Winning the Game Continues to Make a Difference

Bob Wells, Field Specialist-Farm Management, Southeast Area

Problem Statement:

According to Iowa State University Extension studies many producers make less than 20 to 30 cents per bushel of grain sold. Many producers make six common mistakes when marketing grain, then let fear and greed drive their marketing decisions. Primary among the six marketing mistakes Iowa producers make is a reluctance to pre-harvest market grain, have a viable exit strategy or store grain too long. Many lack a basic understanding of market tools, crop insurance and market tendencies limiting their ability to successfully market grain.

Programmatic Response:

Offering the Winning the Game marketing workshops is a way to educate producers in the use of crop insurance to give them the confidence to pre-harvest market grain. Now in its third year, attendance at SE Iowa winning the game workshops continues to increase with many producers attending multiple sessions. During this half-day workshop producers examine the key elements of a solid marketing plan, and learn how crop insurance, target prices and decision dates can work together to help secure a good average price for their crop. In this workshop producers write a marketing plan then implement it in a realistic market-simulation game. Producers see how a marketing plan works and reacts to real-life market fluctuations. The focus of a Winning the Game workshop is to eliminate mistakes in grain marketing and place emphasis on the importance of having a marketing plan.


Producers who attend a Winning the Game workshop learn to implement grain marketing strategies that add an average $0.10 to $0.20 cents per bushel of grain sold. They accomplish this with the development of a solid one page marketing plan that incorporates crop insurance, target prices and decision dates meeting personal objectives. By setting prices that work for them and disciplining themselves they are better able to overcome fear and greed when marketing grain. By applying workshop concepts, producers make better marketing decisions, increase the price per bushel sold and become more profitable and economically viable. Producers have commented that, Pre-harvest marketing pays & crop insurance is the tool that allows you to do it with comfort. " I made an extra $25.00 per acre after attending Winning the Game. Every producer needs to be here, a great workshop. Three hundred twenty five SE Iowa producers participated in 13 Winning the Game workshops and from session evaluations it is estimated the that the 2006 economic impact of this program in SE Iowa was 1.25 million dollars.

104 - Agricultural Risk and Financial Management

Page last updated: April 11, 2006
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