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Senior Advisor

Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

As long as I've been farming, I've heard some say that the farmer gets emotionally tied to his corn to the ponit where he can't bring himself to sell it, at least at a good price.

I've always thought that was hogwash.  I don' tthink I'm in love with my corn crib and don't know of any farmer who ever said, "I just can't empty that bin...I get so much pleasure from going out and looking at the pile of yellow kernels".

Am I the only cold hearted corn seller?  Do you or do you know farmers who secretly go out at night and run their fingers through the contents of their grain bin?

Here's an article that includes the assertion that farmers fall in love with their corn.  I've heard this alleged emotional attachement is why mercenary, cold hearted, money focused farm wives are better marketers.

I think this is an old wives tale of the first water.

 

"One of the reasons farmers only do a mediocre job of marketing is the pride of ownership of what is in the bin, and they don’t want to let go of it.  "

 

Huh?  Give me a break. 

 

http://www.farmgateblog.com/article/1461/protect-that-valuable-asset-stored-in-your-grain-bin 

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8 Replies
Contributor

Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

I must admit that this summer as I stuck my arm into my corn I was doing more than just checking temperture.  Also this year I was thinking, compared to the dollar value while they were printing money, that just better to have corn than dollars.

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Senior Advisor

Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

The idea that farmers are 'emotional' about selling grain - or getting on the board with a position - is just buy aside and broker psychology. It belongs with the old, but incorrect, sayings like 'volatility is your friend'.

 

Having said that, we deal with a commodity without a set price, so, some thought has to be used in a market where few have a crystal ball. And there is often not a right answer with the information at hand.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

Spend a day listening to my phone calls and you would have a different opinion

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Senior Advisor

Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

You would know.  I guess it may be a matter of definition of 'emotionally tied'. Do you see people who can't make a decision to sell because they are insecure about making the 'right' decision (afraid the price will go higher after they sell) , just don't want to let it go now because they have definite reasons why think it's going to be worth more (whether it will be or not - only time will tell), or they can't part with it for some other reason?

 

I don't have any problem with those issues, and a decision, once made, is good enough for me regardless of what follows. I am irked that some think marketing requires taking an active position to show compentency vs aquiring the information, experience and judgment to know when to let things ride until when trends are solid and understood.

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Advisor

Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

   Not me.  Having unpriced grain bothers me, especially in down markets such as the present.  It's nice to have grain when the market is an upswing but I look at it differently on the way down.  Cudda wudda shudda.  II will admit to wandering out to the barns in a leisurely manner with a coffee or a beer and looking things over and thinking if I had it to do over again I wouldn't change a thing.

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Senior Reader

Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

I don't understand why it seems to be criminal to have grain in storage but it is ok to have it sold for whatever price someone says is a good price and end up with it in a bank account? What has the cash done the last while vs grains or whatever?

 

Maybe the grain owner has other priorities than to clean out the last of the grain and he is doing just fine without having every kearnal converted to cash.

 

I'm definantly not any market genius but I did get lucky a few times. I started storing a few extra bean a few years back with the intent of cashing them in when my kids started going to college. As dumb luck would have it, I got $15 for some beans that I was only figuring getting $8 for to pay college bills. It was just a little alternative savings account.

 

I admire those that have this marketing thing all figured out. I know I'm luckier than good at it but it is deffinantly not what I got into farming for.

 

And no, I am not attached to my grain, just like to grow it :-)

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Advisor

Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

   Like you said cnscne    You got lucky once.  Good for you!   I would rather be half lucky half the time and sleep well and not be pinched.   But we all have our own way of doing things.

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Re: Are you emotionally tied to your stored corn?

If anyone is, time and the market will cure it eventually. Everybody's Dad or Granddad sold some of those $12 beans for half that back in '73.

 

If you want to talk about the regret factor, that one has a whole lot more emotional resonance than feeling bad about selling $7 corn for $6.

 

For some of the more savvy marketers, some of the extreme positive basis moves in some markets may have a tendency to make you flal in love with the physical although the music stopped on that one a bit early and without much warning.

 

As to physical ownership, one of the (maybe few) things that I think I'm pretty good at is keeping corn in condition although I'm always a bit uneasy when summer comes and I haven't moved it- really breath a lot easier when it is gone.

 

I recall a very clever elevator manager telling me that farmer X was his best customer. X is a very good and well heeled farmer but for some reason can't keep corn.And he's stubborn as can be- he can afford to keep it and will if for no other reason than to butt heads with the buyer.

 

The elevator loads unit trains- nothing they love better than blending off that deeply discounted corn in July and August.

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