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Thursday, January 31, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1-31-2013

AM Comments 01/31/13

Thursday, January 31, 2013, 8:08 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

The corn and soybean markets started off stronger last night, making new highs for the move only to fail and slip lower.  The weakness could be nothing more than a little profit taking as the market may have exhausted the buyers during yesterday’s strong rally.  The weather forecast hasn’t changed a whole lot but there were rains that fell in Argentina last night (as forecasted).  So if you wanted you could massage some bearish news out of that, which I think is what helped cause the rally effort to fail last night.

The weekly export sales report was out this morning, corn came in within the trade guesses while soybeans came in above guesses, thanks to some large new crop sales.  Overall this is neutral to a touch friendly to grains.
Corn is 2 to 4 cents lower
Soybeans are 8 to 12 cents lower

Friday, January 25, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/25/2013

AM Comments 01/25/13

Friday, January 25, 2013, 8:11 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our grain markets are starting today with a weaker tone in both corn and soybeans.  Export sales data was out this morning --- coming in on the low side of guesses in both commodities which is disappointing.  This could weigh on our markets for today although we do expect a choppy trade.

Yesterday’s rainfall in Argentina has been described as light to moderate with the largest rainfall coming in Northern Argentina (1” or so).  Dry weather returns to Argentina for the next week or so with another cold front coming in next weekend, potentially bringing another .5” of rain to the area.  We are getting closer and closer to SA harvest and if Argentina keeps getting a shot of rain here and there, the weather risk/premium may start to slip away.

Corn is 2 to 3 cents lower
Soybeans are 1 to 4 cents lower

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/24/2013

AM Comments 01/24/13 (revised)

Thursday, January 24, 2013, 8:45 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

We have a cold front moving across Argentina today that has the bean market a little spooked.  It is supposed to be light – anywhere from a tenth to just over a half inch of rain is expected.  The extended forecasts for Argentina are mixed – with some calling for continued dryness while the GFS model looks wetter.  This is causing profit taking again in beans as they are down double digits this morning.  Long term outlook for Brazil looks wet – wet enough that there may be a concern regarding harvest delays in central and northern Brazil.  This could have an impact on the U.S. gulf basis if boats are unable to get loaded. 

The weekly export sales report is delayed till tomorrow because of Monday’s holiday but the USDA did announce this morning that another chunk of U.S. beans was bought – 510k mt to China for new crop and 113k mt to unknown for new crop.  So far, this is keeping the bean market from carving out new lows as they have bounced 7c since the report (they were down over 22c just an hour or so ago)

China’s PMI was released this morning and is now up to a 2-year high – which signals continued growth in the country and can be viewed as friendly to most every commodity.

Corn is down 4 to 6 cents
Soybeans are down 13 to 16 cents

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/23/2013

AM Comments 01/23/13

Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 8:17 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

It was a quiet night last night in the grain markets.  The soybean market broke higher yesterday – through some big resistance points on the chart – thanks to dry weather in South America.  After that large rally, soybeans appear to be taking a breather so far today.  This could be just profit taking or it could be that these small chances for light showers late this week in Argentina have a few traders nervous.

Other than that – we don’t expect much in the way of ‘new news’ to come out today.  SA weather is the main topic of conversation and it will likely stay that way for a while.

Corn is steady to down 2 cents
Soybeans are down 4 to 6 cents

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/22/2013

AM Comments 01/22/13

Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 8:00 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are higher this morning, with corn, soybeans and wheat all posting decent gains.  Soybeans are the leader today after Argentina remained dry over the weekend, putting the soybean crop under further stress.  The recent temps haven’t been especially hot which is helping some.  However - the two week forecast is still below normal for moisture.  Argentina is expecting isolated/scattered showers both this week and next which won’t do anything but slow down the drying rate a bit.  The overall outlook remains friendly to prices as crop conditions in southern Brazil and Argentina are not ideal.

Other than that – not much to discuss other than SA weather.  Corn and wheat just appear to be following soybeans higher for today.  Corn is still tackling the problem of tight old crop supply versus slow export demand which could continue to push the old crop / new crop inverse higher.  The technical traders will be watching closely to see if corn and soybeans can test/break last week’s highs.

Corn is up 4 to 5 cents
Soybeans are up 14 to 17 cents

Friday, January 18, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/18/2013

Morning Comments 1/18/2013

Friday, January 18, 2013, 8:44 am
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

Markets are quiet this morning as some of the traders will be taking a 4 day weekend. Informa will be updating their new crop acres today around 10:30. Their last estimate showed new crop corn acres at 99 million and new crop bean acres at 79 million. This estimate for both corn and beans are 1.8 million more acres than last year actuals. China’s 4th quarter GDP reported a 7.9% growth up .5% from the 3rd quarter showing some signs of economic improvement.

This week’s drought monitor showed 58.87% of the US is in some sort of drought, this is down 1.39% from last week and much of that is in the Eastern Corn Belt and Tennessee River Valley. South America is still dry with some weather models showing a blocking ridge causing the dry pattern may break late next week. If the dry pattern consists it may provide support to the corn market as they are in the midst of pollination these next couple of weeks.

Corn up 2
Beans down 5

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/17/2013

AM Comments 01/17/13

Thursday, January 17, 2013, 8:12 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

The USDA’s weekly export sales report was out at 7:30 this morning and it was friendly to soybeans and neutral/friendly to corn. The bean exports came in way above the range of trade guesses, almost double what they were expecting.  Corn exports came in within the range of guesses – but was still the largest weekly sales we have seen in 8 weeks.

Crush margins in China keep improving – some of their best margins in a while (years?).  They were a large percentage of the bean sales discussed above. 

Weather in South America doesn’t look a whole lot different than yesterday with Argentina being the ‘developing story’ as their forecast still looks dry. 

Corn is steady/mixed
Soybeans are 5 to 8 cents higher

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Iowa Power Farming Show Information

The Iowa Power Farming Show is coming to the Iowa Events Center (Des Moines) starting Tuesday, January 29th through Thursday, January 31st.  
FC will provide updates from the Iowa Power
Farming Show this year

The Show will be open during the following hours:

9-4 pm Tues., January 29, 2013
9-4 pm Wed., January 30, 2013
9-3 pm Thurs., January 31, 2013
FC will be sending several representatives to the show and updating our readers with news and photos throughout the duration of the show. The show will feature over 1,800 booths, spread over 7 acres of display space representing 29 states and 4 Canadian Provinces. 
General admission tickets can be purchased for $6/each while children under 14 years old can enter for free.
Over 7 acres of displays will fill the Iowa Events Center at the 2013
Iowa Power Farming Show this year.

FC Supports the Nutrient Management Strategy for Iowa

FC is working closely with the Agriculture Clean Water Alliance of Iowa (ACWA). Their mission is:
To reduce the nutrient loss - specifically nitrates from farm fields - and keep the nutrients from entering the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers and their tributaries 

Below is a news release from ACWA. 

Public comment response to nutrient management strategy proposed.
Please be advised that ACWA supports the nutrient management strategy that has been proposed for adoption in Iowa.  Since its formation, our organization has been actively monitoring the waters of the Raccoon and Des Moines River watersheds on a voluntary basis for over 12 years.  The knowledge gained from our initial monitoring work led to a variety of pilot initiatives and demonstration projects aimed at improving water quality.  There have been successes.  Key conclusions from this effort have proven that there is no one size fits all solution and that informed producers want to adopt those practices that can impact improved water quality.  We believe a science based approach for producers to implement the most effective practices specific to their farms can be the most powerful resource to achieve water quality improvement on a broad scale.

On Nov. 19, Governor Terry Branstad was joined by representatives of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa State University and unveiled a draft strategy emphasizing voluntary efforts to continue reductions in non-point source nutrient loading from farm fields.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Iowa Department of Natural Resources have put their full support behind this alternative approach that relies on voluntary efforts rather than top-down regulation. They will prioritize the top watersheds in Iowa and focus resources to make improvements in coordination and cooperation with landowners. Iowa State University has developed a technical assessment of the best management practices available to reduce nutrients, their effectiveness and implementation costs.
The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is the first, real-world and comprehensive assessment done of the effectiveness of farming conservation practices with respect to achieving nutrient reduction in surface water. But there are many outside of agriculture who believe it would be better to simply regulate water quality.

The Strategy would benefit from hearing real farmers

By receiving this correspondence we are seeking your input as farmers to share your experiences and successes with farming practices which improve soil and water stewardship.  Please provide your personalized comments by January 18 through the ISU website, it is very simple. The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy with supporting information and the place for sending comments online can be found at  You can also mail comments to: Nutrient Reduction Strategy, ANR Program Services, 2101 Agronomy Hall, Ames, Iowa 50011-1010.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has requested $2.4 million for an agricultural water quality initiative as part of the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship’s fiscal year 2014 budget request. The 2014 request would provide $575,000 for marketing and outreach, $1.68 million for water quality initiative cost share and $150,000 for staffing. It also proposes additional $4.4 million in funding for water quality in fiscal 2015.  Your support of these funding levels would be helpful.

Background information for making comments
The strategy includes 4 sections.  You can view each of these documents/sections at:
A background webinar can be found at:
The place for sending comments online can be found at

How to submit your comments
At the ISU Nutrient Strategy Web site for submitting comments you will be asked to provide your name and other contact info.  You will also need to check the pertinent box/section of the strategy that your comments are directed at, as follows:
- Executive Summary
- Policy Considerations and Strategy
- Nonpoint Source Nutrient Reduction Science Assessment
- Point Source Nutrient Reduction Technology Assessment

If you are preparing general comments we suggest you check Executive Summary and/or the Policy Considerations box.

Make your comments personal…Considerations:  
"As a farmer, I have an ethical obligation to make sure I’m doing everything I can do to protect our natural resources so I use a variety of conservation methods on my farm (list them)."

 "On our farm we use the following conservation practices (list soil, nutrients management, etc..)." 

"I have participated in the following programs (list State/Federal/Private conservation programs etc....)"

"My investment in soil and water conservation is XXXX$ /(year or total)."

"Over the last several years I have changed my management to address soil and water ..... and this has resulted in (......)".  

"Conservation is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach across the state. Strategies need to suit the soils, terrain, and crops grown. It makes sense to focus voluntary efforts as we have seen success in Iowa in addressing localized soil and water resource issues."

"The strategy is written to address both point and nonpoint source nutrient pollution which recognizes that we all live in a watershed and that we need to work together to realize continued progress on these issues." 

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/16/2013

AM Comments 01/16/13

Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 8:11 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are higher this morning with the main source of news coming out of South America. The market appears to be adding a little risk premium into the market as southern Brazil and Argentina still look dry for the next couple weeks.  Today this is directly effecting their corn crop - over half of Argentina’s corn will pollinate in the next couple weeks. 

Even with corn entering a critical stage in SA, most of the premium this morning is being added to soybean futures because if the pattern remains hot and dry for a month or so longer… soybean yields would be in jeopardy.  This is crucial because the market (read: Chinese imports) is planning to switch almost entirely from the U.S. to South America from March forward.  So concern over the soybean crop is warranted, even if it feels a little early to worry much about it.  A change in the forecast would be an obvious sell signal for traders.

Other than that – pretty quiet.  The wheat market is higher on continued rumblings of China buying more U.S. wheat.  Corn, soybeans and wheat all appear to be trending higher on the charts after these past few days – we will see how long this rally lasts with the only fundamental news coming from SA weather.

Corn is up 2 to 4 cents
Soybeans are up 10 to 13 cents

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/15/2013

AM Comments 01/15/13

Tuesday, January 15, 2013, 8:28 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!!

Our markets are higher again this morning on follow through buying from yesterday’s strong performance.  Yesterday’s rally was spurred by new soybean export sales reported – now overnight there were rumors of additional Chinese interest in soybeans which is likely the reason the sb market is higher.

The weather in South America – mainly Argentina – is causing some very slight concerns as the forecast for Argentina appears to stay dry for the next couple weeks.  This time of year is approaching “their August” so to speak, which is when bean yields can be made or lost.  Brazil’s weather on the other hand appears non-threatening. 

The funds were active participants in the grains yesterday, buying 15k contract of soybeans and 14k contracts of corn.  To keep pushing these markets higher we will need to continue to discover new bullish news. (The old saying is: ‘you have to feed a bull market every day’)

Corn is steady to 1c higher
Soybeans are 3 to 6 cents higher

FC College Recruiting in Minnesota

FC recently attended the South Central Career Fair in North Mankato, MN where FC representatives interacted with students interested in careers with FC.

It was a great event and we were very impressed with the caliber of students there.

If you are interested in learning about the available job openings at FC please visit their Careers page

Seth Holland from FC at a recruiting event in North
Mankato, Minnesota.

FC Producer Marketer Sessions

FC will be hosting a series of producer marketing sessions. The marketing sessions presented will account for the fact that grain production and marketing are moving targets. Because of this, grain marketing plans need to be flexible enough for the marketer to make necessary adjustments on an ongoing basis. This involves continuous collection and analysis of the information it takes to make informed decisions.  FC hopes to be part of that process with these marketing sessions.

Topics of discussion will include:
  • Old crop S&D
  • New crop S&D
  • Weather/drought outlook for South America
  • Other topics influencing marketing 
Here is the schedule

January 29
Rake - 10am @ The Branding Iron in Thompson
Britt -   2pm @ Britt Hospitality Room

February 5 
Bondurant - 2 pm @ Bondurant City Hall

February 7 
Bradford - 10 am @ FC Bradford Basement
Greene - 2 pm @ Greene American Legion

February 13
Lytton - 9 am @ Legion Hall
Odebolt - 1 pm @ Odebolt Community Building

February 19 
Earlham - 9 am @ Earlham Community Center

February 21 
Bayard - 9 am @ Bayard Community Building
Farnhamville - 1 pm @ FC Farnhamville Meeting Room

Monday, January 14, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/14/2013

Morning Comments 1/14/2013

Monday, January 14, 2013, 8:57 am
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

Markets are higher this morning on little news. The higher corn market can be contributed to follow through buying from Friday’s S&D report combined with the lack of farmer selling. Beans are higher on growing drought concerns for the southern part of Brazil. The US this past summer can be a good example of what one small timely rain can do with the bean crop and trade will be watching these areas closely for that timely rain to relieve concerns. The USDA announced yet another soybean sale to China of 120,000 tons for old crop. NOPA crush released this morning indicated 159.89 million bushels of soybeans were crushed in the month of December. Processors continue to crush at high rates as this was the 2nd highest December crush on record.

As previously noted the southern part of Brazil and northern part of Argentina are a growing concern as they continue to see below normal precipitation combined with above 90’s temperatures. The rest of Brazil has seen good amounts of rain which has delayed harvest but shouldn’t be much of a hindrance. I know it seems redundant but once again the Eastern Corn Belt continues to see rains while central US misses out (3 day precip map below). Last week’s drought monitor showed the eastern corn belt nearly fully recovered from the drought and expectations for tomorrow’s drought monitor is to confirm sub-soil moisture in the east has returned to normal levels.

Outside markets are slightly friendly with crude, gold, and equities all trading higher.

Corn up 13
Beans up 24

FC Coop Safety Tip Driving in Fog

Driving in fog can be dangerous. 
Driving in Fog

With the weather in the midwest fluctuating above and below freezing it is common for fog to be present, especially in the mornings. Most people don't realize how dangerous driving in fog can be but some of the largest and most deadly accidents in the United States (in California and Texas) were ultimately caused by fog and drivers not following safety protocols when driving in fog. 

If you can't postpone your trip until dense fog lifts -- usually by late morning or the afternoon -- follow these tips:
  • Drive with lights on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more.
  • Reduce your speed -- and watch your speedometer. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding.
  • Listen for traffic you cannot see. Turn off the radio and open your window and listen – you may hear something before you see it.
  • Use wipers and defrosters as necessary for maximum visibility.
  • Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.
  • Be patient. Do not pass other vehicles if visibility is low – you may not be able to see oncoming traffic.
  • Do not stop on heavily traveled roads. If your car stalls or becomes disabled, turn your vehicle's lights off, and take your foot off of the brake pedal. People tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog. Move away from the vehicle to avoid injury.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/11/2013

Morning Comments 1/11/2013

Friday, January 11, 2013, 8:33 am
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

With the USDA S&D and stocks report due out this morning at 11 the markets have been quiet as traders sit around talking about the extra sleep they get now that the report is released 3 ½ hours later than last year. China announced a new import quota for corn of 7.2 MMT which 40% of that will be private trade. It seems markets were relatively active on trading some wheat around the world yesterday South Korea, Taiwan, Israel, and Ethiopia bought optional-origin wheat. Israel also purchased some optional-origin corn. USDA announced Taiwan was a purchaser of 12K MT of US soybeans and China 120K MT of US beans.

The eastern corn belt has found some more precipitation (indicated by the below map) which has pretty well taken soil moisture levels back to normal. The central US continues to miss the rain/snow causing some concern for the wheat crop. South American weather is still favorable for producing a record crop.

Outside markets are mixed with the dollar making new lows and said to test the December low (friendly commodities) while crude trades lower (bearish).

Trade’s Report Estimates:

                                                Yield      Acres     Production          Ending Stocks

Corn Dec                              122.3     87.7        10.725                   .647
Corn Estimate                    122.57   86.99     10.665                   .667
Change                                 +.27       -.71        -.06                        +.02
Beans Dec                           39.3        75.7        2.971                     .130
Bean Estimate                   39.55     75.55     2.998                     .130
Change                                 +.25       -.15        +.027                     +-0

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 1/10/2013

AM Comments 01/10/13

Thursday, January 10, 2013, 8:21 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

It is expected (once again) to be another quiet day ahead of tomorrow’s 11am S&D report.  The weekly export sales report was out this morning and is offering little direction.  Soybean exports for last week came out just as the market expected.  We didn’t expect much for corn exports and the report was still disappointing – only 500k bushels net were sold for export last week.  Corn exports are all but shut off.

Now… after the export sales report was released the USDA announced a new sale of soybean exports.  180kmt to China, 281kmt to unknown and 126kmt of optional origin new crop 13 beans sold to China.  This could/should keep soybeans afloat today.

As for the outside markets, the dollar is starting to slow down a touch, trading lower this morning which could be a tad supportive to our markets.  We are getting into crunch time for South American weather – northern Brazil looks to have moisture coming over the next couple weeks but southern Brazil and Argentina look to be drier.  This isn’t a major story yet but any signs of less than ideal weather will be watched closely.

Corn is steady to up 1 cents
Soybeans are up 2 to 3 cents