You’ve spent all year growing your crop, and as harvest approaches, your grain marketing plan is top of mind. We’ve put together some tips to help you prepare to market your grain.
1. Compare your average price sold to your breakeven
The first step to this is knowing your breakeven (you can learn more about that here). Once you know your breakeven, calculate your average price of the 2017 crop you have already marketed and then compare the two. From there, you can track the spread of your average price sold to your breakeven, which can guide how aggressively you need to market in order to be profitable.
2. Get market data at your fingertips
Make it easy to get the market data you need. During harvest your time is more precious than ever, and the minutes that you spend digging in your inbox for a email can add up. If your local elevator offers text messaging services with market prices, sign up. If you get daily market emails, set up a folder in your inbox and route those emails to that folder (learn how to do that for Gmail, Outlook, Mail for Mac, or iOS).
3. Don’t get distracted
Stick to the marketing plan you mapped out. While it can be tempting to ignore your plan and wait to see if prices change, emotions only get in the way and distract us from what we planned. If you planned to sell and you’d be profitable at the current market, sell it. Markets move too fast to wait for a few extra cents.
4. Have a storage plan
Have a plan for how long you want to store your grain, and again, don’t let emotions prevent you from selling grain at a price where you are profitable. Make sure to set a time frame for the grain you did plan to store. This will ensure the quality of your stored grain is maintained. Remember, your bin = cash money. Protect that.
5. Plan ahead for 2018
Take advantage of any rainy days that interfere with being in the field to start planning ahead. The 2018 season feels far now, but it sneaks up fast. Planning ahead is key to help ease the transition from the close of one season to the start of another. That includes creating your 2018 marketing plan, pre-purchasing inputs, and reviewing cash flow.