You're about finished with harvesting what USDA predicts will be the second largest corn and soybean crops on record.

It always amazes me that despite talk of spring floods, parched summer fields and early frosts, collectively farmers can manage to raise such whopper crops. Sure, much of the reason is due to the high-speed genetics found in today's seeds. But your ability to harness all the crop production techniques available is essential, too.

Still, producing the crop is only part of the equation. Now you have to sell it, and sell it at a profit.

When I started writing about agriculture more than 25 years ago, marketing was a hot topic and we regularly wrote stories about the basics and profiled farmers with successful strategies.

Some things don't change. Marketing remains a priority for profit.

For example, experts say selling corn at harvest is probably not a good idea. An Iowa State University study shows that corn prices hit their seasonal low in October nearly 80% of the time. Harvest pressures and the glut of grain hitting the market normally create a supply larger than immediate demand.

Advice from Ed Usset, University of Minnesota grain marketing specialist, is to start your marketing plan for next year as you're harvesting now.

We can help, too, by offering you the opportunity to sign up for our MarketMaxx program. It's free, online and a way for you to learn how to develop a marketing plan that uses futures, options and forward pricing.

The contest is coming to a close for this year, officially ending Oct. 31, but you can sign up for next year's contest starting Jan. 1, 2007. In fact, you can log on to www.MarketMaxx.net now, click on library, and begin learning the ins and outs of marketing. Then once you formally sign up in January, you can begin trading a fictitious 100,000 bu. of corn and 50,000 bu. of soybeans using all the marketing tools available to you now, except you won't be spending — or losing — any of your own cash.

Don't miss our December issue for a preview of why it's important to have a marketing plan and begin writing your own. We'll also explain the details of the new 2007 contest and the big prizes you could win.

And beginning in January, you'll also have the opportunity sign up for a free bi-weekly marketing newsletter that provides marketing advice and tracks positions of the leaders in the contest.

So please make your New Year's resolution early and start developing your marketing plan now — and use the help provided at www.MarketMaxx.net. It could just help you learn how to perfect selling those whopper crops.
EDITOR
glamp@csdigest.com