With this issue we're excited about introducing our new marketing columnist, Ed Usset, to the Profits section in the back of the magazine.
A Minnesota native, Usset has a bachelor's and master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota (U of M), and has authored several publications on marketing.
He's currently a grain marketing specialist at the U of M's Center for Farm Financial Management, the developers of FinPack farm financial analysis program and of several other educational programs.
You may be more familiar with him, however, from his well-known “Winning the Game” grain marketing workshop series. Plus, he's been a source in marketing stories for this magazine for some time. In fact, if it weren't for his input, it's unlikely we'd be running our popular MarketMaxx fantasy grain contest.
Before joining the U of M in 1996, Usset was the director of commodity operations for the flour milling division of Pillsbury, and was responsible for purchasing 70 million bushels of grain annually. He also traded in the pit of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange for nearly a decade.
Please be sure to read his kick-off story on page 56: “In The Age Of Ethanol, Is Grain Marketing Relevant?”
By the time you read this, winners of the 2007 MarketMaxx contest will have been named. Also, plans for the start-up of the 2008 game are well underway and you should be able to sign up to play in a couple of weeks. The game officially starts Jan. 2, 2008.
The whole idea of the contest isn't to just win big prizes, it's to help you become a better marketer without losing any of your own hard-earned money. So join the thousands of other farmers who are learning to market more wisely by signing up at www.MarketMaxx.com — you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
For most of you receiving this issue, you'll also be getting the annual F.I.R.S.T. (Farmer's Independent Research of Seed Technologies) yield results from 950 corn hybrids tested on 150 different sites across 11 states, for a total of 53,000 trials. And not just trials, but on-farm trials. We hope you use it along with other yield test data to make your seed selections for 2008. You can also find the results online at www.cornandsoybeandigest.com — click on the Special Reports tab in the Resources section. Also, watch for the F.I.R.S.T. soybean yields in the December issue.