Local Grains

Last Updated Dec 10, 2018 8:45 AM*
Corn Old Crop New Crop
Pro Coop, Pocahontas -.45 -.50
Lakota Ethanol - GPRE, Lakota -.18 -.39
CFE, George IA -.35 -.48
Green Plains Renewable, Superior -.67 -.50
Stateline Co-op, Halfa -.27 -.43
Don's Farm Supply, Newell -.30 -.37
Poet Bio Refining, Emmetsburg -.33 -.40
Max Yield, Fostoria -.51 -.55
Max Yield, Mallard -.44 -.52
Max Yield, Kerber -.27 -.48

Soybeans Old Crop New Crop
Pro Coop, Pocahontas -.90 -.90
Don's Farm Supply, Newell -.97 -1.00
Stateline Co-op, Halfa -1.00 -1.00
Meadowland Co-op, Lamberton,MN -.80 -.90
CHS, Fairmont -.50 -.65
CFE, George IA -.80 -.90
First Co-op, Laurens -.90 -.90
Max Yield, Fostoria -.95 -1.00
Max Yield, Mallard -.94 -1.00
Ag Partners, Emmetsburg -.90 -.95

View All
*This information was current as of this date. We believe it to be accurate but assume no responsibility.

Commodity Headlines

Strong and giving: Grandma is inspiration for life well lived

November 28, 2018 12:43 PM

Source:  Tri-State Neighbor    Janelle Atyeo

When I talk to my grandma Juanita on the phone, she quantifies what she’s been up to in this way: “I’ve sewn 211 quilts, knitted 103 cancer caps and this afternoon I’ve made three pillowcases for Army veterans in nursing homes.”

She’s a busy lady. Her hands are always crafting, and always for someone else’s benefit.

Juanita has dedicated her life to helping others, and she does it with open arms and an open mind.

She's a very special lady, and she has a special birthday this month. Juanita turns 90 today, and I think we can all learn from her active, giving life.

A 90th birthday is not a milestone many people reach. I wish I had her genes. Juanita is not my grandma by blood. She’s my grandma by heart. She was married to my Grandpa Geary – my mom’s dad – for decades. He lived a long life – to age 87 – but he was known to complain a time or two that, “It’s no fun getting old.”

My Atyeo grandparents were around a good long time, too. Grandpa and Grandma died two and a half months apart, in their 90s and after 70 years of marriage. It was a blessing to have them around so long. But like Grandpa Geary, they didn’t have quite the same active life and vigor Juanita does.

“Everybody says they wish they had my energy,” she said when I called her to make Thanksgiving Day plans.

She eats well to manage her diabetes, she sleeps well and gets regular exercise.

When she moved to Mankato, Minnesota, after my grandpa died, her son encouraged her to get out of the house more often.

“He said, ‘Mother, there’s more to life than knitting and sewing. Get out and do something,’” as she tells it.

So four mornings a week, she helps at the local food pantry. She often works alongside college students and immigrants from very different walks of life. When they tell her about their backgrounds, she thanks them for the education.

“I just make great friends with them,” she said. “We laugh and talk and joke.”

She also doesn’t back down from challenges. She’s beaten cancer three times. A few months ago, she broke her arm when she tripped on an uneven sidewalk outside of the food pantry. The cast on her arm didn’t slow her down. She made nine quilts, and her arm healed two weeks sooner than expected.

Juanita grew up on a farm outside of Amboy in south central Minnesota, the oldest of nine children. Her parents gave the kids an option of whether they’d like to help in the house or do farm chores. Juanita chose to be outside.

She drove machinery and milked cows. She mowed peas for the Stokley Van Camp Co. She worked with German war prisoners pitching peas, she said, and “they didn’t even know I was a girl.”

She has scars on her back from wrestling muskrats out of traps, and she taught her own son how to hunt and skin his game.

That’s not to say that Juanita isn’t nurturing. She helped care for her siblings like a mother, which included accompanying them on midnight trips to the outhouse.

She found time for high school sports, too. She was a pitcher on the ball team, was in gymnastics and was the fastest runner, she said. She wanted to be a phys. ed. teacher, she said, “instead, I got married.”

Another of her high school jobs was taking care of people for the doctor in Amboy. When nearby Mapleton built a new nursing home, the doctor wrote her a recommendation and she was hired on there. She had proven herself working 12-hour shifts, and by her fourth night she was put in charge of 65 patients. She was well compensated, too. She made $3.50 an hour, she said, while those under her made 62 cents.

Next, she took an offer for even better pay to work as a cook at the college in Mankato. She cooked breakfast for 1,800 students, making loaves of bread and going through five cases of eggs a day. She was promoted to catering manager where it was her duty to feed the Minnesota Vikings who held their training camp in Mankato for the first time that year.

She likes to tell how she would put those football players in their place, having no tolerance for foul language. After one scolding, it was always “yes ma’am, please and thank you.”

She quit food service when Grandpa got sick and she had to help run his long-haul trucking business. One of her jobs was swapping big tires from the 18 wheelers and changing brake pads. Later, she managed two motels, where she made a point to employ people who were down and out, homeless and struggling with addiction.

“I always told them, ‘don’t you lie to me. If you need help, we’ll get it for you,’” she said.

She worked the last 18 years before retiring at age 79 for an organization that helps adults with disabilities find jobs. She cared for 21 clients over her last years there, and loved every one of them.

Juanita has always been one to help other people, whether they’re a stranger on the street, a step-granddaughter or her own blood.

“I think it’s very important we do things for each other,” she said. “Because I have been blessed with good health and I think we should share it.”

As we celebrate 90 years of a full and vibrant life (and wish for many more to come) it’s a good time to remember that we should all use our gifts to the best of our ability. There’s no higher calling than helping others through this life.

Janelle is editor of the Tri-State Neighbor, covering South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern Iowa and northeastern Nebraska. Reach her at jatyeo@tristateneighbor.com or follow on Twitter @JLNeighbor.

Ag Bankers Wary About 2019

November 19, 2018 10:46 AM

Source: Pro Ag

Cash flow is a growing problem in farm country, and nearly all of the bankers that spoke with DTN at a recent conference said there’s some part of their portfolio that’s under significant financial stress. However, that portion is small, and bankers say they’re being more proactive in helping customers head off problems.

Moody Analytics director of sales management Doug Johnson started a presentation at the National Agricultural Bankers Conference with a number of quotes from ag lenders, the themes of which echoed through the workshops, coffee breaks and keynote sessions.

He said one lender told him: “The valley is as deep as it was in the 1980s, both financially and emotionally for some producers, but it’s not as wide.”

Another said: “We are one average yield away from disaster.”

And a third said: “Kick the can down the road. A rolling loan never collects a loss,” resulting in chuckles and shaking heads from the crowd.

In school, you get the lesson before you take the test, Johnson said. “If you’ve been around lending since the ’70s or ’80s, you got the test first, and then you got the lesson. And because of that, we know more today, arguably, than we ever knew going into the farm crisis of the 1980s.”

Lenders say they’re more proactive in working with troubled clients to refinance, restructure or rethink their operations to stay in business. They’re preparing for a tough renewal season by taking a deep look at their customers’ numbers to generate financial metrics that help take the emotion out of tough business conversations.

“We may see a few more necessitated sales in weather-stressed areas or operations without strong equity,” said Mike Hein, vice president at Liberty Trust and Savings Bank in Durant, Iowa. “But for most borrowers, they are hanging on, especially those who took advantage of higher prices earlier in the year.”

Others are seeing strong yields, which also help offset poor commodity prices.

Joe Kessie, senior vice president and regional manager of commercial banking at Lake City Bank in Warsaw, Indiana, said that, overall, balance sheets are strong and there are a lot of off-farm employment opportunities in his part of north-central Indiana.

“What’s helping is a lot of operations had equity going into this tough period. And if we can help them by stretching out terms and reducing minimum payments, we’ll do that.”

Much of that equity is tied to farmers’ largest asset, their land. Jason Henderson, associate dean of Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and director of Purdue Extension, said he thinks a combination of slightly higher interest rates, uncertainty about yields after years of above-trendline production and lower commodity prices will probably result in a slight decline in land values.

“I don’t think we’re going to get a 1980s scenario, because I think there will be people there to provide a floor. We can look at the floor being provided by housing in some places. We can look at it provided by farmers in other places, and I think this is the big one: Is the top quartile of producers able to buy out the bottom quartile of producers? If they’re able to do that, I think land values might soften, but they won’t collapse.”

In the 1980s, some potential buyers sat on the sidelines until prices hit rock bottom, but Henderson thinks more farmers have the financial capability to step in and buy this time around.

“The last bastion, the Rock of Gibraltar in agriculture finance, is our farmland,” said David Kohl, professor emeritus of agricultural and applied economics at Virginia Tech. “As long as farmland holds, you’re not going to have a lot of write-offs. If farmland starts cracking, that is when we’re going to have some issues.”

He suggests lenders do some shock testing on customers’ balance sheets to see what would happen if farmland drops 10%, 20% or 30% to help them gain perspective of the strength or weakness of their balance sheet.

“Land values have made our producers complacent. I’ll be very, very blunt. They’ll say, ‘Hey, I’ll do the refi[nance] to bail our issues out,’ instead of reinventing themselves,” he said.

Iowa’s Hein said lenders can only do so much refinancing.

“We’ve been fortunate that yields have been strong, and lenders have anticipated the financial stress, so we’ve restructured loans and refinanced before desperation struck. But we are getting to a point where the farm operation has to make cash flow. And that is very challenging at these prices,” he said.

Kohl said there are plenty of farmers who hope for a repeat of the high incomes from the 2007 to 2012 super cycle, but that kind of spike in farm incomes has only happened three times since 1910.

“If your only strategy to get through these tough times is to hope for higher prices, you probably need to rethink your strategy,” said Bradley Guse, senior vice president of agribusiness banking at BMO-Harris Bank in Marshfield, Wisconsin. “But tough times make better managers.”

Nate Franzen, president of the agribusiness division at First Dakota National Bank in Yankton, South Dakota, said he is most concerned about clients that won’t make adjustments to their operation expenses or family living costs.

“Those who will make it are those who make adjustments and embrace change. I was pleasantly surprised this year at the financial health of our borrowers. I am cautiously optimistic about next year, because most of our borrowers are making adjustments.”

Patrick Dinan, vice president of lending with Community Savings Bank in Iowa, said paying attention to the details matters.

“If you can concentrate on decisions that affect the numbers to the right of the decimal point, the decisions affecting the numbers on the left of the decimal point will take care of themselves,” he said. “The time to get farmers [who have lost money the past three years] out of production agriculture is when they still have some equity left. As a banker, I swing axes and I swing early. If you get out now, you still have your dignity. Self-worth is more important than net worth.”

Source: Katie Dehlinger, DTN

Bolsonaro to Push Forward Giant Brazil Oil Sale, Adviser Says

November 8, 2018 12:17 PM

Source:  bloomberg.com

Jair Bolsonaro’s energy team is keen to push for the sale of prized Brazilian crude deposits in an auction that could give Big Oil access to more black gold than all of Mexico’s proved reserves.

The plan would be to take bids in mid-2019 to help raise billions of dollars needed to reduce the South American country’s ballooning budget deficit, said Luciano de Castro, an adviser to the president-elect who’s leaving the faculty of the University of Iowa to join Bolsonaro’s transition team. The current administration estimates the sale could raise as much as 100 billion reais ($27 billion).

“The auction would bring valuable resources to Brazil and to the government, and help on the fiscal deficit,” Castro said by phone from Iowa City, where he taught as an associate economics professor until last week.

The plan further confirms that Bolsonaro will seek energy asset sales to raise cash as he enlists pro-market hawks for his team -- a stark contrast to his past views in favor of state control before running for president. Bolsonaro was elected on Oct. 28 promising to welcome foreign producers, but his closeness to nationalist military leaders cast some doubt over those pledges.

A bill authorizing the sale, which had stalled in congress because of Brazil’s unpredictable presidential race, is expected to be voted by the Senate this week.

Unlike other Brazilian oil auctions offering exploration rights to high-risk areas with no guarantee of commercial reserves, this sale would be for an area where state-runPetroleo Brasileiro SA has already made major discoveries. The so-called transfer-of-rights area is part of Brazil’s giant pre-salt reserves in the Atlantic Ocean.

The government transferred 5 billion barrels of those deposits to Petrobras in 2010, but the country’s oil regulator later found they hold more crude than initially estimated. The surplus that would be offered to oil majors could amount to as much as 15 billion barrels. If such volumes turn out to be commercially recoverable, it would represent about twice the proved reserves of Mexico or Norway.

The bill authorizing the sale also aims to remove the obligation for Petrobras to develop the offshore region by itself, a legacy of the leftist Workers’ Party that governed Brazil for 13 years through 2016. The party, which tried a comeback but finished second in the elections, viewed oil as a strategic industry where foreign control should be limited.

Daily Talks

Castro said he’s having daily talks with Paulo Guedes, appointed to be Bolsonaro’s finance minister, and with a group ofgenerals gathered in Brasilia to set up the government’s agenda.

This week, he starts working with Bolsonaro’s transition team as they prepare to take office on Jan. 1. Castro, a former Brazilian Air Force lieutenant turned academic, says he will be focused on the new government’s energy program full-time, but that no official invitation for a position in the new administration has been made.

Among the energy team’s top priorities for the next weeks, Castro said, is finding a solution to keep a steady power supply for consumers in northern states served by state-controlled utility holding companyCentrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA.

Eletrobras, as the holding company is known, recently sold four regional power providers buried in debt, in an attempt to improve its balance sheet. But it failed to sell power distributors Ceal and Amazonas Distribuidora, which run the risk of being shut.

“There is a chance we have a huge problem. There is a lot of concern about what will happen with these distributors,” Castro said.

2018 Thanksgiving Survey

November 5, 2018 10:41 AM

Source:  American Farm Bureau Federation

Thank you for participating in American Farm Bureau Federation's special survey to track the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner. List the retail price for each item in the link below. If a product is not available in the listed size, indicate the price and the product size you found. Sale prices and store brands are OK, but do not use promotional coupons or special deals (such as get a free turkey by purchasing $50 or more in groceries or “buy one, get one free”). You may check prices at any grocery store/chain or food warehouse through November 6. Contact Anna Burkholder at 202-406-3648 or anna@fb.org with questions.