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Your Goals, Your Plan, Your Way

11/30/2020
Your Goals, Your Plan, Your Way

Your Goals, Your Plan, Your Way

It’s harvest time, famers are crossing the finish line in their cropping year. Integral planning goes into what to plant, variety selection, herbicide programs, fungicide programs and precision ag. All these plans come down to timing. Farmers are always looking at ways to achieve top end yields while maintaining high end quality. A substantial amount of focus is used to grow the crop and to put together a winning yield.

There is no question that farmers have been able to merge new traits, equipment and technology to continually improve yields to levels most of us had only dreamed of 10 years ago. With the growth in volume there has been added pressure to do a better job with a marketing strategy.

Over the years, we have seen many of our customers have success using the following tools to put together a winning marketing plan. Writing a plan is like getting the lead role in a feature film, making sure it’s executable and achieving your goals is winning the Oscar!

Some thoughts to get your plan started:

Logistic Planning

  • Do you have your own storage or do you deliver to a local elevator?
  • What is your targeted production? Acres X Yield = Production
  • If you have 100,000 bushel of storage and an estimated production of 140,000 bushel. Then a good place to start would be to make a plan on the 40K bushel you don’t have space for.

Cash Needs

  • When is that next farm payment, cash rent or tractor payment due?
  • You could Plan on making sales based around the time when you’ll have some cash needs. For example. Cash rent due in April. You may make a sale to cover the cost of rent to pay the land owner.
  • Historically there is carry in the market to entice a farmer to take a further delivery month. Does the spread and timeline cover the cost of accrued interest on an outstanding payment owed?

Historic Selling Patterns

  • When do you historically price your grain? Could you tweak your usual patterns to improve your selling average?
  • Seasonal selling patterns. When looking at seasonal charts there is usually a time frame when it’s advantageous to make grain sales. Historically June-July is a good “seasonal” time to add additional grain sales. However, there are abnormalities in the charts in some years. We are currently experiencing an abnormal grain marketing season with reaching market highs when historically we are feeling harvest lows.

Targets Average

  • What has your average 5 year selling price been?
  • What sales would it take to continually improve that average year over year? Some years the market won’t make it possible to improve a higher average. What is your plan and ability to sell at lower than your historic values?

Selling Percentage

  • How many producers have said why didn’t I sell more at a specific reached value? When looking at a marketing plan how far leveraged are you willing to go? On average farmers don’t sell more than 50% of their crop before harvest.

All your needs will be specific to your farm and timeline. Utilizing other decision makers on the farm, your spouse or a trusted grain marketer can assist in making good marketing decisions. To often producers become reluctant on making sales because the market could be higher tomorrow. Be confident in the sales you’ve made and set targets for that next market opportunity. 

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