I have been pretty quiet the past few weeks. For some of you (Wheat and Canola guys) it may feel like a long time since action has been taken. When and how active is specific to each of you, your crop mix, your risk tolerance, shipping needs, and the contracts you already have in place. This quiet spell is not accidental. I don’t like selling in declining markets. I believe in being aggressive in rising markets, particularly those that are in the upper ranges of historical prices, and are very profitable. By doing that hopefully time shifts to being on your side. Allowing you to not be forced to sell in declining markets. Nothing in farming, marketing included, is an exact science. At times you will still need to sell to manage quality or storage risk. At times you may have investment opportunities that over ride price potential and cause need for quick sales. When those happen using the right contract is key, it is possible (in particular in Wheat and Canola) to sell without eliminating price upside. When these things come up call me and we will come up with a plan.
If you are not in one of the scenarios of urgency noted and you don’t hear from me, or don’t see any sell recommendations, don’t panic! As farmers for the most part we are learning this marketing game from “experts” who are in almost all cases NOT farmers. They are past grain buyers, grain merchants, traders, or bankers. These are all good resources. They are after all who, and where, I learned from and continue to learn from. In the market expert culture there is a habit that may not be beneficial to you that you will see in many advisers though. They (we) come from a background where they have to always be buying grain, or always be trading in order to meet goals and make a profit. This culture can be habit forming and can cause advisers to be over active or impatient at times. The state of constant analysis and continual need for action creates an almost subconscious desire to constantly act on what you see. As a farmer receiving and reading market info on a daily basis, it can feel like you should be more active than you need to be as well. Advisers are also accountable to what they tell you to do. It is natural for them (myself) to fear doing nothing and have to watch markets go lower. Our goal obviously is the opposite, sell and be right. To demonstrate that we first need to tell you to sell, so it is natural for us to always look for an opportunity to sell. I will never encourage you to turn your back on grain markets. Information is power, read and learn as much as you can. Just remember it is ok, when the market gives you the right signals, and when you have been proactive and taken care of your selling needs, to wait and do nothing. Marketing is not a sprint, you have in most cases at least 18 months from planning to your next crop. In most years making only 3 or 4 selling decisions per crop in that 18 months is adequate, that leaves a lot of days where it is ok to make an informed decision NOT to sell anything that day.
One of my key objectives of this service is to help you get to a position where you can focus on producing and harvesting your crops and not carry stress that you might be missing a marketing opportunity. As USA gets into full swing harvest, Brazil and Argentina into full swing seeding, Australia and India are producing their next crop, and the US, Ukraine, EU and Russia are seeding their winter crop the story for the balance of this marketing year and the first part of next crop will become more clear. For now I am content to see those stories develop before overselling this year’s Wheat or Canola. It is the next 90 days or so (Oct to Dec) where important supply information will be learned that will help us make the balance of our selling decisions. In the mean time try to enjoy finishing up this harvest in what looks like will be a pleasant early fall.