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Risk in selling post-USDA report?

“Despite what everyone else says, there’s not much risk in farming these days,” Ken Rulon, Rulon Enterprises and Risk Management assessor said.

Rulon admits he realizes this isn’t what you want to hear right after the USDA reports bearish trends, and after an entire growing season of pure gambling against the weather and the economy.  But according to him, this is a great time to be a seller.

“Forums are a good way to tell when to sell: When people tell you you’re being bearish, it’s a great time to sell,” Rulon said.

His advice is part of a larger goal to eliminate the fear from selling.  He says that despite the psychological fear, when everyone else thinks it is a dangerous time to sell, that is where the low risk really lies.

Rulon will join 20 other financial strategy and technology industry professionals at the 2011 Top Farmer Crop Workshop held this month at Purdue University.  The workshop focuses on the business side of farming, covering topics like farmland values and land rental choices, along with risk management and commodity prices.

“Farmers know that to succeed, they have to keep costs in check and maximize yields.  The workshop blends production information with the financial, strategic and marketing aspects of commercial agriculture,” said Bruce Erickson, Purdue Extension agricultural economist and workshop coordinator.

Thursday’s USDA report highlights the need for making smart market decisions.  Erickson says the workshop is meant to be an interactive peer discussion for everyone to learn how to manage risk.

“People want to know if the current agricultural market is sustainable—whether these prices are a short-time bubble or a new price plateau,” Erickson said.  “With increased crop and input prices, the financial side is bigger; if prices shift, there can be much more at stake.”

Top Farmer Crop Workshop will be held this July 17-20 at Purdue University.  For more information and for workshop registration materials, click here.

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