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Program to offer intensive market training this winter
Ohio Farm News
By Steve Bartels

By the time you read this, the window of opportunity to lock in very strong prices for fall delivery of 2007 corn and soybeans may have already past, or the prices may have continued to climb for the past week or 10 days.

If I knew for sure, I would be a very rich man by the time you read this. The Chicago Board prices for corn and wheat have been exceptionally strong. The price for soybeans has not been as exciting, but the price offered now, for fall 2006 delivery beans, is on the high end of the range USDA had forecast for the 2006 marketing year. The only time that normally happens is in a drought year. So, what do you do?

Do you spend six months of the year shopping around for the best price on seed, fertilizer, and chemicals? Then, when you go to sell the crop, you just haul it to the terminal and take whatever price they offer?

Maybe you forward contract with the elevator, but then worry that the rain won’t come and you’ll not have enough grain to fill the contract. Or, maybe you forward contract and then watch the price continue to rise and you kick yourself for “losing 30 cents a bushel” by not waiting.

Maybe you are the guy that hauls a load every week and figures he is going to get an average price; is that a good idea? Maybe you pass up $6.25 per bushel beans, with the old crop in your bin, waiting for $7. The price gets to $6.92 and you stick to your plan, only to watch them fall, fall, fall. You end up selling them for $4.75.

Is there a better way to sell your product? Can you learn about some tools that might make your operation more profitable? How can you use futures and options? Can you actually make money by purchasing crop insurance? If any of these examples sounds like you, or you have asked these questions, then the Professional Marketer Program is your answer.

The Professional Marketer Program features 48 hours of intensive market training from the top marketing consultants in the U.S., as well as, the best researchers from The Ohio State University. Topics that will be covered in the Professional Marketer Program include: budgets/break-evens; futures contract seasonality; futures/options and basis; commodity pricing strategies; market technical analysis; crop insurance; livestock marketing; contracts; weather effect on markets; and the impact of ethanol on grain markets. In addition to the lectures, there will be several hands-on activities that will guide you through the process of developing a personal marketing plan.

The program consists of three two-day sessions held on Jan. 11 and 12, Jan. 25 and 26, and Feb. 8 and 9. Each day will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fayette County Agriculture Service Center in Washington Courthouse, Ohio.

The cost of the program is $150 per participant, and includes a notebook of marketing fact sheets and lecture handouts. Lunch and refreshments will be provided throughout the program by local businesses.

Registrations are now being accepted. For details about the course and/or a registration form, contact the Fayette County Extension office at 740-335-1150.

This farm news was published in the Nov. 8, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.