5 Factors to Emerge Stronger this Spring Season
It’s been a slow start to planting in many regions. The average for this time of year is 50% complete for corn planting, but recent reports show we’re only at 22% of anticipated 2022 corn crop acres planted. Inclement weather, global issues, and historically high input costs are making it hard to feel in control.
But with spring in the air, there’s comfort in the routine of getting crops in the ground and working the land. Despite the busy days, try to plan ahead to manage the many facets of your operation. Below are five tips to keep you and your crops healthy and thriving this spring season:
- Stay Safe: Spring can carry higher safety risks, especially around grain bins, tractors and other large equipment. As you hurry to empty out old crop, don’t get complacent around flowing grain and augers. Bring others in to help spot and support you. Use a rope and safety harness when entering a dangerous bin situation. For more safety tips, refer to guidelines from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the National Ag Safety Database.
- Make Crop Insurance Your Backbone: Success is about optimizing margin per acre, which is your yield times the sales price, minus your cost of production. During volatile markets, revenue protection crop insurance is a good backstop. With the 2022 spring price guarantee set and the balancing act of high production costs, you can protect enough bushels to cover your costs, then venture into forward sales to try to beat the guarantee. Talk with your ADM representative about integrating your insurance policy with your grain marketing plan.
- Lower Your Input Costs: Fertilizer makes up about one third of your production costs or more right now. Many producers are discovering significant savings from purchasing direct versus through a local dealer. ADM Farm Direct Fertilizer offers this option by eliminating costs in the supply chain and shipping products directly to you. ADM also provides market reports that can help you make the decision to forward price up to 18 months in advance. Buying now for fall application could be beneficial. Learn more in our portal.
- Revisit Your Grain Marketing Plan: When there are rapid fluctuations in the market, it can be hard to stay focused and execute on your grain marketing plan – but that’s when it’s most important. Given historical trends, April through June is typically a friendly price window for corn. During planting, though, it’s tough to watch the markets, so find tools that execute for you. One good option is offers, which trigger automatically. Another is ADM’s Average Seasonal Price (ASP™) contract, which earns the daily price over a set time frame. Talk to your ADM representative about this opportunity.
- Continue Learning: One way to make even better and more confident decisions is to acquire new knowledge. Knowing how to leverage marketing opportunities and what your price targets are can make a difference. Learn new strategies through Shift, ADM’s six-lesson online course that shares management principles related to mapping a clear financial route, using crop insurance to fuel a marketing plan, understanding grain marketing methods, and learning how to lock-in fertilizer prices. ADM representatives and outside experts like Ed Usset contributed to the course. Learn more here.
No one single tactic is a silver bullet in farming today. Everything’s connected. Starting with safety, and integrating your crop insurance, input costs, grain marketing, along with continuous learning, is the clearest path to success.
In April 2020, Austin Chester, an ADM grain origination specialist in Northwest Indiana, talked about some of these tips to encourage producers to take advantage of seasonal opportunities. Consider listening to this In the Driver’s Seat podcast episode #29 for more information. Stay safe this season.
ADM is providing this communication for informational purposes, and it is not a solicitation or offer to purchase or sell commodities. The sources for the information in this communication are believed to be reliable, but ADM does not warrant the accuracy of the information. The information in this communication is subject to change without notice. If applicable, any information and/or recommendations in this communication do not take into account any particular individual’s or company’s objectives or needs, which should be considered before engaging in any commodity 3 transactions based on these recommendations. ADM or its affiliates may hold or take positions for their own accounts that are different from the positions recommended in this communication.