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Current US Drought Monitor - New map released each Thursday
Wednesday July 23, 2014
July 23, 2014 | Chemical News & Intelligence

Over Half of US Corn Pollinated; Soybean Blooming Increasing
Crop conditions unchanged in the past seven days

In terms of crop conditions for corn, the agency left its categories unchanged in the past seven days highlighting the stability that improved weather conditions, namely the decrease in precipitation, have had on corn growth.

The amount of corn entering the pollination phase has increased by 22 points to 56% at this time, which is ahead of the 39% seen in 2013 and just a tad over the five-year average of 55%.

Crops might find the upcoming week less pleasant as the anticipated weather forecast is calling for hotter and drier conditions to prevail. Although this is beneficial to growers wanting fields to dry out, this weather will increase stress on growth and pollination activity.  Link to read more of this item at Feed and Grain
Friday June 27, 2014 
Time to think about Canola

We have, I think, bounced off the bottom of the Summer Canola Market. In talking to shippers all
over the state as well as in Canada, the consensus is that they are cutting back on trains to the West.
The basis numbers that can be bought cannot be sold.
Last year we dried up in September and had a very hard time with skyrocketing prices. Well, we will see that a month earlier in August and it will last until new crop. Rising old crop prices will bleed into new crop numbers. Every crusher in Canada can get more $$$ from Vietnam than California and we need to come to terms with that.
While Corn may have some more downside, by-products do not. DDG has gone up $10 this week on all the Old Crop months, New Crop numbers are up even more. I do not relish being a prophet of doom but I seriously believe we have turned a corner and it is time to get serious about covering the balance of Old Crop.

Thanks, WES
Wednesday June 4, 2014 
Today on Feed & Grain:
Oklahoma Wheat Producers Expect Small Crop This Year
Still trying to salvage a crop, despite late spring freeze and ongoing drought
Monday June 2, 2014 
Finally ! We have a Oct/Nov/Dec. price of $220 fob/$226 del for Oct/Nov/Dec. rolled corn.

The current free fall of corn futures will last for a little while yet but when adverse weather arrives it will disappear in a heartbeat. The time to tie up the cheap corn by-products may well be NOW !

Thanks WES  
Friday April 11, 2014 
The Sober Reality Behind Dairies’ Return to Profitability
Apr 10, 2014

As dairies emerge from a painful recession, a veteran attorney urges attention to the critical fiscal steps still needed to move forward.

By Riley Walter, attorney

Since last writing for Dairy Today, milk prices are up and I am hearing sighs of relief across the dairy industry.

While I don’t want to deprive anyone of a feeling of relief, this does cause me to make two comments.

First, I am hearing the sighs of relief, but I am not hearing how many dairymen are going to address the huge mound of built-up unsecured debt they owe. While the milk price is up, and while dairymen are beginning to sprinkle money around to their creditors, that mound of debt is huge in many instances and is going to have to be addressed in one form or another. I note that some of the creditors who are not being "sprinkled" are beginning to initiate the long-anticipated collection suits, now that they can see that there could be some money at the end of the rainbow.

The second point relates to refinancing. We are all aware that some of the main-line commercial banks would just as soon not have dairies in their lending portfolio. Some even take more aggressive action to force them out of the bank before maturity. Others appear to be biding their time so that when loan renewal comes up, they may or may not be willing to lend.

This leads me to suggest that dairymen need to be looking ahead now to see how and when, if at all, they will be able to refinance.

In connection with this, here are some thoughts:

·  Dairymen will want to pay attention to which banks are, and are not, making dairy loans. Some long-experienced dairy bankers have been moving around to other banks, and this leads me to believe that there may be banks in the mood to make dairy loans before very long. 

·   Dairymen need to consider rebuilding relationships. Many dairymen have had long relationships with experienced dairy lender personnel, and now would be a good time to just check in to find out what the attitudes of the banks are and what banks are looking for in new dairy loans

·  It goes without saying that dairymen need to monitor values. If you are going to refinance, you may want to do so when values are up and trending up, rather than the other way around. 

·  Dairymen will want to educate themselves as to the rules that apply to lenders. This is not 2007, where someone with a ball cap could get a loan. Regulations are much more stringent now. You need to know about those rules as you start the process of looking for a new lender. A simple example is the rules about lending to a dairy that may be within a floodplain and whether this would require extensive engineering work before a loan would even be considered. 

· Last, and certainly not least, dairymen need to get their houses in order. They need to make sure that all of their entity documents are current and up to date. They need to be sure that they have documented all easements. They need to be sure they know exactly what collateral they have to pledge. Now is the time to get the books and records in tip-top shape. Pull together copies of all of the documents that you will need to support your loan request.

There is life after the crash, but lessons have been learned – painfully.

Riley Walter is an attorney and founder of the Central Valley-based Walter & Wilhelm Law Group, a law firm specializing in agribusiness, reorganization and bankruptcy. Contact him at 559-435-9800 or
April 2014
NATIONAL DAIRY MARKET NEWS AT A GLANCE - For the week of April 21 -  April 25, 2014
May 2014 Update - CIH Dairy Margin Watch 
Margin Watch is an executive summary of the projected forward profit margins (not markets) for the dairy industry. Click here to see how margins have changed and to read about the strategies that our clients are using to protect profitability. We look forward to your feedback or inquiries. To see how our service can help you manage your margins, call us at 1-312-596-7755.

*** VIDEO INTERVIEWS *** CIH sits down with Dairy Consulting Clients, Paul and Corinne Vissers.
Watch the videos here.

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