How do you know the value of your crop?

As some of you may or may not know, I have a “pet” name for farmers… Industrial Gardening. It is easy to think of farming as a care free, overall wearing, straw chewing lifestyle. But farmers put their financial success in the hands of mother nature every day of every year of their farming lives.

When they plant corn they plant up to 33,000 plants in an acre. The average farm size in Iowa today according to the USDA is 360 acres. That means they spend a significant amount of money in order to get the seed that they need in order to make a living. By my math: 11,880,000 seeds. Holy Smokes!!!

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Great so you have planted 11,880,000 seeds – I’m sure the seeds were free. That is definitely NOT the case. Now you wait. You wait for the weather. You wait for temperatures and the season to progress. You check and recheck your fields. You apply protective herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides to make sure you get a crop that sustains your family business so you can do it again next year. et voilà you have a crop. You wait just a little bit longer for the crop to dry out [learn about that here with Steven Brockshus and how his team solves that] then you take it to the market. BUT wait there is still more to be done. You have seeds. 11,880,000 seeds of corn to be exact. You cannot put bread on the table let alone buy some beer and pretzels with seeds. You have to sell your crop.

How do you sell your crop?

How do you sell your crop? Well the good news in Iowa alone there are roughly 580 buyers in Iowa. Because of this you have a market to sell but the last challenge you have is the value. How do you have confidence in the value you’re being offered for your grain?

My guest today, Rupert Williams, and his team have attacked that problem. He is a newish resident to Des Moines, Iowa. He comes to us as an American who has sacrificed with his family while his father served our country. His journey then takes him to Chicago where he becomes a trader on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade [CBOT] which is one of the oldest futures and options exchanges. 

This podcast is a long form experiment for Rupert and myself. My hope is you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed recording it.