Author

Amanda Eller

Amanda Eller


Mar 02, 2020

by Amanda Eller

Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) is growing in popularity among farmers. It covers a wide variety of farm production, both insurable commodities as well as those crops where traditional coverage isn't available. In this pre-recorded webinar, Frank Newell, Director of Sales for  Crop Insurance, speaks with colleague Allen Pickard to help you learn more about WFRP and determine if it might be a good fit for your operation. What you'll learn Key components to WFRP, including coverage levels, requirements and limitations How WFRP is similar to—and differs from—multi-peril crop insurance Steps to take in order to secure a WFRP policy for the 2020 crop year Watch now For more information on WFRP, chat with an Crop Insurance agent to explore your coverage options for the upcoming growing season.


Nov 14, 2019

by Amanda Eller

Most crop marketing programs measure success against a pricing benchmark, like beating the average price or getting in the top third of the market. At , we believe that performance should be measured in terms of your farm operation’s overall profitability.  Why seeking overall profitability matters Here are four primary reasons to focus your crop marketing efforts on overall profitability: Other performance metrics—your average price per bushel, yield or cost containment—are only parts of the overall return on investment equation.  In general, every marketing decision trades upside potential (in terms of profitability per acre) for downside risk. For example, when you decide to make a sale at a price just above your breakeven cost, you lock in a profit on those bushels. That sale decreases your risk of failing to breakeven this year—but you are also giving up the potential to market those bushels at a higher price if the market rallies. A good marketing program helps you evaluate those trade-offs.  Most of our members value consistent profitability, so timing is important. Take the example in the table below. Across the two years average performance is 15 cents over the market average, but the underperformance in the bad year could have much more dire consequences compared to the benefit of over-performing in the good year. You can still incorporate a market view and respond to price changes—that view is just modeled in relation to expected profitability and not a price benchmark. Aim for overall profitability using HedgeCommand Focusing on overall profitability makes sense, but how does this work in the real world? And why don’t other crop marketing firms take this approach? Until the development of the HedgeCommand system, most farmers haven't had an easy way to comprehensively model risk and make decisions in terms of expected profitability and risk of loss. HedgeCommand is the only marketing system that uses data science to generate truly personalized pricing recommendations. With this tool in your marketing dashboard, you can achieve the following objectives: Track all of your risk management tools in one place We believe farmers should take an integrated approach to risk management. Your risk management tools include crop insurance, forward contracts, futures and options, and structured contracts. HedgeCommand compiles everything you do that matters for your profitability and risk into a single number—your “percent hedged”. HedgeCommand then analyzes the probability of different prices and yields. This way, you can see how an additional sale will change your expected (most likely) profitability, your upside potential and your risk of loss. Use a systematic plan as your guidepost We also believe farmers should benchmark their marketing decisions against a systematic plan. The data show that in the long run, a systematic marketing plan is generally more effective than only trying to time the market highs. You might be bullish or bearish about the market, but when you benchmark against a “neutral” systematic approach, you can better manage the amount of risk you are willing to bet on your market view.  For , this systematic approach starts with our neutral HedgeTrak, a tool driven by an algorithm that slowly and methodically recommends getting more hedged as you approach harvest. It tells you how hedged you should be at any given time in order to balance risk and reward assuming you have no view on where the markets are headed. When prices go up and your profitability starts to look better, the algorithm automatically adjusts and HedgeTrak will recommend getting more hedged. Layer in your bullish or bearish market bias Once you know where HedgeCommand recommends you “should” be if you had no opinion about the markets, you can measure your bullishness or bearishness in relation to the HedgeTrak. If you are slightly bearish, you may want to be a little more hedged than HedgeTrak. If you are very bullish, you may want to be a lot less hedged than HedgeTrak. also provides Market Advisory clients with a market view based on our fundamental research. You can use HedgeCommand to add ’s market view into your plan or you can enter your own view.  Lastly, HedgeCommand looks at where you are today and how hedged you want to be, and generates personalized trade recommendations to get you there. HedgeCommand is launching soon in Profit Center inside the app and is only available to members of the Market Advisory program. HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE MANY INHERENT LIMITATIONS, SOME OF WHICH ARE DESCRIBED BELOW. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFITS OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN. IN FACT, THERE ARE FREQUENTLY SHARP DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND THE ACTUAL RESULTS SUBSEQUENTLY ACHIEVED BY ANY PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM. ONE OF THE LIMITATIONS OF HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS IS THAT THEY ARE GENERALLY PREPARED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. IN ADDITION, HYPOTHETICAL TRADING DOES NOT INVOLVE FINANCIAL RISK, AND NO HYPOTHETICAL TRADING RECORD CAN COMPLETELY ACCOUNT FOR THE IMPACT OF FINANCIAL RISK IN ACTUAL TRADING. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND LOSSES OR ADHERE TO A PARTICULAR TRADING PROGRAM IN SPITE OF TRADING LOSSES ARE MATERIAL POINTS WHICH CAN ALSO ADVERSELY AFFECT ACTUAL TRADING RESULTS. THERE ARE NUMEROUS OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO THE MARKETS IN GENERAL OR TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANY SPECIFIC TRADING PROGRAM WHICH CANNOT BE FULLY ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE PREPARATION OF HYPOTHETICAL PERFORMANCE RESULTS AND ALL OF WHICH CAN ADVERSELY AFFECT ACTUAL TRADING RESULTS. FBN Market Advisory services are offered by FBN BR LLC, dba FBN Brokerage and FBN Advisory NFA ID: 0508695 The risk of trading futures and options can be substantial and may not be suitable for all investors. All information, publications, and reports, including this specific material, used and distributed by FBN BR LLC shall be construed as a solicitation. FBN BR LLC does not distribute research reports, employ research analysts, or maintain a research department as defined in CFTC Regulation 1.71. This website contains information obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed by FBN BR LLC. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. For the purposes of quality assurance and compliance, phone calls to and from FBN BR LLC may be recorded. Copyright © 2014-2019 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, "Farmers Business Network", "FBN", and "Farmers First" are registered service marks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 


Aug 15, 2019

by Amanda Eller

All the resources you need to contract speciality crop acres. Production Contracts combine attractive crop prices with direct access to seed and chemical plans, making it easy to calculate your potential profit-per-acre for our contracts. We help our members find production contracts for identity preserved corn, soybeans, canola, chickpeas, field peas, yellow peas, pulse crops and cotton.


Aug 15, 2019

by Amanda Eller

Editor's Note: FBN Market Advisory Marketing your grain is complicated... margins are narrow, markets are a rollercoaster, and just when you think you might catch a rally, prices take a different turn. Meet your new grain marketing co-pilot.  Cash Grain Management from matches you with one of our knowledgeable Farm Marketing Advisors — they support you in marketing your grain as effectively as possible. And they are backed by an entire team of economists and data scientists who are watching the markets on our customers’ behalf. This team makes recommendations based on cutting-edge data and years of experience studying market fundamentals. They work together with your FMA to tailor Market Intelligence to your personalized marketing plan, taking the guesswork out of when to sell. Your Farm Marketing Advisor can also customize an FBN cash grain contract to meet yo ur specific risk management goals. When it’s time to sell, your advisor will use local knowledge, our proprietary local basis data, and basis price analytics to help you identify the best price — and place — to deliver your grain. Joining Cash Grain Management also means you get regular reports on your grain position and periodic deep-dive analyses on some of the highest-performing grain marketing strategies. While other advisors charge by the acre for this level of expertise and individual service, Cash Grain Management is a flat fee. It’s clear advice at a fair price.


Feb 11, 2019

by Amanda Eller

One of the earliest domesticated crops dating back to 10,000 BC, pulse crops are dry, edible seed that grows inside a pod, such as lentils, chickpeas and dried beans. As farmers look to diversify crop production, there has been lots of interest in growing pulse crops in the United States. Harvested for their dry seed, pulse crops have the potential to increase cash flow on the land on which they are grown, and utilizing them in place of summer fallow practices has been known to increase a field’s microbial activity, water infiltration and nitrogen fixation. Pulse crops are indeterminate, cool season crops, and they can grow well in arid areas where rainfall may be limited (though some farmers have seen that putting pulse crops under irrigation can lead to higher yields). Temperatures above 82 degrees F can hinder or damage growth, so early planting of pulse crops is usually encouraged. In fact, March plantings are common. If soils are 50 degrees F at planting, emergence can occur within 10 days. When planting a pulse crop, it is important to place seed at a minimum of half an inch below the moisture line of the soil, but no deeper than three inches into the soil. Pulse seeds require three times the moisture to germinate of typical small grains, including wheat and rye. Planting population for pulse crops depends on row spacing and is usually described in pounds per acre and seeds per pound. For example, field peas at 25-35 pounds per acre at 10,833 seeds per pound, produce best at 300,000-350,000 plants per acre, or 7 to 8 plants per square foot. Pulse germination begins with a soil temperature of 38 degrees F, with emergence happening in 17-21 days. The growth of a pulse crop is influenced by day length and genetic variation. When days increase to a certain length, plants enter the reproductive/ flowering growth stage. The age of the plants and air temperature also influence when the reproductive stage begins. Plant growth and seed production are maximized when air temperatures range from of 50-73 degrees F. Inoculation is required to get an adequate population of nitrogen-fixing bacteria to supply the plants’ nitrogen needs. As with other legume crops, rhizobia bacteria grow in association with the plant roots. These bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen gas for the plant needs. Most pulse crop growers agree that by using both liquid and dry inoculants, you can often see higher yields. The high populations mentioned earlier are an important part of a pulse crop’s weed control plan. There are currently a limited number of herbicides labeled for use in pulse crop production, so crop canopy becomes an important part of the weed control program. Also, pulse crops can be sensitive to herbicide carry-over issues. For example, small amounts of mesotrione (Callisto ® ) may be lethal to yellow peas for 18-24 months after application, depending on rate applied, rainfall and certain soil properties. Variety selection is key on disease management, and fungicide applications are common. The fungal and bacterial organisms that attack pulse crops complete their life cycle in the crop residue. Tillage to eliminate the crop residue is recommended, but cannot be done in the popular no-till crop systems. This means an extended crop rotation of two to five years may be required before another pulse crop can be grown. , including grasshoppers, cutworms and wireworms. A soil insecticide at planting to protect against below-ground insects can be a good idea. Knowing the field history is also a great help in determining expected insect pressures. As with growing any crop, a reliable scouting regimen is an asset that will aid in avoiding any growing problems that surface. Harvesting pulse crops can begin in late July. When plants have mature brown pods on the bottom third of the plant, with yellowing pods in middle third of plant, and green pods on top third of the plant, it is almost time to desiccate or start swathing. The crop is normally sprayed with a desiccant such as paraquat (Gramoxone ® ) to kill the crop, or swathed to dry approximately seven days prior to combining the plants for grain. Always be sure to read and follow the label directions of all the pesticides used in pulse crop production. Production Contracts combine attractive crop prices with direct access to seed and chemical plans, making it easy to calculate your potential profit-per-acre for our contracts. We help our members find production contracts for identity preserved corn, soybeans, canola, chickpeas, field peas, yellow peas, pulse crops and cotton.   ® ®


Aug 27, 2018

by Amanda Eller

With corn harvest slowly making its way across the grain belt, farmers are facing tough market choices. For farmers with on-farm storage to hold their crop, the decision is easier: look for higher basis levels and potentially better cash prices later in the season.  Harvest Market Conditions and Storage Costs But a lot of farmers do not have on-farm storage or their storage is maxed out thanks to bumper crop in back-to-back years. In addition, for those farmers who need cash to pay bills, selling at depressed price levels is a difficult pill to swallow. If you find yourself in this situation, your marketing options are likely constrained to either (a) selling off the combine or (b) storing at local elevators for a hefty cost. With the strain on storage space this year elevators are publishing higher rates for storing. Some facilities are charging as much as 15 to 25 cents for a flat drop fee and then 3 to 5 cents a month in addition. On top of that, many farmers are reluctant to take action with the corn futures market hovering at the $3.50 mark, off their summertime highs above $4. In fact, the December futures has been stuck in a tight 15-cent range for the last 30 trading days; you would have to go all the way back to 1994 to find a year when the range of trading was so narrow at harvest. So what can you do in this situation when you don’t like the futures price or huge fees for off-farm storage, but you need to unload grain at harvest? A Solution For Farmers Without Storage Farmers Business Network™ has a solution that helps to overcome these issues. The contract allows you to establish delivery at the elevator and hold out fixing a final price till a later date. In addition, FBN gives you delivery, which is a great way to manage cash flow for your operation. Example of How it Works Suppose on Oct. 20th a farmer delivers corn to an elevator when the cash price is $3.00 a bushel and establishes a futures month to price their bushels on for the future. Let’s suppose the farmer elects to use the March corn futures, which are trading at $3.66 on Oct. 20th. Once the grain is delivered on October 20th and premiums/discounts are applied on that grain, FBN will pay the farmer 70% of that cash price at the time of delivery, less a $0.03 per bushel service fee, which equates to $2.07. After delivery, the farmer can choose when to establish the futures price and he can work with the Grain Merchant to set max/min prices on the futures price. For this example, let’s assume the farmer sets the final futures price on February 14th, when the March futures is at $4.00. Once the futures is fixed, the farmer would get the remaining 30% of his payment ($0.90) plus the difference in the March futures price ($0.34). As a result, the final cash price paid to the farmer is $3.31, which in this example is $0.31 higher than the $3.00 cash price upon delivery on Oct. 20th. Of course, that result hinges on the futures price rallying after delivery. If the March futures price were to fall then the final price paid to the farmer would be less than the cash price established upon delivery. With another large crop expected, storage space will be tight this year - driving fees up for off-farm storage at local elevators. The Deferred Futures Price contract from FBN can be a valuable way to forgo paying those fees, but keeping your marketing window open for a post-harvest futures rally. Want access to more insights like this? This article is excerpted from our Market Intelligence newsletter, delivered weekly to Market Advisory  members. With Market Advisory, you'll receive truly tools and reports to support your grain marketing efforts. Get access to market news, straightforward marketing recommendations, basis trend insights and weather reports—all relevant to your operation and geographic location. FBN Crop Marketing is offered by FBN CM LLC and is only available where FBN CM LLC is licensed. Contact (844) 200-FARM for more information. We do not guarantee customers will receive specific benefits or value from participating in FBN Crop Marketing; results will vary. This contract involves risks, including the risk that market conditions deteriorate, resulting in contract participants receiving only 70% of the Initial Cash Price available to you. In addition to being an Member, Additional Terms and Conditions apply to qualify for the FBN Deferred Futures Price offering. Disclaimer: Market conditions could result in no further payment to you at contract close.  © 2018 FBN CM LLC. All Rights Reserved. support@farmersbusinessnetwork.com 388 El Camino Real, San Carlos, CA  94070 www.farmersbusinessnetwork.com (844) 200-FARM .


Sep 12, 2017

by Amanda Eller

Marketing is complicated. makes it easy. And now you can use  to help find buyers for your specialty, pulse, trait specific, and non-GMO crops. Sell Your Specialty Crops with . 1. Setup your specialty crops in FBN Profit Center 2. Set an offer price (the cash price per bushel you want to receive for your crops). 3. Keep your offer price up-to-date if your market perspective changes. Once finds demand for your bid we'll contact you via text and work out the details directly with you.  and specialty crops sales are available exclusively to members. To learn more about specialty crop sales or membership call 844-200-3276, or click on the links below. - or - Call: (844) 200-FARM