased any US beans in the last 2 weeks. They are buying from Brazil, Canada, and even Argentina.  The price of beans from these countries is moving higher, and the Chinese bean crushers are having a much more difficult time being profitable.  China is doing everything possible to avoid buying US beans due to the 25% tariff.
  • China also slapped a 179% export deposit on US milo. This almost doubles the price of milo to the Chinese buyer who uses US milo.  Thus, the milo market in the US has crashed as there is no more demand from China, and there are currently 5 cargos of milo in route to China that have been just diverted away this week.  Reports surfaced that Saudi Arabia and the Philippines are taking delivery of this milo that was in route to China.
  • The weather has much improved for corn planting. Much of the corn belt is seeing temps in the 60’s this week with very little additional moisture.
  • The extreme dry area in Kansas and Oklahoma did get some rain the past weekend, and the HRW crop seems to be improving. Time will tell whether the rain will continue.
  • The US farmer has been disengaged from grain marketing until he gets his corn crop planted. This has allowed the basis to firm on corn and beans on old crop bushels.  Locally, the old crop bean basis has improved a dime over the last 2 weeks.  Once the farmer starts to sell again, expect the basis to back off.
  • High level US trade reps will be travelling to China next week in order to hammer out a potential deal with the US. The market is being supported today due to this.
  • We witnessed some fresh technical buying this week as the funds want to increase their length of ownnership.

What Are The Charts Telling Us?

Here are the support and resistance levels for cash and new crop grains.  These are all futures levels as traded at Chicago:

Cash Corn – July 18 Corn Futures – Support at $3.85, Resistance at $4.01, Place Targets at $3.96

New Corn – Dec 18 Corn Futures – Support at $4.02, Resistance at $4.16, Place Targets at $4.10

Cash Beans – July 18 Bean Futures – Support at $10.27, Resistance at $10.78, Place Targets at $10.68

New Beans – Nov 18 Bean Futures – Support at $10.25, Resistance at $10.60, Place Targets at $10.50

New Wheat – July 18 Wheat Futures – Support at $4.67, Resistance at $5.10, Place Targets at $5.00

To see where grain futures are currently trading, please click here.

Sign Up ENDS Monday for New Crop Average Price Contract – Enroll Today

We are now enrolling bushels into our new crop Average Price Contract which is for new crop grain that will be delivered during this fall.  This is a cash contract and will use a 10 week period to average the price.  The timing of the new crop contract will be May 2nd through July 5th.  We will simply average the closing prices each Wednesday during these periods, pricing 1/10 of your contracted bushels each week during the period.  At the end of the period, we will simply average the prices together.  There is no minimum quantity and the best part of these contracts are that they are FREE.  There are no fees associated with these averaging contracts.

The dates associated with the new crop pricing period of May 2nd to July 5th is normally a very good time to sell new crop grain because the market is dealing with planting problems and then dealing with dry weather problems somewhere in the Corn Belt.  When problems surface, the market puts more risk premium in the futures, and you will be participating in the market to capture these premiums.  If there are no problems, the market usually drifts lower after the July 4th holiday, making the timing an excellent part of this new crop average contract.    These contracts are simple, easy to understand, and they work.  Every farmer should put a decent amount of grain into these contracts to help protect your farm.  For more information on these exciting new contracts, please click here.

New Arrive Delayed Price Rates have Been Reduced

Effective March 20th, we have reduced our Delayed Price rates for new arrive corn and beans into Readfield and Center Valley.  These rates are for new arrive bushels only, and the rate will be in effect until Oct 1st 2018 when new crop storage rates will go into effect.  The new Delayed Price rate is now 60 days FREE, and then 3 cents flat per month thereafter.

We have also updated our web site with the grain storage options that we offer at the Co-op.  Please click here to see what storage options exist for our patrons, and to see what option is the best fit for you.  Many of you have interest in using Delayed Price as an economical way to store your grain.  However, many of our patrons have had questions regarding Delayed Price and how it is different compared to Open Storage.  We have created an information sheet that compares Delayed Price to Open Storage, and lists every advantage and disadvantage of the program.  I encourage all patrons to read this and it is very informative and will help you to understand our program.  Please click here to see this comparison of Delayed Price to Open Storage.

5,000 bu Condo Space For Sale

We have a patron who wants to sell 5,000 bu of Condo Space.  This is also known as our Long Term Storage Agreement.  We have listed this on our web site.  If you are interested, please click here.  Please call the number listed and talk to Todd.  He will inform you of all the details and who is selling their Condo Space.  In the future, this site on our web page will be updated with buyers and sellers of Condo space for our co-op.  If you own Condo space and would like to sell, or if you would like to buy Condo space, please let us know and we can post your information for you.  We want to make this a useful site to trade Condo Space.

As always, if I can help you with anything, please call me at the grain office in Readfield at 920-667-4955, ext 2 or send me an email at marcus.cordonnier@chsinc.com.

Marcus Cordonnier

Time to Fill the Tanks

 

Now that the never ending winter of 2018 is finally releasing its grip on WI, and the April snow is starting to melt, the time to start planning for spring work is here. It’s the perfect time to get your diesel and gasoline tanks filled before everyone is out in the fields, woods, and on construction projects. With the peak of spring activity just around the corner, everyone will be calling for immediate tank fills and just with pure volume, fuel deliveries could be delayed.

Nobody knows when road bans will come off so placing your fuel orders now helps us schedule deliveries based on allowed road weights, our fuel truck weights/how much fuel we can carry, and when we can deliver to get your fuel to you now. Those of you that still have some winter blended diesel fuel in your tanks (#2 and #1, Plus WAIV winter additive), it’s the perfect time to blend out your tanks with fresh summer rated Ruby Fieldmaster Premium diesel so you are ready to go when the fields dry out. Those of you that contracted fuel back in February/early March before we saw a price jumps in late March/April, are in perfect shape and now your fuel purchases are under these contract prices. If you did not contract fuel, now is the time to get your first tank fill as the market has been flat over the last week, but we all know when demand goes up in the coming weeks that prices will push up as they always do every May and June. If you are on the CHS Larsen Co-op Automated Fuel Delivery (AFD) program, you’re tanks are being filled automatically plus you have the peace of mind knowing you are saving money with the monthly price averaging benefit.

I have talked with many of my agriculture customers and unlike the last 2-3 years, we experienced an early winter last fall which curtailed field work in November and December thus there will be more field prep work in the coming weeks before planting can commence. With the winter weather we had in April, now is the time to get your equipment ready and your fuel tanks set.

Please give CHS Larsen Co-op a call at 920-982-1111 to schedule a tank fill so you are 100% ready to get out into the fields and start on the 2018 season.

by Todd A. Plath, Certified Energy Specialist

 

Welcome, Todd Plath

We would like to give a warm welcome to Todd Plath, our new Certified Energy Specialist. Todd has nine years of sales experience in selling Cenex energy products as a CES. He comes to us from a member cooperative in central Wisconsin.  He was originally from Redondo Beach, CA. As a child he moved around a lot, but at the start of his senior year in high school his dad got transferred to a job in Kenosha, WI, which is what brought him here. Todd then graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He was a Branch Sales Manager for an HVAC company in Wausau, and then moved to the member cooperative to go back to working in sales.

Todd and his wife Jill of 29 years live in Mosinee where she is a Special Education teacher for  Marathon County Special education. Their oldest son Mark graduated from the University of WI and is an ICU surgical nurse in Duluth, MN. Their middle son Derek graduated from the University of MN and is physical therapist in Minneapolis, and his  daughter, Melinda is a freshmen at the University of Minnesota Duluth majoring in Sports Marketing. During his free time he enjoys fishing and is a fishing guide in Northern WI.

Todd is very excited to be working for CHS Larsen Co-op, being able to offer all CHS products, and to be a part of the outstanding service at our co-op. We are excited to have him on our team to help grow our western territory. He was attracted to working for CHS Larsen Co-op because of our cooperative’s size and ability to offer all the CHS energy products including fuel, propane and bulk lubricants.

Todd started on April 17, and has hit the ground running. He is now our CES in the western territory. Again, as you see Todd please welcome him to our co-op.

by Pat Brosseau, Energy Department Manager

 

Anatomy of a grain trade

anatomy of a grain trade infographic

The global grain trading business is risky. Avalanches and mudslides can stop trains in their tracks. Striking union workers can halt grain loading at port. Freezing sea spray and high swells can delay ocean vessels for days. Commodity prices and costs shift constantly.

While those situations may be beyond a grain company’s control, there are countless other factors that a team of CHS experts successfully manages 365 days a year – always focused on efficiency, safety and profitability. (more…)

© 2018 CHS Inc.