Ready for Change

By Annette Bertelsen, from Spring 2019 C magazine

What happens when the world’s biggest buyer suddenly backs away from U.S. soybeans? That’s been a question on everyone’s mind since July 6, 2018, when the United States implemented China-specific tariffs. The move embroiled U.S. farmers and cooperatives in a trade war that hit the soybean world particularly hard. Spring USDA data shows 2018–2019 soybean export inspections down nearly 34 percent from the year before, with farms and cooperatives struggling to handle huge carryover and reduced cash flow.

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Grain Market Update – May 30

The market has been driven by wet weather across the Corn Belt, but is also effecting us here in the north. Hopefully you were able to get something in the ground. However, if unfortunately, you were not able to get what you needed planted there are options to help take care of your contracts.

Many people are taking insurance or preventive plant alternatives due to lack of planting ability. If you do have corn to market, set targets above $4 and in increments above to hit on the way up. Beans are getting slightly pulled up with corn, but are also on planting delays, so if you can hit a decent $8 price you can add a cash plus for a decent offer to even out the prices for some risk.

The government is planning on issuing out relief support this year probably based off of county averages and not this year’s crop.

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.

Written by: Michael Steingraber, CHS Grain Originator

Crop Drying LP Contract

CHS Larsen Coop’s Energy Team: Keeping Up with the Needs of the Modern Farmer.

Winter is finally over… well kind of… and spring is in full force… sort of.  As we quickly enter planting and growing season, drying those crops will definitely be on the minds of most.

  • How many bushels will I dry this year?
  • How much propane will I need?
  • How much is this going to cost me?

Today’s farmer have enough stress to deal with daily, without the concern of budgeting for the unknown. Helping farmers control costs has always been a priority for CHS Larsen Coop.   In the past, we have allowed farmers the opportunity to add their crop drying gallon needs to their winter heating contract.  In an effort to evolve and take the savings one step further, CHS Larsen Coop is extremely proud to offer a CROP DRYING CONTRACTS!

Details of the new CROP DRYING CONTRACT are simple.  Contracts will run 09/01/19 – 11/30/19, which is the prime drying time.  You may lock in as many gallons as you need for drying during that time frame, while taking advantage of pricing based off of a lower demand and typically higher supply.  This will translate to great savings for our Agricultural customers!

We would still urge customers to lock in their winter propane needs as necessary.  But I believe the new CROP DRYING CONTRACT will be an excellent addition to our already great contracting programs!

Please contact your local energy sales team member for more information on how we can help you plan for fall.

Written by: Kim Leisner, Energy Sales Manager

CHS Larsen Cooperative Awards 18 $1,000 Scholarships

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to announce that they have awarded $18,000 in scholarships. This is the nineteenth year they have offered a scholarship program for their customers; already helping over 277 students. CHS Larsen Cooperative’s trade territory has expanded and they have felt the need to return support to the communities that help support their cooperative.

CHS Larsen Cooperative offered this scholarship to graduating high school seniors and currently enrolled post high school education. The 18 students that received the 2019 scholarship are as follows: Collin Baehnman of Weyauwega, parent Tim Baehnman; Tomi Bestul of Waupaca, parents are Tom and Connie Bestul; Justin Engebretsen of Gillett, parents are Jeff and Cindy Engebretsen; Leah Grundman of Winneconne, parents are Robert and Michelle Grundman; Hunter Havrilla of Omro, parent Richard Potratz; Caitlyn Henry attending Bellin College, parents are Jonathan and Cheryl Henry; Melissa Hofacker of Freedom, parents are John and Lynn Hofacker; Jacob Kafer of Omro, parents are Pat and Stacy Kafer; Garret Karweick of Seymour, parents are Jill and Vernon Karweick; Zachary Le Mahieu of Pestigo, parents are Keith and Jean Le Mahieu; Jessica Magdanz of Weyauwega/Fremont, parents are Dan and Medora Magdanz; Logan Meyer of Antigo, parents are Eric and Kristin Meyer; Sara Nehring of Weyauwega/Fremont, parents are Dan and Jennifer Nehring; Paige Proctor of Stevens Point, parents are Anne and John Proctor; Ellen Sohrweide of Oconto, parents are Brian and Tracey Sohrweide; Olivia Tews of New London, parents are Todd and Lois Tews; Ashely Van Dyck attending UW-Stout, parents Andy and Laurie Van Dyck and Markie Verhasselt of Freedom, parents are Bruce and Vicky Verhasselt.

The criteria and 2020 application are on their website CHSLarsenCooperative.com. The deadline for the CHS Larsen Cooperative scholarship is March 15, 2020. Visit their website to apply for next year or call 1-800-924-6677.

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to support our local youth. It pays to invest in our local future industry leaders.

CHS Larsen Co-op fights rural hunger through March campaign

Working together with CHS locations across the country, employees, community organizations and businesses, and farmers of CHS Larsen Cooperative joined the fight against rural hunger through the cooperative’s annual CHS Harvest for Hunger food, and funds drive. The annual campaign gathered more than $500,000 and 94,959 pounds of food to fight hunger in rural America. Locally, CHS Larsen Cooperative raised $4,946 and 3,000 pounds of food for local food shelves.

Since 2011, CHS Country Operations, a division of CHS, the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative, has organized the campaign to gather money and food for local and regional food shelves across the country. With this year’s total, the cooperative has now raised more than $6 million and 4.5 million pounds of food in the nine years since the campaign was first launched.

CHS Larsen Cooeprative participated in the 2019 Harvest for Hunger drive held March 1-20 through a variety of fundraising activities, including teaming up with four school disticts (New London, Winneconne, Freedom and Weyauwega-Fremont) to raise food and funds. CHS Larsen Cooperative wanted to make a larger impact in the communities which receive the donations. By teaming up with the schools it turned out to be very successful. All the food raised in each school district went to their local food pantry. All pantries received over 400 pounds of food each!

“Often, local food shelves and food pantries are doing invisible work. They are feeding people in our rural communities who we would never imagine are going hungry,” says Todd Reif, “That’s why it’s so important that we support these local organizations. We are in the business of feeding the world, but we may never realize who is facing hunger right in our own communities. But these organizations have the system and contacts in place to make sure everyone has food on the table every day.”

Welcome our 2019 Agronomy Interns

This year we have two interns joining our agronomy staff, Michelle Erickson and Bryce Hering.

Michelle comes to us from Greenville, WI. She is currently a student at Fox Valley Technical College where she is pursing a major in Agribusiness Science and Animal Science. She wanted to work for CHS Larsen Co-op to gain more knowledge on the agronomy side of agriculture. She is most excited about being able to be outside and learn more about crops and soils, as well as talking with farmers. In her free time, she enjoys shooting trap, riding four-wheelers, hanging with friends, fishing, driving tractor and going on road trips. Something interesting about Michelle is that she lives on a dairy farm.

Bryce is from the Saxeville area. He is attending UW-River Falls, where he is majoring in Crops and Soil Science. He came to CHS Larsen Co-op because he heard it was a great place to work and it was close to home for him this summer. He’s very excited to meet new people and learn more about crops and pests in the fields. Outside of school and work his hobbies are hunting, fishing, spending time with friends and camping up north. Something interesting about Bryce is that he showed pigs for 10 years and he has never broken a bone.

We are very excited to have Bryce and Michelle work with us this summer! They will be sharing updates throughout the summer on what they are learning in their internships.

Corn Insect Update 5/9/19

Originally Posted in the Wisconsin Pest Bulletin

Corn
Volume 64 Number 2 Date 05/09/2019

BLACK CUTWORM – A weekend storm front on May 5-6 brought additional flights of black cutworms northward into the state. DATCP’s 44 monitoring locations collected 267 moths, with 10 sites registering significant counts of nine or more moths in two nights. The highest trap count for the week was 20 moths near Hampden in Columbia County. Pheromone traps have captured a cumulative total of 758 specimens since the first moth appeared on April 4.

The black cutworm counts recorded this spring are considered moderate in comparison to captures in high-moth years,though delayed spring field preparation and early-season weed growth have provided highly favorable egg laying habitat for female moths arriving over the past 4-5 weeks.Based on the first major BCW migration event on April 12 and the expected slow accumulation of degree days over the next two weeks,the earliest peak corn cutting window will not open until May 27 near Beloit, May 29 near Madison, and June 4 near Hancock. However, the second wave of significant captures recorded in the past week signals the cutting period could be protracted, with a second peak damage period starting around June 6.

The late start to 2019 planting season and the consistent moth migrations documented since mid-April indicate a high risk of BCW damage to vegetative corn this spring.

*Mustang Maxx Preventative or Rescue at 2.5 oz – 3 oz /acre. Hero Preventative or Rescue at 4 oz/acre.*



SEEDCORN MAGGOT -Emergence of first-generation flies from overwintered pupae has peaked.Peak fly emergence theoretically occurred last week across southern Wisconsin with the accumulation of 360 degree days (sine base 39°F), and is forecast for the Appleton, Hancock and Tomah areas of central Wisconsin in the week ahead Heavy egg laying is likely during this time. Cool, moist soil conditions prevalent statewide are less than optimal for rapid seed germination and highly favorable for seedcorn maggot (SCM) infestation, increasing the risk of maggot damage to susceptible crops such as corn and soybean seeds and seedlings. Planting as close as possible to the ‘fly-free’ period between the first and second generations can reduce risk and is the primary cultural control for this spring soil insect pest.If SCM infestation is suspected, dig up apparent seed skips in the row and examine seed for evidence of damage. Cutworms, wireworms, and white grubs are other insects that can contribute to stand loss.

* Make sure your growers have either Capture LFR or Ethos XB in the Starter Fertilizer tank to help against Seed corn Maggot!*

Grain Update – May 15, 2019

Kimmes spring corn planting

5/15/19

Planting Delays Are Starting To Get Serious

The big news of late is the inability to get our corn crop planted on time, and the real risk of corn acres either not getting planted or they get switched to beans instead.  On Monday’s crop progress report, the US has only planted 30% of its corn crop and last year we were are 59% complete.  On beans, only 9% were planted as compared to 32% last year.  Obviously, the wet weather has prevented the farmer from getting in the field and has pushed all planting significantly back from normal completion rates.  However, as I speak now, the farmer is aggressively planting corn in many areas of the Corn Belt right now, running full bore and around the clock.  Conditions are not perfect, but the calendar is forcing the issue.  Rains are expected to come towards the end of the week, and they are getting it done, one way or the other.

After weeks of relentless fund selling of grain futures at Chicago, this late planting issue finally came to a head on Tuesday as the corn market rallied 15 cents higher and beans over 30 cents higher.  The funds had a record short position in corn of over 325,000 contracts short and beans over 150,000 contracts short, which had been accumulated in the last 30 days.  These funds had been significantly pressing grain futures lower through last week, being relentless on pressing futures lower consistently over the last 3 weeks.  Beans last $1.20 and corn over 25 cents.  However, this mentality started to change on Monday, and the market screamed higher on Tuesday and it is still higher today.  Its all about the lack of planting process on both corn and beans, and now the market is putting more risk premium in the market for delayed planting and yield lag.  The funds were extremely short and this news has caused them to cover their short position buy aggressively buying futures.  This buying has propped up the market in a big way and is giving all of you the opportunity to make “catch up” sales. 

Time will tell whether the farmer will be able to get all of his corn acres planted.  However, there is no other time in history where the farmer has had less capacity to plant massive acreage once the conditions are right.  Today’s farmer has aggressively invested in new planting capacity to be able to plant his crop in very short order.  Yes, we are behind.  But the real question is whether the farmer can catch up on planting.  He definitely has the tools.  He just needs Mother Nature to cooperate.

Even though we are seeing a nice rally, the grain fundamentals still have not changed that much, especially for beans.  Please view this rally as an opportunity to catch up on forward new crop sales that were missed earlier.  The bullish case for corn has more standing power than beans.  Still, this is not the time to get bullish on either corn or beans, but time to think about salvaging a very difficult marketing year.  This is especially true for beans.  This weather scenario will likely add more bean acres at the expense of corn.  The result will be an even bigger amount of beans carried out next year, most likely between 1.0 and 1.3 B bu, which is just huge.  This is the 3rd day of our rally, and you can tell it is starting to lose some of its steam.  Now is the perfect time to place target orders just under resistance levels and get more new beans sold for harvest or next summer if you have bin space. 

Targets Produce Success and Protection For Your Farm

The weather markets are pushing the market around like a yoyo and producing 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 19 Corn Futures – Support at $3.43, Resistance at $3.80, Place Targets at $3.76

New Corn – Dec 19 Corn Futures – Support at $3.63, Resistance at $3.98, Place Targets at $3.95

Cash Beans – July 19 Bean Futures – Support at $7.91, Resistance at $8.58, Place Targets at $8.48

New Beans – Nov 19 Bean Futures – Support at $8.15, Resistance at $8.80, Place Targets at $8.70

New Wheat – July 19 Wheat Futures – Support at $4.19, Resistance at $4.60, Place Targets at $4.55

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 23rd.  (These premiums are for contracts in 5,000 bushel increments only.)  These contracts will allow you to sell new beans today with a 36 cent premium added to the new crop cash price in exchange for an offer to sell the same quantity of new crop bean futures at $8.60 if on Oct 23rd, 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 36 cent premium paid to you on top of the current new crop bean price, and if on Oct 23rd, 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 $8.60 level.  Taking off the basis of 92 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 8.60 – 92 (basis) + 36 cent premium = $8.04  The worst case is that you would have another set of new beans sold at $8.60 November futures for Oct / Nov ’19 delivery into Readfield or Center Valley. 

As always, if I can help you with anything, please call me on my cell at 419-279-3809 or send me an email at marcus.cordonnier@chsinc.com.

Marcus Cordonnier

Let’s Talk Tariffs

Unless you live under a rock or North of Hwy 64, like me, I am sure that you have seen an article or heard a news report about the US/China trade war.  Talk of new tariff’s on Chinese goods have been in and out of headlines since the initial tariff taxes of 10% on most goods were imposed last fall.  But last week this trade war ramped up to the next level when trade talks stalled, and an additional 15% tariff tax was added to goods that were already carrying the initial 10% from 6 months ago.

Although there has been a great deal of “tariff talk” lately, some may not exactly understand what a tariff really is and how it will affect our industry.  Everyone has their own opinion, mostly depending on their political affiliation.  So, rather than quoting a bunch of headlines from CNN to Fox news, let’s just do a brief dissection of the meat of this trade war so you can form your own opinion!

Let’s start with….

WHAT IS A TARIFF?  A tariff is a special fee that is charged to the corporation that imports certain products from other countries.  Like Walmart for instance, when they order a whole bunch of Haier TV’s or that nasty frozen tilapia fish they sell; the products come into one of our 328 US ports of entry for inspection.  Upon inspection Walmart will get charged a tariff or “duty” fee for the release of the goods.  US and custom border agents collect the fees that go directly to the US Treasury.  By the way; don’t eat that Chinese tilapia, it is like poison; but that is a story for another day…moving on.

ARE TARIFF FEES CHARGED ON ALL IMPORTS?  96% of all imported products are charged a tariff fee, with the average rate at 2%.  Currently, China is the highest rate at 25%; bumping the Bahamas out of the top spot, with a current fee of 18.56%.  Coincidently, the current duty fee to China are only about ½ the size of the 59% fees that were implemented back in the 30’s during the great depression. 

WHY CHARGE TARIFF’S?  Tariffs are charged for a couple reasons.  The major reasons are to generate income for the government and to protect the US manufacturing industry.  For instance, if there were no tariff fees on BMW, a new three series would cost about the same price as a Ford Focus…and that is just not right!  This is not something that Ford wants or can financially handle.  So, basically it puts the US on a more even playing field with other countries.  In theory, it keeps US manufacturer successful, which keeps the US workforce gainfully employed.

HOW WILL THE TARIFF’S AFFECT US?  Everyone has a different view on this, because a few things can happen.  Product prices could go up-> retail and manufacturing facilities may look at temporary lay-offs to cut expenses…but on the flip side-> American made product sales could soar -> US manufacturing facilities may have to increase their workforce due to new orders?

On the energy side, China was one of our biggest exporters of propane. Since the start of these tariffs, way back in September 2018, China has completely slowed their orders and are now at a slow trickle.  This has caused inventories to rise throughout the winter and I am sure we will see some big numbers this summer as usage throughout the Midwest declines.  Typically, high inventories lead to lower pricing; unless the transportation services decide to take a bigger piece of the pie and raise their fees (supply and demand). I am not sure if these savings will ultimately make it to the consumer or not?

This may be an interesting summer.  With this current trade situation and the expiration of OPEC’s production cuts, we may see some 1st in the energy sector.  Buckle up folks, I think we are in for a fun ride!

Written by: Kim Leisner, Energy Sales Manager

© 2019 CHS Inc.