MARKET COMMENTS FROM GORDY ELLIOTT — There is already a weather market as last week’s rains improved the wheat outlook and crushed the wheat futures market. Row crops followed the wheat market lower. We still have drought conditions in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas. However, we cannot kill a corn and bean crop with dry conditions until it is planted. The old grain adage is “Plant in Dust, Bins will Bust.” The strength of the U.S. dollar is an even more dominate market feature. All major global commodities are priced in terms of U.S. dollar. Therefore a high priced dollar makes U.S. grown commodities very expensive compared to other global productions locations. For instant, the Chinese have raided the Ukrainian granaries. The Chinese yuan is locked into the U.S. dollar. Therefore global commodities are cheaper for the Chinese. On the opposite side, U.S. and Chinese factories have a more difficult time competing in the global markets. The U.S. dollar strength may slow the U.S. economy down while cheaper energy certainly supports the U.S. economy. Some analysts believe the dollar has rallied too high too fast. Any break in the dollar would benefit exports. The grain market outlook is depressing. Key acreage and stocks reports were released on March 31 and last week’s USDA supply and demand was released. We are situated to add to the carry out for all major grains. This adds to an already burdensome carry out and is depressing grain prices. Only less production will assist prices. Any drought stricken regions will help this process. If rains are timely to force record type production, we can really press this market lower. Even the funds are short grain market positions, which is very rare ahead of the growing season. This can be a positive. Basis appears to get firmer and firmer. Livestock producers have a similar story as meats and dairy products depend on exports. A strong dollar curtails exports. Beef markets are trying to stand alone, but will slowly feel pressure. Turkey production is a concern with bird flu (H5N2 Avian Influenza) causing disease problems similar to hog production issues last year. Agronomy products should step lower, following the grain markets lower. For example, Canadian producers can afford to drop potash prices as the Canadian dollar is substantially cheaper today. Cheap natural gas will drop nitrogen costs as the U.S. rebuilds its nitrogen production plants. Farmers cannot afford these prices and the industry will need to adjust. We see indications of this today as potash application rates have dropped. My final comments relate to the energy market. The rapid increase in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production is a major geographic shift in global power. OPEC is struggling. Russia is on its knees. U.S and Canadian producers have been comfortable with $80 to $110 oil. Today’s $50 oil is below many break evens and has shuttered new oil rig potential. And where will we put all the oil? Just like farming, oil producers that must learn how to cope with lower break-even levels. We may rally oil and natural gas eventually, but I doubt we will see $100 oil soon. New oil exploration methods, fracking, and other new energy technology is with us to stay and will continue to expand globally, keeping prices low.
Bring your best friend and join us for a great morning in beautiful bluff country.
5K run 1 mile family run 1-2 mile walk
Dog training demonstration by WhiteWater Retrievers after the race. Proceeds go to the Winona Area Humane Society. Register by April 22 to ensure your t-shirt is the correct size.
IMPROVED AGRONOMY FACILITY
The updated agronomy facility in Rushford is serving farmers' needs, even as construction is being completed on the building. The new receiving and blending system is operating, increasing capacity and speeding up receiving, blending, and shipping at this facility. Features of the Rushford agronomy facility upgrade include:
• Two 30-ton overhead load out bins replace the old tower • A ten-ton vertical blender for backup blending and specialty blends • A new declining weight blender will run up to four tons per minute; the old tower could only accommodate one ton per minute • The receiving system speed has increased from 40 tons per hour to 120 tons per hour • An automated blender system will improve speed and accuracy. The main control box and system operator’s station are next to the agronomy office and can be operated by one person.
Farmers Co-op's management and board gives special thanks to the FCE agronomy team for all the extra work they did to help with this project. Contractors involved in the remodel are: Meyerhofer Steel & Construction - metal work, Norman’s Electric Service - electrical and automation, Rick Olson Construction - building, R&R Construction - cement work, Modern Concrete - concrete work, and Layco by Yargus - blending system.
FCE is also addressing major changes to the FCE Spring Grove agronomy facility.
JUST IN TIME FOR SPRING CHICKS
50¢ off Purina® and Home Grown® poultry starters and growers thru April 30
Order your Hoover Hatchery chicks from our feed departments in Rushford, Houston and Caledonia.
HELP US CONSERVE BEES, PROTECT SENSITIVE AREAS Conserving bees and other sensitive species and foliage requires effort from everyone. We need your help identifying areas that might be sensitive to pesticide or fertilizer spraying. If you know of sensitive areas near farm fields, like bee hives, organic gardens, or organic farms please call your closest Farmers Co-op agronomy office with the precise location. We would also like to be notified when events are scheduled near farm fields. We will do our best to avoid application when a funeral or festival is being held next to a field. Click to read more...
MEET YOUR NEW DAIRY NUTRITIONIST Mike Stemper joined the FCE feed team in March and works with dairy farmers in southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa. Mike's experience and education helps him identify strengths of operations to overcome struggles and improve production. Mike's passion for the dairy industry comes through in his work assisting dairy farmers with their nutrition needs, monitoring changes in feed, forages and cattle and balancing rations to help make healthy, profitable cows. He encourages everyone to promote the dairy industry with the most nutritious natural product - milk!
MEET YOUR NEWEST AGRONOMIST Roy Zellmer joined the FCE agronomy team in February and works out of Rushford and servew FCE's southeastern Minnesota customers. With an agribusiness degree from Western Technical College in LaCrosse and 10 years of on-farm and retail experience, he is well prepared to help farmers maximize every acre. Roy excels at using industry standards, new technologies, a farm's past history and his personal experience to make seed, nutrient, and crop recommendations. Contact Roy at 608-393-4120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corn and soybeans have been hit by bearish news from three directions
in 2015, but are not out yet.
See DTN Ag News. BTodd's Take...
USDA's weekly Crop Progress and condition reports were neutral to
bullish for corn, neutral for soybeans and winter wheat, and bearish for spring
wheat, according to DTN Analyst Todd Hultman.
See DTN Ag News. BUSDA Weekly Crop Progress...
Positive tests of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza continue to
mount. As the virus spreads, it looks to challenge the most severe outbreak in
history: 17 million birds lost in an outbreak in 1983.
See DTN Ag News. BIA Announces More H5N2 Cases...
Spring planting delays and the possibility of acres switching from
one crop to another kept fertilizer prices flat to lower in April.
See . FDTN Fertilizer Outlook...
An Environmental Working Group representative told a group of
agriculture journalists Monday that it is no longer a matter of if, but when,
farmers will face regulation to reduce nutrient runoff.
See DTN Ag News. BDivide Over Runoff Rules...