It can be easier to dedicate time to marketing in winter months. It’s harder to devote time when field work is calling but analysts say market opportunities come at any time—so be vigilant.
“If you're a farmer marketing grain, you should spend at least a good 15 to 20 minutes every single day looking at your marketing plan, examining the markets, keeping track of what open orders you've got working, what kind of inventory you have, all that sort of stuff,” Joe Vaclavik of Standard Grain told Clinton Griffiths on U.S. Farm Report. “A lot of times your best basis opportunities of the year may present themselves during planting.”
Market opportunities can appear any time, according to Ken Smithmier of ClipperData.
“I think if last year taught anybody anything, it's [to] pay attention,” he said. “I think the farmer needs to be realistic about expectations for spring rally and where that high side price may go. It's also a time you always need to be re-examining but there's nothing wrong with sitting on your hand for a little bit and just seeing how things play out over the next two or three weeks.”
Vaclavik recommends farmers don’t pay too much attention to the news over the next few weeks and instead to continue to watch price and short covering by the funds.
“I'm going to try to keep weather out of focus, really and just keep my eye on prices and margins on profitability, that sort of thing,” he said. “Just remember the news tends to follow the markets. So, don't pay too much attention [to] any kind of weather scare or any type of news that's going to get you off the rails in terms of your game plan.”
The analysts agree the market will find a reason to rally at some point—keep tabs on it from the planter’s tractor cab.
“We peaked the market real early last year and we could certainly do it again,” Smithmier said.