Why most farmers fear grain marketing

Refocusing for better results

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 In my mind I have a job, separate from my farming operation.
 It goes something like this: learn as much as I can, try to relate it to farming, and write or share content that relates to farmers.
 That’s what I did with the most recent Tony Robbins documentary. I’m a big Tony Robbins fan; he’s helped over 50 million people, and he’s a pretty amazing guy. When I watched the documentary, I learned something that I think is relevant to farmers and grain marketing today—fear is our biggest problem.
 It’s a fear that’s built over time. The way to fight your fear is to figure out what stresses you out in your business or life and keep digging down. Eventually, you’ll find that fear is underlying all your stress.
 For most farmers, the biggest fear is selling grain at the wrong price.
 Harvest isn’t that stressful: there’s a system for it, and it’s not that different from last year. The marketing is where farmers struggle the most. So how do we eradicate our fear?

 Suffering and beauty
 Not to get too deep into the kumbaya stuff, but . . . In life there is suffering or beauty.
 Suffering is usually based on fear. It’s fear of failure, uncertainty, or tragedy that underlies our feelings about grain marketing.
 Beauty is based on gratitude: our kids, wife/husband, the warm summer rain on our thirsty crops, and so on.
 Every thought will put you into a state: productive/unproductive, happy/fearful. You can tell the difference. 1

 When I mention grain marketing to farmers, their whole body language changes. They could be as confident as possible, then the rainfall pours over them, and they say, “You had to bring that up?”
 With grain marketing, there are a lot of bad habits. We may make a sale, think it’s the best we’ve ever made, then watch the markets go higher and higher the next day. That translates to deep-rooted fear, and farmers become worse and worse at marketing as they try to keep doing it on their own. That’s what wrecks them in the end.
 Farmers focus on their mistakes, which turns marketing into a fear-based part of the business. If they don’t have to sell, they’ll just sit on the grain, because if you don’t make a decision, you haven’t made a mistake. I’ve met some great farmers who are sitting on two years of crop, which amazes me every time.
 There has to be a better way. Let’s get specific about how to push back against your natural fear of grain marketing.

 2 ways to overcome fear
 1) Change your focus
 Change your focus and you will change your results. We learn the most from our failure.
 Start to change your focus by appreciating. Frame that one great sale you made at the top 5% of the production. Highlight your successes. Think about your kids, wife, parents, and the fact that you feed the world.

 2) The best way to overcome fear is to outsource it

 Look at your grain marketing, at why there was so much failure. It’s different for everyone.
 Double down on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses. If you’re a hell of a planner and love the markets, develop a team to run the farm.
 However, for the most part if you’re running a farming operation, spending a lot of time looking at the futures markets isn’t feasible. At Cash Cow, we work closely with Randy Martinson, who analyzes the markets every day. Leaning on his expertise, we build custom strategies for farmers so they can focus on running an efficient operation.
 It may seem simplistic, but this is a perfect example of outsourcing your fears.

 If I was to go back to college to learn computer programming, I wouldn’t be able to write these blogs and run a podcast for farmers. I wouldn’t have the time.
 It’s the same thing with grain marketing. I’ve got tons of books on my shelf about markets, portfolio management, economic cycles, financial analysis… I’ve done a lot of education personally, trading for over a decade, and I still make mistakes. That’s why I outsource my grain marketing to Randy.
 Unless you devote 100% of your time to studying the markets, it’s extremely hard to banish your fear of grain marketing without help.

 We do grain marketing strategy sessions. Whether you become a customer or not, we try to help you develop a strategy and figure out if there’s a better solution out there. We’re familiar with our competitors, and if what we offer doesn’t make sense, we’ll pass you along to them.

 Try out a free grain marketing strategy session with us. We would love to absorb some of the fear you have about grain marketing.


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Scott Anderson

Cash Cow Farmer Founder/CEO, Scott Anderson, grew up on the family farm in Andover, South Dakota. He is a second generation farmer with a passion for farming, marketing, analytics, and software development.