Welcome back to ALCIVIA Roundtable, a series covering logistics, market access, and market fundamentals, with the end goal of helping our members make informed decisions for their operations. This week, merchandiser Aly Pascuzzi discusses the basis and how it impacts cash price.
Next week, Dylan Beaver will be explaining the fundamentals of spreads. Thanks for joining this week’s episode of ALCIVIA Roundtable!
Welcome back to ALCIVIA Roundtable, a series covering logistics, market access, and market fundamentals, with the end goal of helping our members make informed decisions for their operations. This week, merchandiser Dylan Beaver discusses the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and how it benefits our members.
Next week, Aly Pascuzzi will be talking about basis. Thanks for joining this week’s episode of ALCIVIA Roundtable!

Micronutrients are essential elements that are required by plants in very small quantities for optimal growth and development. While macronutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK), are required in larger amounts, micronutrients, such as zinc, iron, manganese, and boron, play a crucial role in ensuring optimal plant health and productivity.

In corn and soybean production, the use of micronutrients can have a significant impact on crop yields and quality. Here are some ways micronutrient use can benefit corn and soybean production:

  1. Improved plant growth and development. Micronutrients play a critical role in various plant processes, such as photosynthesis, enzyme activation, and hormone regulation. By ensuring that the plants have access to these essential nutrients, farmers can promote healthy growth and development, leading to higher yields.
  2. Increased disease resistance. Micronutrient deficiencies can weaken plants and make them more susceptible to diseases and pests. By providing plants with the necessary micronutrients, farmers can help strengthen their crops’ natural defense mechanisms, reducing the risk of disease and pest damage.
  3. Enhanced nutrient uptake. Micronutrients can also improve the plant’s ability to absorb and utilize other essential nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. This can lead to improved nutrient use efficiency and better overall plant health.
  4. Improved crop quality. Micronutrient use can also help improve crop quality by promoting the production of higher-quality grains and seeds. This can increase the market value of the crop and benefit farmers financially.

Overall, the use of micronutrients in corn and soybean production can have a significant impact on crop yields, quality, and profitability. It’s best to consult with a trusted agronomist to determine the right micronutrient fertilizers and application rates for your specific crop and soil conditions.


Please reach out to your ALCIVIA agronomist

to discuss the right micronutrient package for your operation.


Weed management is critical for successful corn and soybean production, as it affects crop yield, quality, and overall profitability. Timely scouting for weeds and implementing appropriate control measures are essential for both crops.

Timing of scouting

Scouting for weeds should be done at least three times during the growing season for both corn and soybeans:

Weeds coming out of the ground in a field. Identification is essential for weed scouting.

  • Pre-planting: Scout the field before planting to identify any existing weed problems and determine the need for pre-emergent herbicides. It is important during this trip to look for winter annuals that are difficult to control, especially if you are in a no-till production system. Marestail is a key weed to check for in soybeans, for example.
  • Early post-emergence: Scout the field two to three weeks after planting. For corn, this corresponds to the V2-V4 growth stage; for soybeans, this is the V1-V2 stage. Scouting at this time will let you know if you need to make any adjustments to your post-emerge weed control plan.
  • Mid-season: Scout the field when corn is in the V6-V8 stage and soybeans are in the R1-R2 stage, as both crops have developed their canopy. This helps identify any problems that might have occurred with your post weed control pass and identify any late emerging weeds or other issues.

Identification of weeds

Proper weed identification is crucial for effective weed control. Learn to recognize common weeds in corn and soybean fields, including:

  • Broadleaf weeds: Examples include velvetleaf, water hemp, lambs quarters, and giant ragweed. Broadleaf weeds can be identified by their wide, flat leaves, and irregular leaf edges.
  • Grass weeds: Examples include foxtail, wooly cupgrass, and crabgrass. Grass weeds have narrow leaves with parallel veins and rounded stems.
  • Sedges: Yellow nutsedge is the most common sedge found in corn and soybean fields. Sedges have triangular stems and grass-like leaves. Only a few herbicides effectively control sedges, so identification of them is particularly important if your fields have a history of yellow nutsedge.

Scouting techniques

When scouting for weeds, walk through the field in a systematic pattern, such as a W or X pattern, to cover different areas of the field. Use the following techniques for effective scouting:

  • Observe the overall field condition: Look for patterns in weed distribution, such as areas with high weed density or specific weed species. This can indicate soil fertility issues, poor drainage, or herbicide resistance.
  • Examine individual plants: Inspect corn and soybean plants for signs of weed competition, such as reduced growth or discoloration.
  • Record your findings: Take notes on weed species, distribution, and density. There are many scouting apps available that allow you to record GPS reference points of particularly bad weed issues.

Monitoring herbicide resistance

Herbicide resistance is a growing concern in corn and soybean production. To detect and manage resistant weed populations:

  • Rotate herbicide modes of action: Use herbicides with different modes of action to reduce the selection pressure for resistance development.
  • Monitor weed populations after herbicide applications: Scout fields 10-14 days after herbicide application to assess control effectiveness. If weeds show little to no injury, they may be resistant to the applied herbicide.
  • Collect and submit weed samples for resistance testing: If you suspect herbicide resistance, collect weed samples, and submit them to a laboratory for testing.

Scouting for weeds in corn and soybean fields is a crucial component of integrated weed management. By following the best practices outlined above, growers can identify, and control weed problems early in the growing season, minimizing yield losses and maximizing profitability. Remember to scout regularly, identify weeds accurately, monitor herbicide resistance, and implement targeted control measures to achieve a successful harvest.

If you have questions regarding weed scouting, reach out to your ALCIVIA agronomist.

Welcome back to ALCIVIA Roundtable, a series covering logistics, market access, and market fundamentals, with the end goal of helping our members make informed decisions for their operations. This week, merchandiser Aly Pascuzzi explains the difference between bullish and bearish markets.
Next week, Dylan Beaver will cover all things operations. Thanks for joining this week’s episode of ALCIVIA Roundtable!
  1. Going the wrong speed

Make sure you are going the proper speed for your planter. Most think that this only means not to go too fast, but you should also avoid going too slow. Most planters require the seed meter to be turning at least at a minimum , 3-4 mph, to keep the seed flowing and the meter filled to the proper level to help create consistent . Too fast is not good either, as your seed could miss its mark, roll off-target, or alter the field population.

  1. Overcomplicating your attachments

There are a plethora of attachments that can be put on a planter. Fertilizer, both in-furrow and side dress, row cleaners, no-till coulters, insecticide, seed firmers, and so on, all can be necessary attachments in many cases. But don’t get so caught up in your planter’s attachments that when it comes to getting your seed at the correct depth and spacing, you struggle to work around all the attachments. Every attachment you add is another point of failure that can shut you down and prevent planting until repaired.

  1. Overlooking improper settings

Planters are complicated pieces of equipment, weighing several tons and spanning up to 120-feet wide, they lay tiny seeds into the ground with sub inch accuracy over hundreds of acres. It’s easy to overlook how large of an impact planter settings can have, even when off by the smallest margins. Constant monitoring of these settings is vital throughout the season for consistent yields and ROI. For more on planter settings, see our article, “Four times you should check your planter settings.”

  1. Not manually checking seed placement frequently enough

Verify the seed is at the correct depth and spacing at different places and times. Commonly, checks are not done often enough to get consistently accurate and precise placement. Others rely too heavily on their monitor as a guarantee that the seed is planting right, but the only real way to know is to dig your seed up and verify with your own eyes.

  1. Using improper levels of talc and graphite

With today’s seed treatments, treatment buildup can easily cause issues in any planter. These treatments are often sticky enough to clog hoses, cause seed clumps, or prevent seed singulation. Adding the proper amount of talc, graphite, or a combination of both, will dry your seed treatment and help keep the meter clean, along with help lubricate the moving parts. Be sure to check with your agronomist or planter manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific planter, seed treatment, and talc/graphite combination and be careful to add the proper amounts.

  1. Failing to clean the planter often enough

Fertilizer, mud, and trash can buildup in every nook and cranny of your equipment. This isn’t just messy; it can hide issues with the planter or even cause you harm. These dirty spots may not be “just dirt,” but insecticide, fertilizer, and other chemicals, which can affect the way your equipment places seed. Don’t neglect normal equipment cleanings, and always wash fertilizer off as it can cause corrosion and electrical issues.

  1. Check for mechanical wear before every planting season

A planter is a complicated piece of equipment – any number of things could have worn out enough to become slightly off between seasons. “Set it and forget it” doesn’t apply here. Do routine maintenance checks on your planter before every planting season. Get these things sorted well ahead of time or they could come back to bite you during a tight planting window.

  1. On the first day of planting

While you might think to yourself, “The planter worked last year,” it’s always better to take the extra few minutes to confirm your settings are correct. Even if the planter is still in great shape and everything is working right, that field is not the same field it was last year. Small changes in soil moisture, temperature, and residue need to be accounted for each year with changes to your planter settings.

  1. When switching crop or soil types

Not only can conditions for your planter shift between seasons, but during the season it is even easier to overlook improper settings as you move from field to field. Every field is a little bit different; soil type, moisture, residue, and crop variations all need to be factored in when preparing your planter settings. Don’t move too fast from field to field because any time you make up in planting speed will be overshadowed by money lost from seed planted at the wrong depth or spacing for its exact needs in the soil. 

  1. Whenever you get a failure or system warning

When you get a warning alert in your planter, it’s easy to assume the technology is just acting up. However, these are very precise machines, and often the system will know if something is wrong before you will. If you are questioning whether the alert is correct, take the time to check it. Make it a priority to understand the ins and outs of all the technology that is on your planter and believe it when it is warning you of failure or misadjustment. Planting too deep or shallow, with the wrong spacing, wrong population, with skips and doubles, or with the wrong fertilizer distribution, could cause your crop yield to vary dramatically.

Welcome back to ALCIVIA Roundtable, a series covering logistics, market access, and market fundamentals, with the end goal of helping our members make informed decisions for their operations. This week, merchandiser Dylan Beaver explains the difference between an inverse market and a carry market, and what we are in today.

Next week, Aly Pascuzzi will explain bearish and bullish markets. Thanks for joining this week’s episode of ALCIVIA Roundtable!

ALCIVIA Roundtable – Inverted vs. Carry Markets

Hello, Dylan Beaver grain merchandiser here at ALCIVIA this week on ALCIVIA Roundtable we are going to discuss carry market and inverse markets. On the screen you’ll find the CME website and the price of corn for futures months of May forward. In this graph we’re going to talk about difference between some of these last trades. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the term inverse market and what does that mean, why is it important to our producers. As you can see here, we have the May contract for corn of 2023 and then we have the July contract of 2023 and the September contract of 2023. Those are considered old crop marketing months and, in those months, as we progress forward into the year the price becomes less and that’s what we call an inverse market. Where corn today is worth more than it is in the future so with that being said in the current marketing year of 2023 for old crop grains we are in an inverse market where today corn will be worth $6.47 at the Chicago Board of Trade and by the end of the year or the end of this this crop it will converge to be $5.50. So, we do have an opportunity to sell above six-dollar corn as of today and as we progress into the future those days will start to limit as we move to the new crop year.

Below you can see the crop year for new crop grains December of 2023 to March 2024 and then into May 2024. This is what we call a carry market, this is where the market is structured for grains to be worth more later in the defers than they are in the nearby. So, you can see that corn for new crop is worth $5.46 and as we progress throughout the year it gains 10 cents into the next marketing month of March at $5.56 and then it covers us to $5.62 being worth six cents more later. So, the difference between these two markets is understanding when to sell your grains and when is it most important to move it. In this market it’s saying sell it now and move it before we get to the point of where it’s worth less into the new crop markets. December forward store your bushels if you can store them and sell them later. Now the things to remember is cost of carry is not free, so putting your grains in your grain bins at home has a cost to it.

What you put your value onto that cost is what determines how much money you think you need to have to carry those grains. So those are the two differences between an inverse and a carry market you can see that for old crop marketing cycle or currently in the inverse market and for new crop we’ll be in a carry Market to star. We do have the opportunities to change these markets or turn around if the world demand does change these structures of these markets can always flip back and forth as fast as the inverse can go out it can come back to kind of carry as well but always do remember that when you’re in these types of markets market structures space that risk is always something to be paying attention to so with that please take the time to look at the market structures that we’re currently in and how those terms reflect on onto the current structures and then how does that relate to what’s happening in your local markets of demand as well. Because this is this is a national scale when we’re looking at this so it’s very important to bring that back to your local markets as well and then relate that to your cash market, there’s a lot of moving puzzle pieces here to this structure and it’s important that you understand what your value of your grade is in the world economics space versus just looking at what’s happening regionally.

Thanks for joining us on this week’s episode of ALCIVIA round table join ALCIVIA round table next week to discuss the terms bearish and bullish.

PRESS RELEASEInformation Contact:Ashley Schumacher, Marketing Manager, ALCIVIAAshley.Schumacher@ALCIVIA.com; 608.819.3102For Immediate Release: April 25, 2023ALCIVIA awards 25 scholarships to aspiring local youth leadersCOTTAGE GROVE, WI – ALCIVIA is pleased to announce the winners of our annual scholarships. The cooperative recently presented 25 scholarships of $1,000 each to a group of local high school seniors and collegiate students pursuing post-secondary education. Scholarships were awarded during ALCIVIA’s annual scholarship reception, that was held virtually to bring students together from across the state of Wisconsin. Recipients were able to discuss future goals and aspirations with ALCIVIA leadership during the reception.“We are so pleased to invest in the future of agriculture and young leaders. It is a pleasure to help students along their academic and career journeys. Awarding scholarships allows us to provide support to students continuing to advance their skillsets. Each year the recipients impress us with their dedication to their academics, along with their extra-curricular and community involvement,” shared Jim Dell, CEO and President of ALCIVIA.The ALCIVIA scholarship program encourages academic, professional, and leadership development. ALCIVIA is delighted to announce the 2022-23 winners: 
High School Recipients            Mariyah Creaser – Menomonie High School, attending UW-River FallsMolly Damm – Columbus High School, attending Winona State or UW-WhitewaterAmelia Dittman – New Richmond High School, attending UW-Madison or UW-Green BayClaire Esselman – Clinton High School, attending Iowa State UniversityRegina Frisle – Prairie Farm High School, attending UW-Madison or UW-River FallsAlan George – Mondovi High School, attending West Texas A&M UniversityAleah Kaeding – Augusta High School, attending Western Technical CollegeSophia Kamm – Baldwin-Woodville High School, attending UW-River FallsNathan Keleher – Benton High School, attending UW-PlattevilleKennedy Kuehni – Stanley-Boyd High School, UndecidedBrooke Luedtke – Pardeeville High School, attending UW-PlattevilleEmma Maly – Clinton High School, attending UW-OshkoshTravis Moelter – River Falls High School, attending UW-Eau ClaireLogan Osero – Amery High School, attending Chippewa Valley Technical CollegeConnor Weltzien – Arcadia High School, Undecided                       College RecipientsMadison Calvert – UW-La Crosse         McKenzie Calvert – UW-La Crosse        Bailey Dobbratz – Carthage College     Teagan Gray – UW-WhitewaterSophie Grieser – UW-Whitewater         Emma Lemke – UW-Platteville  Teresa Miller-Wathke – North Dakota State University  Simon Soldner – UW-River FallsNathan Sorensen – UW-Madison                      Bennett Wilks – Fox Valley Technical College   

ALCIVIA has awarded more than 900 scholarships totaling more than $465,850 to students since 1989 in support of building a strong future for its members, its communities, and the world.

“For many years, ALCIVIA has demonstrated a commitment to investing in the future of agriculture and the communities it serves through the Giving Back program. Getting to know the scholarship recipients and hear about their aspirations is inspiring,” said Jim Lange, ALCIVIA’s board chairman. Recipients were selected from a pool of applicants based on cumulative grade point average, leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities, personal motivation, and academic and career goals. All members and employees of ALCIVIA and their children attending four-year universities, two-year technical programs or short courses and high school seniors planning for post-secondary education were eligible to apply for the awards.

ALCIVIA is a leading, member-owned agricultural and energy cooperative driven by our passion for excellence and a future without boundaries. Located in Wisconsin and serving farm, business and retail customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa, our engaged employees provide innovative, responsible solutions to help drive the immediate and long-term success of our customers, including low-interest operating loans and input financing, as well as best-in-class products and services for the agronomy, animal nutrition, energy, and grain needs of our customers.

Check out the latest ALCIVIA newsletter to stay informed on all the happenings throughout the cooperative.