9/30/16 Grain Market Update

Here are grain market comments by Kyle McCarthy:

Friday morning the USDA’s quarterly stocks report was released, with a few surprises affecting the market. Corn and soybeans both came in under the average trade estimates, while wheat came in towards the high end of the trade estimate. The markets saw corn rally 12 cents after the report and close up 7 for the day. Wheat was down again for the week, and is still struggling to break through some resistance levels as it’s competing with corn in the feed market and not getting the market share that was anticipated.

U.S. September 1 Stocks Report (billions of bushels)
  USDA Sep 1 2016 Avg Trade Est Range of Trade Est USDA June 1 2016 USDA Sep 1 2015
Corn 1.738 1.754 1.665-1.862 4.722 1.731
Soybeans 0.197 0.201 0.180-0.256 0.870 0.191
Wheat 2.527 2.397 2.115-2.558 0.981 2.097

Exports continue to be a driving force in the markets, as everywhere has seen big yields. As you can see in the chart below; corn, soybeans, and wheat are all ahead of last year’s pace and export sales are good for the marketing year.  But, the carryout is still large and wheat especially needs to find a way to export a much larger number than the USDA’s estimate to help ease the excess in supply.

Export Sales Recap (thousand tonnes)
  This Week Last Week Current Market YTD Previous Market YTD USDA Est.
Corn 575 921.9 18,543 10,514 55,247
Soybeans 1,629.9 875.7 26,113 20,600 54,024
Wheat 570.8 561 14,040 11,056 25,855

The crop report numbers from Monday were still showing 74% G/E corn and 73% G/E soybean ratings for this week. Those numbers are unchanged from last week and still ahead of 54% averages for both, still pointing to a large crop. Yields have been good so far in the numbers we’ve seen, but probably not going to hit the USDA estimate on the corn side. As the harvest keeps progressing we’ll see the market respond to the yields. As always, don’t hesitate to give us a call, 308-487-3325, with any marketing questions. For those with bushels in storage call for different marketing strategies to lower those costs and still give you a chance to price those bushels at a later date, no need to let storage take the low prices lower.

Have a great week!


Crop Talk – How much N can be applied with wheat seed?

Hello all!

I had a question today about how much seed can safely be applied with wheat seed. I showed him this chart and he recommended I share it with everyone, so here we are.


I will give a quick explanation on how to read the chart.

  1. On the left side, find your drill type.
  2. Just to the right of drill type, find your seed spread, which would be the width of the planted area.
  3. At the top, select the row spacing your drill is designed to operate.
  4. Find where the row and column cross, and that will show you a range of lbs of N that can be applied.

Here are a couple examples.

  • Hoe drill with a 3 inch seed spread with 7.5 inch planter spacing would allow you to apply 44-58 lbs of N per acre with the seed.
  • Air seeder drill with a 6 inch seed spread with 10 inch planter spacing would allow you to apply 51-55 lbs of N per acre with the seed.

I would recommend staying on the lower side of those recommendations, just to make sure there aren’t any germination or root pruning issues.

That’s all I have for today. As usual, if you have any questions, contact your local Farmer’s Coop agronomist.

Make it a great week!

Crop Talk – Wheat Fertility


Hello all!

I am hearing a lot of talk around the country about wheat and where money could be saved this fall. A lot of attention is centered on phosphorous. Many people are asking if phosphorous would be a good place to save money.

To answer simply – no. I do not dispute that you could probably get away with no phosphorous for a year or so, but what will eventually happen is your soil levels will drop drastically and it will adversely affect yield.

Our soils are typically between 10-25 ppm on phosphorous. Now consider this – if your ppm drops even 1 point, it takes 18lbs of actual P to raise it back up. At current prices, that would cost somewhere around $9.00 per acre ON TOP OF what your wheat crop would need. The long-term cost isn’t worth the short-term return.

Well what about delaying the application until the spring if prices go up? This becomes an agronomic issue more than economic. Phosphorus is an immobile nutrient, meaning the root has to grow into it and make contact to take it up. The opposite would be nitrogen. Nitrogen moves through the soil in water. When the plant takes in water, nitrogen comes in with it.

So agronomically, a topdress application of phosphorus would be of no benefit to the current crop, because the roots would be below to phosphorous applied on the surface of the soil.

Farmer’s Coop has been proudly selling MicroEssentials SZ for 3 years. For those of you that don’t know about it, MESZ is a homogeneous blend of 12-40-0-10s-1zn. The sulfur is from two sources – ammonium sulfate for immediate availability and elemental sulfur for season-long availability. The zinc is evenly spread across the field to maximize the availability to every plant.

The video below illustrates the importance of evenly distributed fertilizer:

We also strive to provide our growers will clean, high quality fertilizer. A plugged up drill costs time and money.

If you have questions about anything discussed above, please call your local Farmer’s Coop agronomist.

Make it a great week!

Crop Talk – Grow Smart Update

Hail has knocked out the Mirage Flats Grow Smart plot. 

Prior to the storm last week, this plot was looking very good. We were prepping to apply Headline AMP and Max-IN Copper to try to bump our yields and improve the standability going into harvest. 

The plot in Hemingford is still looking very good if anyone is interested in taking a look. You are more than welcome to do a walk through with me or any agronomists at Farmer’s Coop. 

Make it a great week!

Crop Talk – Protecting yield with fungicides


Hello all!

So far this year, the corn and dry bean crops are looking great, so today I wanted to talk about protecting yield with fungicides.

We are currently in a high yield environment, very similar to 2012. We are receiving lots of heat units and the crops have responded accordingly. I believe this would be a great year to look at a fungicide at tassel in corn and the beginning of flowering in dry beans. Both applications have a great track record of improving yields at harvest.

The fungicide I recommend on corn is Headline AMP. There are many trials that show very consistent yield results, along with improved standability, on corn treated around tassel time. The key point here is to treat prior to pollination or immediately after pollination. Spraying while the plants are actively pollinating can result in poor pollination, leading to yield loss.

In dry beans, I recommend using Priaxor at the beginning of flowering. Dry beans are particularly weak against diseases and the application of a fungicide is very beneficial, eliminating stress and increasing overall plant health which will lead to increased yields. Consider pairing a foliar product, such as Max-IN Copper, for better results.

Speak with your local Farmer’s Coop agronomist for more info.

Make it a great week!


Crop Talk – Protein in wheat

It is pretty well-known that the protein in the dryland wheat this summer hasn’t been that great. We have had numerous discussions amongst ourselves about it and I thought it might be a good topic this week to discuss.


I think the low protein comes down to about 3  factors:

  1. Fertility – Nitrogen and sulfur are the most important factors in protein content. It really isn’t enough to just apply nitrogen to achieve a certain yield goal. We should be factoring in our desired protein content. But if the plant can’t utilize the nitrogen, what is the point? That is where sulfur comes in. Without adequate sulfur, plants can’t use nitrogen efficiently. Every application of nitrogen should contain some sulfur.
  2. Stripe Rust – This summer we had the worst outbreak of stripe rust that we have seen in a very long time. While we typically associate rust with yield loss, I don’t think we can ignore it as a possible factor. Any stress put on the plant will adversely affect performance, so why should protein content be any different? It is no coincidence that the irrigated wheat is testing higher for protein. The majority were sprayed with a fungicide at the first sign of rust.
  3. Freeze damage – It is hard for me to point at this one as a definite factor. The primary reason is there were many fields that never had any signs of damage, yet the protein content has been consistently poor on the dryland acres. However, like stripe rust, it can’t be ignored as a potential factor.

Instead of focusing on just one, I would say it was likely a combination of two or three of the above factors.

If you would like to discuss plans for next year, be sure to contact your local agronomist at Farmer’s Coop.

Make it a great week!

Upcoming Event: Answer Plot Session II

Quick reminder: On Friday, July 22nd, the 2nd session of WinField’s Answer Plot will be held 3 miles south of Gering, starting at 9 AM.

They will be covering a wide range of topics including wheat seed treatments, tissue sampling, and corn hybrids, including Dekalb and Croplan. If you have never attended before, there is a wealth of information to be gained. Also of note, the Gering plot is the largest corn research plot EVER planted in the NE, WY, KS, CO, & MS area.

Below is a brief overview of the Answer Plot goal:

If you are interested in attending, contact your local Farmer’s Coop agronomist for more details. If distance is an issue, I’m sure you could hitch a ride with one of us.


Crop Talk – Weed control following wheat

Hello all!

Wheat harvest has officially begun and that means it is time to start thinking about fallow spray again. There are lots of weeds under the canopy that will start to rapidly grow as soon the wheat is harvested. A good rule of thumb will be to wait about a week or so following harvest before spraying. Doing so will allow the weeds to regrow if they are clipped off by the combine.

Here are some popular picks:
2,4-D LV6 – I think we are all familiar with 2,4-D at this point. It is still a go-to option on fallow acres because of price point. It will get the job done under most circumstances, but don’t count on it against kochia, that’s where my next pick fits…

Distinct – I like to think of Distinct as dicamba on steroids. It has an additional active ingredient (diflufenzopyr) that drastically increases the knockdown power of the dicamba. For those of you familiar with Status, you know how effectively it works on kochia, lambsquarter, etc. Distinct is Status without the safener.

Atrazine – I like to add atrazine on dryland acres that will be fallow for the upcoming year or irrigated acres that will be corn. The goal is to extend the weed control to potentially eliminate an extra post application later in the year. Also – I can’t stress this enough – resistant issues are a lot less likely to creep up with pre-emerge herbicides.

All of the above options should be tank-mixed with RoundUp.

As usual, if you have any questions about these chemicals, or other available options, call your local Farmer’s Coop agronomist!

Make it a great week!