Mark Twain once said that farming is simply gambling with dirt. Indeed, when a farmer is all in with crop investment there are many chances to take on the weather, weeds and disease before even starting to consider the current state of the markets.
When prices are firm, as they seem to be at the moment, many growers may prefer to go it alone, but choosing the right partner to help market your grain for you can provide some consistency and mitigate risks in years when selling becomes difficult.
There are also big benefits to be had from access to specialised storage and cleaning facilities. Most feed crops can be kept on the farm but OSR, milling wheat and malting barley need looking after and the best place for it is within central storage with the capabilities to dry, blend and transform average crops into real premium stocks.
Discussions with your merchant should start months before the combine comes out of the shed. Perception of risk is key in the grain game. Whether you are looking for a pool or a tracker, growers need to consider the needs of the business first and foremost. Is cash flow demanding quick payment, can you afford to wait for higher prices, do you want to take a gamble on where the market is heading?
South East Farmer takes a look at the region’s key grain merchants to help readers reap the best rewards from their harvest.