; Women Marketing Grain Courses Impact Iowans | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Women Marketing Grain Courses Impact Iowans

Madeline Schultz and Steven Johnson


With unpredictable crop prices and tight margins, marketing can make a big difference in the profitability of corn and soybean production. How well farmers get paid for a year’s worth of work can be wrapped up in just a few marketing decisions. Participants in local multi-session Women Marketing Grain courses learned how to manage corn and soybean price risk. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach program focused on four key topics: 1) determining break-even crop prices and marketing costs, 2) understanding price movements and supply/demand fundamentals, 3) utilizing crop marketing tools and working with grain merchandisers, and 4) developing a strategic grain-marketing plan. During class, women worked in a computer lab to access online pricing information and decision tools. They interacted with Extension educators, grain merchandisers and others. The educator team created new Ag Decision Maker factsheets, developed videos and offered the Iowa Commodity Challenge to supplement classroom learning. Women learned about marketing terminology, board of trade activities, contracts, the interaction of crop insurance and market strategies, seasonal price trends, and managing basis. The team used pre and post class surveys to assess participant learning and actions, as well as to improve the program. The Ripple Effects Mapping focus group technique was used to further assess the impacts of the program. Women improved their knowledge and took important steps towards developing a grain marketing plan for their farm business with price, time, and financial goals in mind.