A student viewer needs a book recommendation
“I am currently running a practice simulation account to train myself to trade futures at University of San Diego. Can you recommend any good books on how to trade futures? I'm already taken a derivatives class at USD, but can you recommend any good trading books on futures trading with cattle or agriculture in general?”
That’s from Michael V. Blumeyer in San Diego, CA. Michael, I have come up with three recommendations that you might consider. When researching this question, I noticed the overwhelming number of results came from authors or businesses directly involved with commodity trading. This does not mean the books have no value, but be aware that asking a commodity broker if you should be trading ag futures is like asking a barber if you need haircut.
First, if you want to start from the very basics, it is hard to beat the Dummies Series, so the first book I suggest is Investing in Commodities for Dummies by Ann Bouchendouf. It follows the formulaic pattern of the series, but it a decent way to start your education. About $20, and I strongly recommend the dead-tree version of all these books because illustrations suffer with e-readers.
If you want a more rigorous, textbook style source, you might try Trading and Hedging with Agricultural Futures and Options by James Bittman. This is a deeper dive into the theory and practice of trading. Published in 2008, it is still well-regarded in the industry. It’s also a $48 doorstop.
Finally, something in between: Mastering the Grain Markets, by Elaine Kub. Kub is a market analyst who been one of our guests, and has written a very accessible, thorough and farmer-oriented guide. Note it only covers grains, and it bends my rule about books from brokers, but it has been well-reviewed by farmers and others in the business. $27.
All are available on Amazon. And please take seriously the standard warning that trading commodities entails significant risk. Several of us would happily show you our scars.