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Kick Off Your 2021 With These 5 Tips

A round-up of professional insights to improve your well-being and bottom line as a producer.

Most of us were relieved to say goodbye to 2020, but even during a difficult year it’s good to reflect on the lessons learned and consider new ideas for the year ahead.

Proactive planning separates the progressive farmers from the rest of the pack, but it can be hard to do. There is so much information out there and so many different decisions that go into your farm operation every day. It can be overwhelming and tempting to just let things take care of themselves, but you can start today by reading and listening to insights from other professionals in the field as a first step.

We’ve pulled snippets from the five most listened to episodes of In the Driver’s Seat in 2020. They cover markets, mental health, fertilizer, sustainable agriculture and the offer system for grain marketing. These are important topics to revisit on a regular basis and incorporate into your portfolio:

Insight #1. Buy your fertilizer when the market is in your favor and improve your bottom dollar.

From Jessica Alderson, Territory and Origination Manager for ADM, Nebraska:

“Fertilizer is often thought of as a buy-when-you-need-it type of product—when really it’s traded like a commodity, similar to grain. And there’s a global market that trades daily. The ADM Farm Direct fertilizer program gives you information to make an informed decision that can affect your bottom dollar. You’re able to price fertilizer up to 18 months in advance, giving you confidence to forward market your grain and buy a portion of your inputs together. The cost will give you a more realistic view of what your needs will be year-over-year.”

Insight #2. Your mental health is vital and there are numerous resources to help farmers.

From Jason Medows, Host of Ag State of Mind, Cow-Calf Operator and Healthcare Professional:

“The tough part of seeking care for your emotional and physical health is that you need to reach out to others and take advantage of the resources around you. One of the rewards when you have a clear mind is that you can make clear decisions that keep the farm operation running. Places I like to send people include, Do More Agriculture Foundation and”

Insight #3. Look at other revenue opportunities beyond grain sales.

From Todd Harman, Regional Manager for ADM, Kansas:

“Lock in the cheap spot prices for fuel and think about the financing of your business. Interest rates are low. Look at alternative financing options. Maybe it’s nontraditional. You can focus on things other than grain price, such as revenue opportunities, and don’t forget about farm programs – PLC (Price Loss Coverage) or ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage), crop revenue insurance and COVID-19 relief programs. All of those need to be added together to work in conjunction with the total revenue opportunity of your farm.”

Insight #4. Sustainable farming programs are available, including reduced tillage and cover crops, through ADM’s collaboration with Field to Market.

From Michelle French, Corporate Sustainability Manager for ADM and Board Member, Field to Market:

“If you think of sustainable agriculture as baseball, Field to Market is the rule book. Field to Market gives us the metrics and calculations that we are going to use to do the data analysis and make sure we’re all speaking the same language. It doesn’t matter if you go see a ball game in St. Louis, Detroit or Chicago, everyone plays baseball by the same rules. Field to Market gives us all a level playing field, so that we know our end goal.”

Insight #5. The offer system can be a useful tool in your grain marketing plan to achieve your price targets.

From Matt Kroes, Grain Origination Specialist for ADM, Southern Indiana/Northern Kentucky:

“It’s proactive marketing, but it’s reactive marketing. We use offers every day. The do is, first of all, do your homework. Figure out exactly what the game plan is and have that discussion with your originator. The offer system is a tool out there that producers need to be utilizing and leveraging, but don’t move the goal post.”

Want to improve your bottom line in 2021? Let us help you reduce your fertilizer costs and do better in the grain markets—for better margins and lower risk. Contact us today.


ADM is providing this communication for informational purposes, and it is not a solicitation or offer to purchase or sell commodities. The 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 transactions based on these recommendations. The sources for the information and recommendations in this communication are believed to be reliable, but ADM does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of the information or recommendations. ADM or its affiliates may hold or take positions for their own accounts that are different from the positions recommended in this communication. The information and recommendations in this communication are subject to change without notice.