Paul's Sunny Ramble

May 23, 2023

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Happy Tuesday from Valley United Co-op!

What a wild past 2 weeks! With very little rain our spring planting season has progressed at an amazing pace. As I write this Ramble, 99% of the sugarbeets are planted, 95% of the wheat is seeded along with 75% of the corn and 40% of the soybeans. By the weekend, all we will have left to plant is the balance of the soybeans, edible beans, and sunflowers.
State-wide, 48% of the spring wheat is seeded up from 20% last week, 26% last year, but less than the 5-year average of 65%.
Nationwide, Spring wheat planting is 64% planted which compares to 48% last year & the 5-year average of 73%.
Winter wheat ratings increased 2%, 31% vs. 29%.
Corn planting is @ 81% vs. 69% last year, and ahead of the 5-year average of 75%. North Dakota made significant progress last week. 32% of the corn in ND is seeded, up from only 5% last week but below the 5-year average of 50%.
Soybean planting in North Dakota is at 20% vs. 33% (5-year average) but up from 2% last week and 6% last year.
I am happy that we are where we are in terms of planting, but I do worry about the stress this puts on my team. Long, long days. I hate to say it and I do so very hesitantly, but we would welcome a nice ½ inch of rain to give Valley United employees a break from bologna sandwiches and to enjoy a home-cooked meal with their family.
As CEO, I realize I am a prominent face of Valley United Co-op, but only figuratively. The most important part of Valley United Co-op is its people….. my team. They are the key to our success. I can’t spread the fertilizer, dump the trucks, or give our customers chemical recommendations. One of my important duties is to support them. I need to provide my team with the tools and support to make VUC successful. They are the most important asset Valley United has.
Last week was the Kansas Wheat Tour. The Kansas HRW wheat crop, at the conclusion, was pegged at 178 MB with an average yield of 30 BPA. This compares to the current USDA forecast from last Friday of 191.4 MB with an average yield of 29 BPA. The tour also estimated harvest acres at 5.933 million which is well below the current USDA forecast of 6.6 million. This implies the tour used an abandonment of 27% versus the USDA already assuming a record abandonment rate of 18.5%. 
Ukraine says that Russia is sabotaging operations at the port of Pivdennyi – the country’s largest – and is not allowing inspections of inbound vessels, which is a violation of the recently renewed, UN-brokered export agreement. Russia hasn’t approved inbound vessels for the port since April 29th and hasn’t explained why, according to Ukrainian officials. This has resulted in 1.5 MMT of grains and sunflower oil booked for African and Asian countries to remain at the port with 26 vessels reportedly waiting to access the port. The Pivdennyi port is one of three ports approved for the export of agricultural products under the Black Sea grain export deal and has the capacity to handle about 50% of the three ports’ shipments.
On another Russian/Ukraine note, Kyiv would consider allowing Russian ammonia to transit its territory for export on condition the newly renewed Black Sea grain deal is expanded to include more Ukrainian ports and a wider range of commodities, a government source told Reuters.
The comments are the first time Kyiv has publicly laid out its stance on Russian ammonia, which Moscow wants shipped via the Black Sea under the agreement.
Russia, a major ammonia exporter, has pressed for ammonia supplies to resume through a pipeline from Russia's Togliatti to the Black Sea port of Pivdennyi, near Odesa, which is designed to pump up to 2.5 million tons of ammonia annually.
Russia used to export 4.4 million tons of ammonia a year - 20% of global seaborne trade - before it invaded Ukraine in February last year.
The United Nations has also supported the resumption of ammonia shipments through the pipeline to try to help global food security.
Locally, our prices are Corn $5.65 nearby and $4.50 new crop. Soybeans are $12.10 nearby and $11.05 new crop. Spring wheat is at $7.95 nearby and $7.75 for new crop.

The Ramble is a commodity-based letter so in closing, here are a few quotes about our most important commodity, family.
  • Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
  • The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
  • I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich.
  • My family is like a sanctuary to me. I always turn to them for support and strength. I take comfort in knowing no matter which path I choose; my family stands behind me.
  • The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.
  • Family: A social unit where the father is concerned with parking space, the children with outer space, and the mother with closet space.
  • You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
  • A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
  • A happy family is heaven, but earlier.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

“If God brings you to it, he'll bring you through it............”.

Read More News

Sep 07, 2023
Members of both Valley United Co-op & Thompson Farmers Elevator Company voted to merge on Wednesday, September 6th. Patrons of the Cooperative approved the merger after the boards of directors decided it would be beneficial and scheduled a vote. 
Sep 01, 2023
The Boards of Thompson Farmers Co-op Elevator and Valley United Coop will be having informational meetings along with Special stockholder meeting(s) on September 6th. It will be 6:00 PM at the Thompson Community Center and at 8:00 PM at the KC Hall in Reynolds.
Jul 21, 2023
Once again, Valley United Co-op teamed up with Land O’Lakes to provide a donation to the Sand Hill Settlement Historical Society Museum in Climax, MN. Location Manager, Dan Nelson presented the check to the committee on July, 20, 2023.