Slowly But Surely
By Brooke Brunsvig, Nutritional Consultant

It’s so good to see more harvesting getting done, slowly but surely. One option might be putting up a high moisture corn pile to feed cattle this year. Ideal moisture is 24-33%, roll or grind, pack, and cover. Packing and fermentation may be better if water is actually added at about 3.5 gallons per ton for every point of moisture below 27%. I know even that is hard to do this time of year but it may be an option.

Speaking of corn, don’t forget cows have likely gone through a bigger energy drain this year. Grass may have been wet/washy this summer and now this fall many calves have stayed with the cows longer than they normally would. Lactation takes a lot of energy and she will definitely lose condition to do it. Providing a few pounds of corn per head or a couple pounds of distillers as both an energy and protein supplement will help her out with condition. Its best to put weight back on now before winter REALLY hits and while we are in the second trimester of gestation. These cover crops don’t get me concerned about needing to provide protein and, once cattle figure out that those turnips and radish bulbs are tasty, the energy provided is decent as well, but you may want to provide some grain and or dry forage anyway. On mature pasture or stalks you may want to provide one or two pounds of distillers, range cube, or a protein tub.

For calves that have already been weaned and are in the lot, monitor bunks and intakes closely. These temperature fluctuations are hard on them. We are now offering a product that really boosts the immune system without needing a veterinary feed directive and CTC. Ask one of our feed personnel about it.

Be safe and thank you for your business!

Downslope of Harvest
By Phil Madsen, Grain Originator, Lyons



January soybean futures closed Thursday at $9.16, 5 cents off the daily low of $9.11. The $9.11 mark is almost exactly at the 50% retracement of the September 9 through October 14 rally that gained us nearly a full $1.00. Coupling that with being technically oversold, the market feels as if it might need a correction back towards the upside. Soybean basis remains strong. With harvest all but wrapped up in the country and farmers/commercials focusing on the remaining corn that is still standing in the country, the processors are beginning to have a need for new supply coming in.

Corn futures closed the day at $3.75 on the December contract. Corn futures have been in a steady decline since October 14, losing roughly 30 cents. Luckily, the market doesn’t completely feel this way, as basis has rapidly improved to keep cash prices in almost the same range during this entire time. Look for basis to keep steadily improving. Once harvest ends, there will still be a need for corn to move. This year may especially be the year to consider locking in corn futures ahead of time and waiting on a favorable basis. The corn market remains in a carry, and while the carry isn’t historically strong, the basis improvement down the road may very well be historically strong. As we experienced this summer, a rapidly improving basis doesn’t necessarily mean corn futures have to subsequently rally. Talk to one of our originators about more specifics to take advantage on this strategy and ways to roll between futures months to take advantage of the basis/spreads.