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Honored Advisor

Finally the questions get asked



finally someone thinks in something longer than one day soundbites, and bureaucratic fiction.  Thank you SF editorial staff for something that could have been written 7 years ago.   Now how about an article that addresses "when usda reporting services first became politicized".  IN my recollection, IMO, it will correlate to the day we decided to legislate "clean energy".  There are so many federal agencies looking for relevance that they all jump an a chance to be part of the newest idea that voters will approve.  Usda is no different.

This is a nice article although far too brief, it begins to address what happened.  Unfortunately it won't go much farther than it does.  Yet there are thousands of stories untold and ignored that don't fit the federal narrative our press worships.  Like the flooding in eastern Nebraska and sw Iowa that fell from the front pages the day usda released their next confirmation of a record fictitious crop. (undoubtedly the most repeated and irrational boring story of the last 7 years).   There were many signs along the way.  It is impossible to achieve new record production year after year.  We should at some point do something about bureaucrats who operate a "sim farm" simulator and annually start publishing their game as the true history of US agriculture.  How much does that lie cost us?

Read the article and stop donating to politics thinking you are supporting your government.  Use these days of wild optimism to review your mistakes in marketing the last 7 years.  Or the stumbling blocks placed in the way of your marketing.

Marketers come in all shapes like everybody else...  from the casino day traders to the long term investment managers of farm production, whether we are the flux that spatters the trade floor or the steel that binds the economy together.  We all have a part to fill.

In my opinion, the best commodity marketers(or advisors) have..... 1. something to sell, be it their own production or an inventory necessary in the supply chain of product life.(skin in the game)

  2. Have goals.... greater than this variety, crop, load, audience or season.  And market according to those long term goals. ---Goals bigger than Profitability.

3. Understand the risks, problems and strong points of their business (because every "business" is different) the building blocks of a marketing plan.   

4.   Good marketers never hire someone else to do their marketing.  Never............  But good marketers do hire qualified folks to help carry out their marketing plan.  It is a subtle difference but a big difference. 

5.  Many farmers are not good marketers, but then many traders are not good marketers.   Its kind of the opposite of saying "all gamblers are good at Gambling".  Obviously not true.  The desire to gamble keeps many producers interested in reading about marketing.(and attending marketing advisory promotions). We do love to gamble.

We have a few good marketers writing on this forum.... paid and unpaid.  

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6 Replies
Frequent Contributor

Re: Finally the questions get asked

swxxxxxx, The realities of this world seems to have really smacked you in the nose.  

Honored Advisor

Re: Finally the questions get asked

SW, it is positively amazing reading some of these farmer chat sites the number of people that think they are farmers have been convinced they need to pay someone to butcher their msrketing/profit center.

Then there are all the free marketing services all run by grain handlers whose job it is to procure and resell grain. 90% of the time a monkey with a crayon and a calendar could do as good or better.


Betya successful farmers do it themselves.

If you want to farm but can't handle the marketing...plenty of large farmers are looking for equipment operators, most likely put you in some really nice late model equipment. The choice is yours

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Finally the questions get asked

What is a "good marketer"?  The farmer that bought into "3 billion bushel carryover!!!! If it gets to 4 bucks, I`m selling the hell out of it!".   The guy that was "prudent" and sold a little at $4, a little more at $4.50 and the kitchen sink at $5, now Z21 cash bids are $6.25 and no more to sell.   

Right or wrong to hit the extreme high is a fool`s errand, if we go down from $6.25 to $4.50 this fall, for having done nothing, I wouldn`t call that a failure, the upside was wide open.  Chances are if inputs were purchased early $4.50 will be profitable in 2021. 

What scenario would entail a  <$4.50 cash price this fall?  China shutting off....rationing...above trend yield and higher acres in US?  One thing about it, if prices really fall out of bed, inputs can`t justifiably go higher in 2022.  

IMO a "good marketer" isn`t so much about price, it`s about making money with what you get.  If we get a drought and inflation and we see "Sue Martin prices" $14 corn or something and you can`t take advantage of it or worse have to deliver $4 corn, that`s a even greater risk than contending with $3 corn.  

In the past, this time of year gurus would say "prices drifting lower until they`re proven the crop is in me".  This year it`s more of a "prove to me that we WILL  have a trendline me".

Honored Advisor

Re: Finally the questions get asked


Time seems to do that to us.  But in every life activity there are points when learning has a "moment of opportunity".

If we miss the moment by dancing in the excesses of profit euphoria (like other human endeavors that last much less time than we claim), we will be individually locked into repeating the process and may have to wait another 20 years being dangled by the tiny financial strings of bureaucracy while working for far less than minimum wage and election year compliments.

After this last democratic primary in Iowa, we should see the whole midwest turned into a super primary held in Seattle for food planning.   a very poor attempt at humor.


I think #3 is primary and what most "marketing" pushers miss.   "If they don't ask 20 questions about your assets and growth plans, as well as your definition of value.  They aren't marketing for you --- they are going to use your assets to achieve their goals at your expense, then praise themselves for it.  


BA.  well spoken......


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Senior Advisor

Re: Finally the questions get asked

It  will  be  interesting  to  observe  those  '''  formulated  fed  cattle  '''  rations  of  paper  shredded  corn  contracts,  filling  the  fence  line  bunks  -  -  -

Having  thousands  of  numbers ,  depending  on  other  folks  setting  the  table  with  cheap  commodities , being  an  interesting ,  expert  position  to  have - ? 

Product  Of  U S A ,  marching  music  -  -  -   

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Senior Advisor

Re: Finally the questions get asked

Don’t know exactly what all.

The crop got clipped near the end of the season.

SA and other world crops were less than stellar.

China bought a lot.

USDA issued several successive friendly reports.

Money went crazy- started chasing everything that it could- including digital pixie dust.

I don’t have all the answers but do know that thinking that all the boxes on the narrative you want have been checked won’t get you there.


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