When prices are high, such as beans in the mid-teens, bookthe sale if it’s a good profit opportunity, despite what others may say. “Let’s not give it away,” Hilker says. “The bean market dropped a buck and a-half in seven days in September.”

The drought pressured more growers, not just those worried about coffeetalk. “A lot of people who sold beans at $13 wanted to make sales at the higher levels butweren’t sure about their yields,” Hilker notes. “If they’re still bullish and have beans orcorn to sell over what they’ve already contracted, considering selling at the current price,then use 2013 futures or options strategies to stay in the market.”

Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension economist, says more risk-managementdecisions are made by younger growers. In multi-generational farms, younger producers mayhave thicker skins that repel peer criticism. “Stories still get told in the coffee shops,”Hurt says, “but decisions made are a lot more sophisticated.”

Social media and smartphones, with real-time information, plugs growers into buyers, he says. “They have connection tomuch broader analysis and factual information.”

Hurt says there will always be “traditional farmers who may still rely on their ‘old time’ social media at the coffee shop. “Twenty years ago many farmers were speculators, trying to pick the moment. But a vast majority realized they weren’t experts at picking the highs, and that even experts are wrong plenty of times.”


Stick to a marketing plan

“Farmers sometimes kick themselves for early pricingwhen prices go up,” Hart says. “But it’s their job to take opportunities to cover their costsand make a profit.”

So the next time you’re on that second cup and old loud mouth says, “Corn’s upto $8. Bet you wish you hadn’t sold at $7,” shield your ego from greed and fear. They don’t make a good threesome.