Ed Usset

Ed
Usset
Articles
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.

The patient grain marketer 1

Pricing some of your expected grain production before harvest is important and valuable. Early sales often beat the harvest price: for three out of four years in corn, and two out of three years in soybeans since 1990. Despite the favorable odds, I don’t like pricing new-crop grain at prices below production costs.

Green light for soybeans

Planting season is just a few months away, and producers are thinking about the economics of planting soybeans versus corn in 2014. It’s all about relative prices and, relatively speaking, new-crop futures prices strongly favor soybeans over corn.

Start 2014 with a preharvest marketing plan

Corn producers started the new year with prices too low and too much in the bin. Corn at $4 is a problem but, to be fair, this is not a problem that started at harvest.

A bearish outlook for corn in 2014?

A few weeks ago I gave my class an exercise on the balance sheet for grains. The assignment asked them to crunch the numbers on different supply and demand scenarios for the next crop year. Imagine my surprise when a simple exercise, designed to enlighten students, instead enlightened me with a bearish outlook for corn in 2014.

Celebrate another golden age of agriculture

I believe we are in the midst of another Golden Age of Agriculture, for two reasons: Farmers and ag companies are thriving, and we have a new generation of ag producers who don't know the "bad times."

Corn, soybean basis price concerns 2

I like to think of grain marketing as a game played with two halves. The first half is pre-harvest marketing, or pricing actions taken before you harvest the crop. The second half occurs after harvest and involves a question, “To store, or not to store?”

Echoes of 2003

July makes the corn crop. In 2003, despite a dry August and September, a corn crop with great potential still ended up good. August makes the soybean crop and, in the same year, a soybean crop with equally great potential at the end of July produced the worst yield in ten years. Does this sound familiar? While I don’t believe the dryness in 2013 has been as extreme, in terms of the timing and trend in crop conditions, it’s 2003 all over again.

how to price new-crop corn, soybeans
How to price new-crop grain

The game has changed. After months of fighting for a dominant position, market bears took control of the corn market in July. Now harvest looms, and you need a game plan to deal with lower prices. How should you price new-crop corn and soybeans? Let’s look at carrying charges, basis and seasonal price patterns after harvest.

Post-Harvest Marketing Challenge: Sizing Up the Market 23

CSD columnist Ed Usset, University of Minnesota, spoke to farmers at Commodity Classic on March 2. His topic: post-harvest marketing for corn and soybeans. Usset used fictional characters to show different marketing styles and the results from those styles, whether you sell the carry, have no storage, etc. He also talked about sizing up the market. His biggest reminder to attendees, and all crop marketers: Forget last year!

Post-Harvest Marketing Challenge: Marketing Results 46

CSD columnist Ed Usset, University of Minnesota, spoke to farmers at Commodity Classic on March 2. His topic: post-harvest marketing. Usset used fictional characters to show different marketing styles and the results from those styles, whether you sell the carry, have no storage, etc.

Post-Harvest Marketing Challenge: Marketing Style & Carrying Charges 15

CSD columnist Ed Usset, University of Minnesota, spoke to farmers at Commodity Classic on March 2. His topic: post-harvest marketing. Usset used fictional characters to show different marketing styles and farming types. He also went over carrying charges and what those mean for different marketing styles.

Old-Crop Strength

Old-crop grain prices have tread water for months. Many traders believe that a market that cannot establish a clear uptrend is a market poised for a setback. I don’t agree. Old-crop corn and soybeans prices will hold steady and trade higher in the next few months. I read the same bearish news that you do. Let’s walk through the problems.

Take the Pricing Leap

Talk of the fiscal cliff wore me down. It reminded me of the buzz surrounding Y2K at the new millennium. What happened on January 1, 2000? The sun rose in the East and I had a cup of coffee. Life as we know it continued to march forward. I expected the same from a fiscal cliff.

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