The Best Ag Network Gets Even Better
Fewer Problems, Moe Money: An Expert Guide to Marketing with Moe Agostino, HBA, CIM, FCSI
Grow the crop. Sell the crop. Manage the money. For farmers this is the business cycle. A discerning eye might notice that only one out of three of those points actually involves growing things. A green thumb does not necessarily make a profitable farmer. And when it comes to selling the crop and managing the money, AGvisorPRO knows that farmers often need outside expertise to craft the most profitable strategy. After all, making expertise available to farmers is what we do.
Moe the “Marketing Man”
We are pleased to officially announce the addition of Moe Agostino to our roster of agricultural experts. Moe, the “Marketing Man” (as he’s known to his clients), is a trained commodity broker and advisor, and has Risk Management certification from the Canadian Farm Business Management Council. Moe also holds an Honours Degree in Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute. He adds over 40+ years of trading, marketing, and commodity risk management experience to AGvisorPRO’s expanding network. You may know Moe from his work with Farms.com Risk Management, where he is the Chief Managing Commodity Strategist. He also manages the marketing for the Farm.com Port Dover Farms, a 2100 operation in Port Dover, Ontario. Moe is also an excellent public speaker who has presented to groups all over the USA and Canada. He also publishes an on-line learning educational video series called Market School, and is a regular contributor to Better Farming and Better Pork magazines with Moe’s Market Minute. Moe has participated in three Quebec Crop tours, and has organized and led nine U.S. crop tours (#CornBelt20) and five Great Ontario Yield Tours (#ONyield20), since 2012.
A Trusted Voice in Risk Management
Across North America, the Risk Management division of Farms.com is a well-known source of quality marketing information for farmers. In fact, back in 2015 they provided a total combined value of over $1billion in marketing insight to thousands of farmers. Moe sees his operation as a unique commodity research boutique, focused mainly on commodities that trade on the Chicago Exchange.
“We look at corn, beans, all classes of wheat, canola, barley, oats, and also work with livestock like cattle and hogs”, says Moe. Drilling down into the cash crop/grain sector, a lot of what Moe assists with revolves around selling the cash market and using futures and options for hedging only when necessary. The fact is, predicting the market’s future is something few people have the expertise to do with ongoing accuracy. Moe’s company is one of very few companies that take price projection seriously, and offer a crystal-ball-vision of the market to their customers.
“The info you provide regarding all aspects of cash crop farming is amazing.” – Alex Ternoey, Tilbury, Ontario
Their track record speaks for itself, but their expertise extends well beyond commodity price projection. Farms.com Risk Management can also help farmers manage their diesel fuel and fertilizer needs more effectively, as well as assist with basis guide, questions and calculations. They provide their customers with a guide on when to pull the trigger on sales with future price targets and timely marketing recommendations. While many farmers tend to work with flat pricing because it’s easier, Farms.com Risk Management works to separate basis from futures and flat prices, yielding more profitability for the farmers who work with their Monthly Basis Insider Report.
Overcome Analysis Paralysis
As an industry agriculture functions in a uniquely global market. Discussing markets more broadly is something that Moe finds a lot of interest in. From stock markets to economies to GDP projections, these “big” financial topics all relate back to demand for commodities, and really do impact the day-to-day reality of farming. Distilling complex and abundant information down to the relevant bullet points is an essential part of this kind of work. Two years ago, Farms.com Risk Management introduced their Mobile Market App to give 24-7 marketing information to farmers in the palm of their hand. Rather than focusing on long-form emails that “info-dump” and bombard farmers, the Mobile Market App sends quick text alerts and push notifications. This allows farmers to be nimble and fast with the decisions they make around marketing.
“Farmers need guidance every day, every month, every year. It doesn’t begin at planting; it doesn’t stop at harvest.” – Moe Agostino
Moe knows there is no real beginning and end to the business cycle for farmers. His expertise is in demand year-round, and with everything going on in trade, politics and pandemics, there’s more for a farmer to consider than ever before. Constant ongoing risk analysis is essential, because knowing where opportunities exist rests on knowing exactly where the risk is.
What’s Happening with Soybeans?
For example, Moe says there has been a lot of questions recently around soybean harvest and pricing. The conversation typically starts something like this: “Moe, I’m almost done with my 2020 soybean harvest. Got some in the bin right now, maybe I should sell them?” The first thing to establish is whether the farmer needs the cash flow. Moe often uses the analogy of stocks to make this clear to his clients. If we were talking about Apple stock, and it was up 30% in a matter of months, would you take your profit, or do you see that upward trend continuing? Sometimes a performance like this is unsustainable but knowing the technical and fundamentals is critical.
This is where risk management becomes essential. Bringing it back to soybeans, if they are up two dollars a bushel (30%) in 4-5 months, maybe the market is providing an opportunity that you should seize or take advantage of. In a situation like this, Moe would recommend selling a third to reward the opportunity, and keep some bushels in the event of higher prices down the road. If there’s storage capacity available, Moe recommends holding onto the additional bushels in case a major event happens in the marketplace. If the cost of storage is a factor, an alternative may be selling to a commercial elevator on a basis contract and playing offense by leaving the futures price open. If a farmer can hold off until September of the next year, there is plenty of opportunity to capitalize on fluctuations in the market between then and now.
AGvisorPRO Connects Farmers to Expertise
Needless to say there are many considerations involved in making the markets work for farmers. From Moe’s perspective, managing all these variables and routinely providing positive outcomes for farmers is where the satisfaction lies. There are always wrenches thrown in, but adjusting and reacting to whatever problems the ag sector is currently dealing with is the name of the game. game that Moe plays with skill, confidence and decisiveness.
Speaking of playing games: the entire ag sector, and the rest of the world for that matter, are all still jumping through these remote-work hoops. The way we connect with each other is changing, and that change might very well be permanent. Moe is looking forward to offering his expertise in marketing and risk management through the AGvisorPRO platform, as it’s the ideal system for a digital age. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, we encourage you to visit AGvisorPRO.com, download the app, and reach out to our roster of experts. Alternatively, you can also book a demonstration of our platform if you want to start there. Either way, Moe is looking forward to helping you understand the markets more deeply and make better decisions. Answers later? No time for that. Answers Now, with AGvisorPRO.