Crop marketing plan fundamentals

September 6, 2022
Creating a customized, easy-to-follow grain marketing plan is critical for maximizing farm revenue potential. Patti Uhrich, a commodity broker at CHS Hedging, shares tips for developing a successful crop marketing plan.

Marketing is vital to every farm’s revenue potential, but it can be challenging to develop a plan to manage risk amid volatile markets. Patti Uhrich, a commodity broker at CHS Hedging, encourages farmers to work with trusted consultant to build customized, easy-to-follow crop marketing plans.

Build in flexibility

Uhrich says a marketing plan typically encompasses several crop years and addresses operation goals. “We know Mother Nature throws us curveballs. Some seasons are too hot and dry; others are too cold and wet; and once in a while we get just the right conditions to maximize profitability potential. Build your marketing plan to those optimal conditions, but sure it’s flexible and be prepared to adjust it if necessary,” she explains.

Keep it simple

A marketing plan should be simple, Uhrich says. But most important, it needs to be customized to the operation. As you build a strategy with help from your trusted marketing consultant, be sure you understand what’s required to execute the plan. “Developing a marketing plan is crucial, but it must also be executed. That’s where a trusted consultant can add value to your operation.”

Work with trusted partners

Firms across the country, including CHS Hedging, provide risk management services for farmers and ranchers. As you look for a partner to help develop your marketing plan, Uhrich advises seeking a trusted professional who has your best interests in mind. Marketing consultants should become part of the farm team and work on your behalf. Uhrich recommends looking for consultants with strong communication skills who are available when you need them.

“I encourage farmers to choose local consultants if possible. Local professionals know basis levels, and they understand the area’s logistics. They’re also familiar with weather patterns to help set realistic yield expectations,” says Uhrich.