Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

Archive for January, 2016

By: Ben Stoller

Monsanto BioAg offers several biological products available that can help your crops better utilize available nutrients (bio fertility) and increase potential for higher yields.


QuickRoots®-a microbial seed inoculant for improving availability of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.


Optimize®-retailer applied premium inoculant that includes the LCO molecule.  LCO is a growth promoting ‘signal molecule’ that enhances nodulation.  It is naturally occurring in the soil, but additional LCO included in Optimize® enhances nodulation in less than ideal environmental conditions such as cool, wet soils.  Expect increased nodule formation and nitrogen fixation.

TagTeam®LCO-dual-action inoculant that contains the LCO molecule found in Optimize® and the phosphate solubilizing microbial Penicillium bilaii. Since phosphate bounds tightly to the soil, it becomes difficult for plant uptake.  TagTeam® LCO enables better plant uptake of phosphorus, a critical nutrient for plant productivity.

Please visit for additional information.  Monsanto BioAg products are available from your Mercer Landmark agronomy advisor.

By: Ryan Stucke

Many growers are in the thick of buying inputs for the upcoming year and trying to figure out how to maximize every acre they farm.  Every farmer is trying to do more with less and there are many ways to achieve that by placing the right product on the right acre and putting the inputs on the acres that need them.  It seems that we have come a long way with improving corn yields over the last ten years and the soybean yields have not increased as rapidly as what corn has.  Here are a few tips on how to maximize your acres and increase your soybean yields.

  • Variety Selection- by placing the right product on the right acre you can maximize every soybean plant out there.  You have to start off by knowing what soil types you are farming and what varieties work best on those acres.  Drainage, pest pressure and also disease pressure are a few other keys you want to keep in mind when selecting a variety.
  • Planting Date and Seed Treatment- Planting is trending earlier as the years go by and a lot of that has to do with newer genetics and seed treatments.  Because more growers are planting in cool wet soils, by applying a fungicide and insecticide with your seed treatment will help fight off early diseases such as Rhizoctonia, Fusarium and Pythium.
  • Soil Fertility- having the proper levels of P (phosphorus) and K (Potassium) along with having the proper PH level (6.0-6.8)
  • Fungicide/Insecticide application- many companies have seen a response to a fungicide/insecticide application at the R3 stage of soybeans.  You could very well see an increase from 2.5-5 bushel increase by applying these at R3

A few minor practices that will help a grower increase soybean production would be rotation of crops, tillage, weed control and also crop width (15 in. or 30 in. rows).  A lot of these tasks are very easily achieved by just talking to your local Mercer Landmark rep.  Whether it is by soil testing to find out the nutrients you need, what chemistry program you should be running, or what varieties would best fit your farm.

By: Alex Fullenkamp

The topic of cutting costs for the 2016 growing season is being discussed everywhere.  Some growers have their mind made up, while others are looking for advice from individuals like myself.

At a meeting I attended recently this was discussed and some of the numbers surprised me.  New crop corn price  is down approximately 10% compared to where it was a year ago and new crop soybeans are about 15% lower.  28%, Anhydrous, and Urea are down approximately 20-25%.   Phosphorus and Potassium sources are about 20% lower.  Most chemical and seed prices seem to be pretty comparable to last year or have even trickled a little lower.

I ask farmers to really consider their choices when looking at cutting costs.  A landlord gets payed by the acre but a farmer still gets payed by the bushel.  The more bushels you have, the more you have to sell.  Something like lowering rent $75/acre can have a huge impact on your profitability but saving a few bucks on a crop protection program or planting seed with less traits can be a very risky decision that could ultimately cost you a lot of money.

Please  contact your local Mercer Landmark consultant to discuss further.

In past years, there have been a lot of statistics tossed around pre-report about how the market has re acted to the January crop report. This year has proved to be no different. I would like to Thank FC Stone for sharing the information and charts below.

Here, we have March Corn Futures. Over the past 10 years, we are evenly split with 5 higher, and 5 lower. 8 of the 10 years have however, given us a move greater than a dime, with 6 of the 10 being greater than 20 cents.

March Soybeans have had a 4-6 record the past 10 years, and 7 of the 10 years gave us 20 cent or greater moves.

Wheat is evenly split, 5 years each way. It too has been volatile as 5 of the 10 years have generated 15 cents or greater moves.