Successful Habits for Farming Today


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Course Overview

A decade ago, you could focus on growing your crop, and making money on it took care of itself. You could buy inputs at planting time and sell all your bushels at harvest. That was simply standard practice.

But those days are over. The stakes are higher now. We’re in a sustained period of low margins and price volatility. These days, if you’re not paying attention to marketing year-round, you can miss opportunities just to break even.

You need to shift your farm into a higher, more profitable gear. That’s what this course can help you do.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the financial potential of small changes to positively impact profitability
  • Calculate production costs to help you form price targets
  • Understand how crop insurance can give you confidence to forward market
  • Know how to buy inputs better so you can control costs and timing
  • Recognize market fundamentals so you can identify opportunities
  • Develop a written grain marketing plan to help guide your decisions

Course Contributors

  • Ed Usset, Grain Marketing Specialist, University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management and author of “Grain Marketing is Simple (it’s just not easy)”
  • Paul Neiffer, CPA and past president of Farm Financial Management Council
  • Variety of ADM experts and grain producers
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Turn the Key: Start Your Engine with Three Habits

The power to make rational decisions is in your hands. Learn to take the wheel of your farm, control key decisions, and turn them into greater profitability.

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1st Gear: Map Your Financial Route

Price targets are the first step in profitable grain marketing. Learn how to set price goals for your crop using variable and fixed costs.

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2nd Gear: Use Crop Insurance as Marketing Fuel

Your policy is an asset, not an expense. Learn how to capitalize on your revenue protection for grain marketing—even if you don’t file a claim.

3rd Gear: Put the Brakes on Fertilizer Costs

Crop nutrients are a third of your input costs. Learn how to lock in lower prices and purchase direct from an ADM terminal to widen your margins.

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4th Gear: Navigate the Market with Confidence

There’s a wide array of grain marketing methods. Understand the basic pros and cons to develop a strategy that’s right for you.

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5th Gear: Put Your Execution Plan on Cruise Control

Price goals and a calendar are your best friends. Use sell-by dates on crop portions to aim for profitability—and track progress with technology.

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