Marketing Outside America

As soybean prices continue in their bullish ways, many producers are asking, “Are we going to see beans in the teens?” This leads me to believe that marketing discipline will be put on the back burner as we go for those high prices.

Recently I was in the province of Saskatchewan addressing a group in Saskatoon. The Sightsix Research Service has coordinated some outstanding work on best management and marketing practices of Western Canadian producers. For this column we will focus on marketing. You are comparing yourself to producers with an average age of 41, who operate 2,800 acres, and have been managing their businesses, for the most part, less than 20 years. Also, 80% of them have education beyond high school.

“Just the Facts” (as Joe Friday of Dragnet would say!)

  • 55% use forward contracts
  • 31% use futures contracts
  • 26% use options
  • 9% sell their grain on the Internet. Wow!
  • 29% are directly exporting to other countries from their farms.
  • 61% add value to the product and 95% say it contributes to success.
  • 12% have a written risk assessment plan
  • 62% use marketing consultants
  • 55% have formal agreements with processors or retailers to supply product meeting their specifications.

As you get ready for spring work this should provide you with some stimulating thoughts. How do you compare to our good friends to the North?

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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