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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FC Monday Morning Alert with Todd Claussen Video 3, NH3 and Corn Planting

In this installment Todd discusses the issues surrounding NH3 application close to planting time.

FC Monday Morning Alert with Todd Claussen Video 2, Planting depth

In this installment, Todd discusses planting depth and tillage.

FC Monday Morning Alert - Videos from the Field -Video 1 - YouTube

In this issue of Monday Morning Alert, Todd Claussen, FC Agronomy Technical Director discusses soil conditions, temperature, and seed selection for the conditions.

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 4/30/2013

AM Comments 04/30/13

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 8:10 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Corn looks to start the day mixed – after trading up the limit (40c) yesterday.  The USDA’s planting progress report that was out confirmed the obvious (that we are well behind the average for this time of year) which should keep corn supported in the short term.
The nice weather we have had lately is about to go away, slamming the planting window shut. A system will move into the Midwest tonight and hang out through the end of the week dropping 1-3” on a large percentage of the belt.  Then early next week a small system sets in before the 11-15 day forecasts start to turn warmer and drier.  It feels like the market is turning its eyes to next week, waiting to see if this next system grows or shrinks…
For the three states Indiana, Illinois and Iowa – March ranked as the 10th coldest and April will be the 1st or 2nd wettest in history!  If we have learned anything over time it is that weather can change fast (example: Summer of 2012 drought followed by Spring of 2013 wet weather planting delays). 
Opening Calls
Corn steady to 2 cents higher
Soybeans 4 to 6 cents higher

Monday, April 29, 2013

FC Morning Market Commentary for April 29, 2013

Our markets are mixed to higher, led by corn.  The big input in corn is weather.  The 6-10 day forecasts look wetter than they did last week with some big rains coming across the corn belt.  This obviously doesn’t help planting progress and could eventually move acres away from corn.  The USDA will release their next planting progress report later this afternoon.

Soybeans are somewhat of an inverse to corn, because if corn acres have the potential to be reduced due to planting delays – soybean acres could rise.  Japan is out of the market today due to a holiday (Showa Day) and China is also closed for their Labor Day holiday - which could keep soybeans choppy due to lighter volume. 

The outside markets are a friendly input… crude is up, the $US is weaker and the DOW is higher. This should help support things a bit and I wouldn’t be surprised to see soybeans creep back to trade higher at some point.

Opening Calls
Corn 10 to 13 cents higher
Soybeans steady to 2 cents lower

Have a great day!

Dustin Weiner

Friday, April 26, 2013

Trailer Cargo Safety Tips

Trailer Cargo Tie-down Safety

Hauling cargo of different sizes and weights is common practice in agriculture whether the load is being hauled down the road or across the state. While hauling your tractor, tile, or pallet of seed, the driver is responsible for making sure the load is properly secured. One very common question is how many tie downs are needed to secure the cargo? Guidelines are below:

One tie-down for cargo:
      Shorter than 5 feet and less than 1,100 pounds in weight. 

Two tie-downs for cargo:
      5 feet or less in length and more than 1,100 pounds in weight.
      Greater than 5 feet but less than 10 feet. 

Four tie-downs (at least) for cargo:
      Weighing over 10,000 pounds

Additional tie-downs:
For any cargo 10 feet or greater, additional tie-downs are needed. Add 1 tie-down for every 10 feet of length. For example, a 20-foot long culvert tube would need to be secured with at least two tie-downs but a 21-foot long culvert tube would need at least three tie-downs.

Trailer Cargo Pre-Trip Inspection
Hauling cargo of different sizes and weights is common practice in agriculture whether the load is being hauled down the road or across the state. Prior to hauling with a trailer, it is essential to conduct a pre-trip inspection. Before each use of a trailer, take time to inspect:
·      Trailer tire pressure.
·      Re-torque lug nuts.
·      Trailer hitch and locking mechanism.
·      Electrical and brake system. Inspect all lights and turn signals for damage and function.
·      Chains and straps for working load limit (WLL) rating, cracks, and damage. If no WLL rating is visible, assume the lowest WLL rating. If strap is ripped or red line jeopardized, discontinue its use.
Trailer floor. Remove any excess dirt, rocks, mud, etc., from the trailer and cargo. Flying debris could create a hazard when transporting the cargo down the road.

Conducting this quick inspection helps ensure the safety of the driver, cargo and others on the road.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

2013 Iowa FFA Leadership Conference

South Central Calhoun FFA

The 85th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference was held on April 22nd and 23rd in Ames, Iowa. 

Approximately 5,000 student FFA members, advisers, parents, sponsors, and guests attended the conference to celebrate the achievements of FFA across the state of Iowa during the year. 

FC sponsored the Emerging Agriculture Proficiency Award and had a booth at the Career Show.

We support FFA throughout the year and throughout the state and it was great to meet so many wonderful FFA members. We look forward to our continued support of this organization. 

Related story: FC Supports Local FFA Chapters in Iowa

Together we can!
Mason Bulman (Gilbert FFA)
Justin Ruiz Pittman, Christian Wolf (Newton FFA)
Chad Knoblock (West Lyon FFA)
Trey La Gois (Harrison County FFA)

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 4/25/2013

AM Comments 04/25/13

Thursday, April 25, 2013, 8:08 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
The corn and soybean futures were both higher overnight – as the weather forecasts are anything but certain.  The latest 6-10 and 8-14 day maps look a little more active than previously forecasted.  Weather markets are touchy – and with the large amounts of money flowing in and out of commodities these days, changes in weather are as volatile to price as ever.  Unfortunately, we could be in a weather market from now till harvest…
The USDA released the weekly export sales report at 7:30 this morning and it looks bearish soybeans and somewhat neutral to corn.  The soybean number came out as a net negative for old crop sales – reflecting cancellations made or sales being rolled to new crop. This has weakened spreads a bit but so far the market is holding onto its gains from the night session.
Some of the gains overnight can be credited to support from the outside markets.  The $US is getting whacked, trading at the lowest level this week – helping gold, crude oil and most other commodities trade higher.  The DOW is also called 50 pts higher this morning.
Opening Calls:
Corn 2 to 4 cents higher
Soybeans 6 to 10 cents higher

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Comments for 4/24/2013

AM Comments 04/24/13

Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 8:05 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
The markets were quiet overnight, trading both sides of yesterday close before ending a touch higher at the 7:45 am pause in the markets.  The small strength we are seeing in the futures is coming from the cash markets as domestic processors (of both corn and soybeans) struggle to source bushels from the producer.  This has strengthened basis and spreads and gives the front end of the market a little life. 
The wheat market could end up being a bullish influence to corn today as there were some cold cold temps (sub 20 degrees in spots) across wheat country early this morning.
Drier warmer air will finally slip into the corn belt this weekend with temps turning to above normal with a little wind and plenty of sunshine.  Both weather models currently agree that the next sizable rain event won’t start to hit the Western Corn Belt until next Thursday.  That system will be interesting to watch as we move forward…
Opening Calls
Corn steady to 2 cents higher
Soybeans 2 cents lower to 2 cents higher

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday Morning Alert Video

April 22, 2013

Today's Monday Morning Alert video from Farmers Cooperative Company (Ames, Iowa).

In this video Todd Claussen discusses issues regarding changing seed maturity due to the recent weather delays. Enjoy!

FC Morning Market Commentary for April 23, 2013

Good morning!

Our markets continue to slip thanks to pressure from the drier/warmer extended weather forecasts.  The 6-10 day forecast from NOAA is calling for below normal precip and temps while the 11-15 day forecast is showing above normal temps and normal precip. 

The USDA released its weekly planting progress yesterday, showing US corn at 4% planted versus 16% on average.  The market basically ignored that slightly bullish report last night – instead trading on ideas that a planting window will be opening up soon.

In outside markets today, the $US is rallying which is pressuring most commodities.  China’s PMI (their main economic indicator) came out well below trade expectations which is causing some concern as traders recalibrate their growth projections lower for the world’s second largest economy. 

Opening Calls
Corn 3 to 6 cents lower
Soybeans mixed, 2 cents lower to 2 cents higher

Have a great day!

Dustin Weiner

Monday, April 22, 2013

FC Morning Grain Market Commentary for 4/22/2013

AM Comments 04/22/13

Monday, April 22, 2013, 7:47 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our markets are all lower this morning on very little news – the weather forecasts look a little better than they did last week, which is where most of the bearishness is coming from.  Weather in the short term still looks a little cool and wet but with warmer, drier temps coming in late this week along with an 11-16 day forecast that also looks to be more seasonal – the markets are taking a breather.
Other than that?  It is quiet.  We are firmly entrenched in a weather market, and will likely stay there for a couple months! J  If these warmer, drier forecasts come to fruition – there is likely additional downside risk (especially in corn) as the planters roll.
Opening Calls
Corn 7 to 10 cents lower
Soybeans 7 to 10 cents lower

Friday, April 19, 2013

FC Sponsors training for Grain Rescue Tubes

On April 4th 2013, FC donated grain rescue tubes and sponsored training for the Lake City and Yetter Fire departments at its Yetter, Iowa location.  Over 30 firefighters and FC employees were in attendance for this training. Training was conducted by Dale Ekdahl, founder of Out State Data Company, a manufacturer of grain rescue tubes based out of Elbow Lake Minnesota on how to effectively conduct a grain rescue with the rescue tubes that were provided. Members of the fire departments took turns being engulfed in the grain and using the tubes to rescue the victim. Overall all attendees really enjoyed the training and learned a lot about grain rescue. - Ahad Mujeeb; Safety Coordinator, Regions 1,2, and 3, Farmers Cooperative Company.

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 4/19/2013

AM Comments 04/19/13

Friday, April 19, 2013, 8:11 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our markets were quiet last night, trading on both sides of yesterday’s close.  Some of the weakness in corn yesterday could be attributed to some extended weather forecasts…  The 6-10 day and 8-14 day precipitation maps have turned to below normal for the Midwest (can you say… planting window?)  I attached the maps below.  FWIW – the 6-10 day temp maps still look a little cool while the 8-14 day temp maps show it warming up to a more normal temperature.
Other than that – it should be relatively quiet today.  Next Monday afternoon there will be another planting progress report out from the USDA.  The trade is expecting the US to come in at 6-8% planted (we are 19% planted on average at this time of year).  Any numbers above or below 6-8% and the market will adjust Monday night.
Opening Calls
Corn 1 to 3 cents higher
Soybeans steady to 2 cents lower
3-Day Rainfall History:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

FC Morning Market Commentary for April 18, 2013

Good morning! 

The soybean market was strong overnight, with nearby months trading into double digit gains. Soybeans are gaining strength from the same story as yesterday – led by the cash markets. Soybean meal basis is firming with traders nervous about soybean crush plants shutting down in the near future as bean supplies dwindle. 

The lineup of vessels trying to pull meal out of Argentina is growing and forcing buyers to think about buying from the U.S. instead. This has improved domestic crush margins, rallying soybean futures and basis. The new drought monitor maps are out (see below). 

 The rains have helped considerably and it is worth noting that these maps are as of Tuesday – meaning they don’t reflect the heavy rains we have seen over the past 48 hours, those will show up on next week’s maps.

I also put a comparison map on here, showing the state of Iowa Tuesday versus the first of the year. It is

starting to feel like once this crop is in the ground, the potential for above trend line yields is definitely there. Currently the last week of April and first week of May have a good chance to be above normal temps and below normal precip – meaning a planting window could open. If this stays in the forecast, profit taking could show up, especially in Dec corn. 

It could be an interesting day in Chicago today with localized flooding affecting roads and trains into downtown – won’t affect our markets much but there will be traders unable to make it to work. These heavy rains have also shut down a couple lock & dams on the Mississippi river, due to high water levels. Opening Calls Corn mixed, 1c lower to 1c higher Soybeans 7 to 10 cents higher 

Have a great day! @fccoopgrain
Dustin Weiner

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Afternoon Grain Market Commentary for 4/16/2013

Afternoon Comments 4/16/2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 3:41 pm
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

The old “turn around Tuesday” made an appearance today as corn and beans both put in a productive performance. Corn closed 16 cents higher on very little new news. Today’s action can be contributed to outside markets settling down after yesterday’s abysmal performance. The recent weather patterns may be providing some support as corn planting came in a 2% complete (the slowest pace since ’93) vs 7% on average. The 2% planted matches 1993, 2008, and 2009 which all but 1993 seeing above trendline yields (1993 of course is known for floods).
Soybeans also closed 16 cents higher as  pressure from outside markets was alleviated. Old crop prices have rallied 51 cents over the past week as old crop ending stocks remain tight and with processor margins not backing off there is a feeling demand still needs rationing. If planting delays persist new crop beans may see some pressure as trade will focus on corn acres turning to beans.
The 5 day QPF shows the Midwest receiving 1-4.5” of rain this week. Temperatures for central Iowa are to remain below normal until the end of the month (temperature graph below) with highs in the 40’s later this week.

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 4/16/2013

AM Comments 04/16/13

Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 8:19 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!
Our markets are bouncing back higher this morning – possibly gaining strength from yesterday afternoon’s planting progress report which came in at 2% planted across the U.S. (it was expected to be 5-7%).
Gold futures have taken a beating the last couple days (down $140 yesterday and down $63 on Friday), but are rebounding a bit this morning – up $30.  The hope is that grains will not run into additional selling as traders seek ways to pay margin calls from these losses. 
As you can hear from your local news programs – the Midwest forecast is wet this week.  The extended forecasts for the Midwest are mixed with the American model calling for a dry week next week while the EU model shows it as wet. 
Opening Calls
Corn steady to 2 cents higher
Soybeans 8 to 12 cents higher

Monday, April 15, 2013

FC Monday Morning Video Alert

Farmers Cooperative Company's weekly Monday Morning Alert Video with Todd Claussen

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 4/15/2013

4-15-13 AM Comments

Monday, April 15, 2013, 7:44 am
Submitted by: Jon Setterdahl

Happy Tax Day to Everyone!
Markets are all lower due to longer range forecasts that look drier (although this week looks wet) and more importantly, outside markets that are all negative. Crude oil, metals, and equities all lower in early trade. Chinese GPD also lower than expected.
Western corn belt feeling much better about soil moisture with good rainfall the last 10 days. Although the rain has been a good thing, we do need a window to get corn in the ground. Planting progress will be out this afternoon and will be minimal, especially if compared directly to the rapid pace of last year.
Corn/Soy both down 10-12 cents in early trade.

Friday, April 12, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 4/12/2013

Morning Comments 4/12/2013

Friday, April 12, 2013, 8:17 am
Submitted by: Kyle Lehman

Markets are higher this morning led by wheat. The USDA finally confirmed rumors of China purchasing US origin wheat which has provided some support to the corn market. Despite negative outside markets, commodities have managed to rally overnight on seemingly all weather news. Not only has the cold and wet weather slowed planting efforts here in the US but China is seeing similar conditions with neither of our forecasts expecting conditions to improve in the next 10 days. Monday will be the first US corn planting estimates which is expected to come in near the average of 5% but well behind last year’s record pace of 17%. Weather models suggest another weather event similar to this weeks to occur the first part of next week with snow expected in the Northern Plains and sub-freezing temperatures to reach as far south as Oklahoma.

Argentine bean harvest is estimated to be 24% complete as the weather has allowed harvest to progress without any delays. Talk of demand spurring up out of Europe has provided the soybean market a little support this morning. Brazil announced they will bump their biodiesel blend up to 10% soy oil from the current rate of 7% using an additional 300k MT.

Outside markets are taking a beating this morning on unfriendly economic data. Currently crude is down $2.01, metals down, equities down, and the dollar higher.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 4/11/2013

AM Comments 04/11/13

Thursday, April 11, 2013, 8:20 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

The weekly export sales report was out this morning – soybean exports came in above estimates for old crop sales, below estimates for new crop. Corn estimates fell with the range of guesses, so overall it is pretty neutral. 

The markets are being led higher by tighter spreads (nearby months stronger than deferred months).  This, along with a strong basis - reflects a lack of farmer selling.

The 10 day forecast is still showing an active weather pattern – great for soil moisture and potential crop size but not so great for timely planting.  The long term forecasts do show temps warming back up into the last week of April.  Once this crop is in the ground, one can expect old and new crop prices to drop thanks to the added soil moisture and friendly long term weather models.

Opening Calls
Corn steady to 5 cents higher
Soybeans 2 cents lower to 2 cents higher

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 4/10/2013

AM Comments 04/10/13

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 8:17 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

The USDA will be giving us their April S&D report at 11am this morning.  The market will likely be chopping around waiting for that for the next couple hours.  The line item in that report that traders will be watching closely is the feed usage number.  The quarterly stocks number from a couple weeks ago indicated feed usage in the second quarter was 30% below last year’s pace… will the USDA also reflect that conservative rate?  We will be a lot smarter after 11am.  If the report is friendly, it may give farmers an opportunity to sell old and new crop corn/soybeans as “normal weather” could still be bearish long term to prices…

EAI will release their weekly Ethanol production and stocks numbers today as well.  Traders are expecting ethanol production to increase, with stocks decreasing.  Ethanol margins have had four straight weeks with positive margins – some of the best margins since 2011. This helps support the thought that production will start to ramp up.

Opening calls
Corn steady to 1c higher
Soybeans steady to 1c lower

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A.M. Grain Market Commentary for 4/9/2013

AM Comments 04/09/13

Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 7:54 am
Submitted by: Dustin Weiner

Good morning!

Our markets are steady/mixed this morning with corn a touch higher and soybeans a touch lower.  The USDA’s monthly S&D report is out tomorrow morning at 11am, which could/should keep our markets steady/choppy today.  Below are the trade estimates for ending stocks (aka carryout) for the 12/13 crop year on tomorrow’s report:
·         Corn
o   812mb (was 632mb in the March S&D)
·         Soybeans
o   136mb (was 125mb in the March S&D)

Anything too far above or below those numbers will cause a reaction in price. 

Other than that, it looks to be a quiet day.  The extended weather forecasts look a little wetter than they did yesterday, both the 6-10 day and the 8-14 day outlooks show ‘normal temps’ and ‘above normal precip’ for most of the corn belt.

Opening Calls (8:30am open):
Corn steady to 3 cents higher
Soybeans steady to 3 cents lower