Producers May Want to Market 10 to 20% of Their Grain Now

While grain prices are high, so is volatility.

Current high commodity prices make now a good time to market a little grain. That's the advice of Paul Burgener, University of Nebraska grain marketing specialist in Scottsbluff.

Paul Burgener, based at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center, recommends that producers take advantage of a short-term opportunity to sell 10 to 20% their of corn, wheat and/or soybeans.

Demand for grain is high right now, so prices are high, but volatile, he adds. High grain prices have increased demand for grain production inputs as well. U.S. producers are competing globally for materials such as fertilizer and fuel, which are produced overseas.

Currently, the dollar is weak compared to foreign currencies, and that weakness is also contributing to high production costs.

What's true of ag chemicals and fuels is also true of capital equipment. High grain prices have encouraged producers worldwide to upgrade equipment, Burgener says. That demand has driven prices of both new and used equipment higher.

Some producers are experiencing "sticker shock" when they visit their insurance agents, he says. Since the value of the crop has increased, the price of insuring it has also increased proportionally.

In such a volatile market, Burgener advises producers to be diligent in saving every dollar possible on input costs in order to maximize profits at the end of the season.

The current market situation presents both opportunities and challenges for the producer who takes control of costs.

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