Price patterns over the past year are almost a mirror image of long-term averages. An atypical year like this always begs the question: Are seasonal patterns still relevant? Is it possible that the age of ethanol and massive investment funds permanently changed the market?

Historical trends and seasonal patterns are still relevant because these trends are rooted in the production cycle of spring planting, summer development and fall harvest. Unless or until we begin planting in January and harvesting in July, I will pay attention to historical trends.

It is important to remind ourselves that seasonal price patterns represent tendencies and not certainties. Because they are only tendencies, I believe that seasonal patterns should be a secondary consideration in pricing decisions. Of primary consideration in grain pricing should be what works for your farm and business.