Avoiding the Seven Deadly(ish) Sins of Grain Marketing


Pope Gregory I probably didn’t foresee his list being used as guidance for grain farmers managing market risk when he defined what became known as the seven cardinal sins in 590 AD.

But whether we’re talking morality or grain marketing, these behaviours and habits can be costly.

Brian Voth, president of IntelliFarm Inc., presented the “seven deadly(ish) sins of grain marketing” at FarmTech 2017 in Edmonton this week. He joined us on RealAg Radio to explain and share examples of why to avoid lust, gluttony, greed (“the biggest enemy,” says Voth), sloth, wrath, envy and pride:

The Seven Deadly(ish) Sins of Grain Marketing (as described by Brian Voth):

    • Lust: wanting the highs. Every crop year needs to be approached independently of what happened the previous year. Marketing plans should reflect this.
    • Gluttony: wanting more than needed for your target ROI. What is your target ROI? Once you hit your projected or actual ROI you should be selling to reduce price risk and lock in profits.
    • Greed: wanting the best price, not looking at profitability. Greed is the biggest problem in farm marketing plans. Wanting a little bit more often ends up costing the most.
    • Sloth: being a lazy marketer. In the long run a proactive, disciplined marketing plan will always pay off compared to not having a plan and being reactive.
    • Wrath: being angry about your marketing decisions. Once you make a marketing decision, carry on and focus on what you have left to sell. Don’t berate yourself if prices go higher.
    • Envy: coveting what you hear from your neighbors. Don’t make your measure of success what your neighbors tell you they’ve done. Every farm is different; no two situations are the same.
    • Pride: thinking you have to do everything yourself. Run your farm like a business because it is! Outsource things you can’t or don’t like doing and focus on what you’re good at.

Find more from FarmTech here!

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