Let He who is Without Sin…

The past couple of weeks I’ve been doing some speaking for FCC and their Ag Knowledge Exchange workshops they put on throughout the winter. They asked me specifically if I would be able to do the “7 Deadly(ish) Sins of Grain Marketing” presentation I’d created a few years back, so I revamped it and have been presenting that.

The point of the presentation is looking at the mistakes we see being made with regards to a farm’s marketing plan and what we try to avoid to make a better plan. A summary of these sins as they relate to marketing:

  1. Lust: wanting the highs. Every crop year needs to be approached independently of what happened the previous year. Marketing plans should reflect this.
  2. Gluttony: wanting more than needed for your target ROI. What is your target ROI? Once you hit your projected or actual ROI you should be selling to reduce price risk and lock in profits.
  3. Greed: wanting the best price, not looking at profitability. Greed is the biggest problem in farm marketing plans. Wanting a little bit more often ends up costing the most.
  4. Sloth: being a lazy marketer. In the long run a proactive, disciplined marketing plan will always pay off compared to not having a plan and being reactive.
  5. Wrath: being angry about your marketing decisions. Once you make a marketing decision, carry on and focus on what you have left to sell. Don’t berate yourself if prices go higher.
  6. Envy: coveting what you hear from your neighbors. Don’t make your measure of success what your neighbors tell you they’ve done. Every farm is different; no two situations are the same.
  7. Pride: thinking you have to do everything yourself. Run your farm like a business because it is! Outsource things you can’t or don’t like doing and focus on what you’re good at.

It can be tough to not get sucked into one or more of these every year, but through a disciplined approach to marketing it can be done. In reality what we are trying to do is take the emotion out of marketing and making decisions based on profitability like a business. Farming is a high risk, high capital business, run your farm like the business it is!

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