Ed Usset

Ed
Usset
Marketing specialist,
University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management
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Ed Usset is a marketing specialist at the University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management. he authored "Grain Marketing is Simple (It's Just Not Easy)"; helped develop "Winning the Game" grain marketing workshops; and leads Commodity Challenge, an online trading game. He also blogs about grain marketing at Ed's World
Ed also writes a monthly column for the print edition of Corn+Soybean Digest.

Articles
Time to rethink grain marketing approach

The Second Golden Age of American Agriculture is over, and the time is right to return to a proactive approach to grain marketing, says Ed Usset. The proactive approach outlined in my 2nd Edition of “Grain Marketing is Simple” says that we need to pay attention to pricing opportunities before harvest.

Timing is everything, when selling corn, soybeans

If you hold grain into the summer months hoping for a weather driven rally in prices, may I suggest selling your grain earlier and selectively re-owing the sale with the purchase of call options.

Second chance at higher corn, soybean prices 2

Will we get a second chance to price corn and soybeans at the higher prices last seen 3 months ago? The bears have the floor but remain patient. I'm betting on the too-too season to deliver a second chance to price new- and old-crop corn and soybeans this spring.

Will corn, soybean prices get back to post-harvest levels this spring? 1

CSD Xpert and University of Minnesota professor Ed Usset says there's a 70% chance producers will see the post harvest price levels of November soybeans and December corn come this spring. "I would challenge producers to make sure you're ready to get something done," said Usset at Commodity Classic after his early riser session on the first day.

3 Problems with options as a marketing tool 1

Options are interesting, but not a cure-all for marketing problems. Am I saying that options have no place in marketing? No, but be selective.

On-farm grain storage as a problem

Some of the most successful grain marketers I meet are producers with no on-farm storage. I want producers to be proactive in their marketing decisions, always looking ahead for opportunities to price this year’s (or next year’s) crop. Producers with no storage must be proactive.

2015 Pre-harvest marketing plans 1

Corn and soybean prices are higher today than they were in early October. However, despite an impressive “dead cat” bounce, prices remain below production costs. Marketing plans are difficult to write when prices are below costs, but write one we must. Here are my pre-harvest marketing plans for 2015.

Christmas wishes for corn, soybean marketing

Santa has been very generous over the past few years. Last year I looked under the tree and found $13 soybeans and $4 corn; not quite as big as the gifts in 2012 (or 2011, or 2010), but they fit well and I was grateful. Rumor has it that Santa will not be as generous this year. Here is my corn and soybean marketing wish list for 2015.

What can boost corn, soybean prices?

Your harvest is late and, like it or not, the holidays are coming. This is a good time to think of all the things we should be thankful for, but $3 corn and $9 soybeans have me in a Grinch-like mood. Higher prices would take the Grinch off my back and put me in a thankful mood. What will it take to put a little zoom into grain prices?

Simplify your grain marketing 3

The lowest corn and soybean prices in five years are creating bad conditions for grain producers. This might be a good time to simplify our corn and soybean marketing strategy to see if we can’t recapture a winning approach.

Better corn, soybean prices by spring? 1

Despite my concerns, I continue to read marketing strategists who are urging producers to store grain at harvest and wait for better prices. Be stubborn! I disagree because I think the odds of a large price rise in the first-half of 2015 are small. The burden is on me to explain my outlook.

Difficult marketing decisions: Sell corn, soybeans now or store? 1

Harvest is back and it’s time to make some marketing decisions. Should I sell now or store grain to sell later in the crop year? Maybe I should sell the carry in the market. Our alternatives are limited and, with prices at four-year lows, the choice will not be easy. Let’s look at the cards we’ve been dealt.

Game Change: Grain prices falling  1

Corn prices, as measured by the national average corn price received by farmers, are sinking below the $4/bu. mark for the first time since summer, 2010. By harvest, cash corn prices could be $3.50/bu. or less. Old-crop soybean prices have stubbornly held their ground much better than corn, but new crop prices of $10/bu. or less are a real possibility by harvest. Like corn, we need to go back to 2010 to find sub-$10 soybeans.

Spring corn, soybean marketing: Hard questions  1

The long winter is over and your mind has turned to corn and soybean planting. It’s a convenient excuse to put corn and soybean marketing on the back burner, but I’m not going to let you do it. Here are some hard questions you need to answer in the next 10 weeks.

Corn prices and costs 1

Despite lower prices, I am reluctant to call this a bear market. The distinguishing feature of a bear market is a trend of persistently lower prices. That is not an accurate description of the current market.

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