What is your commodity marketing philosophy? Expect markets to give you opportunities once or twice a year. I like everyone to be prepared.
What distinguishes your consulting firm from others?
I only handle cash sales. We basically treat our customers’ bushels like they’re elevator bushels. We have two distinct setups. We have the country elevator setup with our local farmers and then producers with big bin setups on the farm. My main work outside of elevator bushels is working with farmers to learn how to trade on-farm setups as an elevator would.
What are actions producers should take to manage commodity marketing risk? If a price is good enough and a farmer has been thinking about selling, it’s probably something they should take advantage of. Always know your cost of production and use different outlooks. Know your production levels with different yields. Create worst-case, best-case and most-likely scenarios.
What percentage sold should farmers be on their crops? A lot of it will depend on when they have to move everything. By the end of August, I tend to think producers should have 60% to 70% of their soybeans sold and about 60% of their corn. If I have the ability to store it at home, a different plan is to act later on the new crop. All old crop should typically be sold at that time.
Which marketing tool is most underappreciated? Take advantage of futures-only contracts with buyers that aren’t necessarily end users. There are times you can work with an elevator similar to myself, lock in futures and work your basis later.
Who is one expert in our industry whose business advice you respect greatly? I look to Twitter and to folks managing elevators or running farms.
What activities do you enjoy? My 1-year-old son and I take 3-mph crop tours. I put him on my back and we walk through the neighborhood.