The planter has been rebuilt, seed pallets are in the shed and fertilizer is on-hand.

All we’re waiting for is the ground to get fit enough to work. We may soon be fully occupied with managing our field enterprises, which can leave little time to manage marketing of the resulting crops.

Let’s consider once more what revenue level is desired for our farm while we do have a few minutes before spring rush. We can do this by subtracting our expected cost-of-production from our average per bushel price received.

At this time, cost-of-production can be more or less known (assuming an average harvest.) Check Penn State Extension agronomy guide, Kentucky Extension , and University of Illinois as a few examples we can follow to calculate our farm’s costs.

My pencil pushing tells me that 2013 corn will have a $5.00 breakeven and 2013 soybeans will be at $11.00 breakeven when we consider all expenses of grain farming.

 If these are my breakeven numbers, it might do me some good to try and secure profitable marketing prices above these costs.

At this time we do see harvest 2013 opportunities for profitable prices at many local cash buyers.

 Remember, I do not believe anyone can predict the future. Where prices will go, and when is a guess. Because of this, incremental sales can be a useful method of securing a return for our risk.

Effective grain marketers are sometimes able to take profits if and when they present themselves. Of course, this is balanced against our individual ability to tolerate risk and our individual financial needs, and what the market gives us to work with.

Many market observers are expecting a solid price year for 2013 crops given the exceptionally low 2012 harvest. Prices may not be at 2012 levels, but the pipeline and reserves do need to be recharged.

Let’s keep an eye on any price recoveries and consider additional sales — especially before we get to the historical turning point of deteriorating prices.

This turning point often occurs near the time when U.S. planted acres are known.


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