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Guide for marketing crops and livestock updated

Agricultural Marketing Guide outlines marketing basics, managing risks, and ways to get more value from crops or livestock

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development has recently updated the Agricultural Marketing Guide.

“This guide is for all farm managers, agribusinesses and anyone who deals with farmers or needs a better understanding of farm product marketing,” said Jennifer Stoby, market analyst for agriculture inputs.

For example, under the grain- and oilseed-marketing section there is information on how grain prices are established, the importance of basis, developing a marketing plan for your crops, using a decision grid for marketing, how price pooling works, understanding crop contracts, using grain storage as a marketing strategy, using producer cars, and why does wheat quality and pricing matter.

The livestock area of the guide contains marketing information for hogs, beef cattle, sheep/lamb and wool.

“Some of the information includes how to hedge hogs, using forward contract for cattle marketing, understanding the cattle market sliding scale, how to calculate break-even analysis for feeder cattle, how to market wool and marketing feeder lambs,” said Stoby.

Under the forward contracting section for cattle it explains what a forward contract is, types of forward contracts and how to figure out a basis contract.

“The information also helps with deciding when to forward contract and provides an example of forward contracting,” she said. “Some of the general marketing information includes how to choose a commodity broker, margins on futures contract, how options and futures work and how to use hedging to protect farm product prices.”

Lower grain prices and higher livestock prices make it important to know what options are available for marketing grain and livestock,” said Stoby.

“Some marketing strategies will assist with moving your product quicker or to gain a better value for your product. Marketing plans are important and to develop one you need to know what all the options are.”

The guide can be found at agric.gov.ab.ca.

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