Grain Risk Management

Lock in your prices with National Farmers Risk Management Tools

Volatility. Uncertainty. Marketing Risks.

Farmers today face an enormous amount of price risk as you market milk, livestock and grain. That means you need the advantages of futures and options.

Today’s agricultural markets shift with seasons and sometimes with the news cycle. Whether you’re raising cattle, producing milk or growing corn, soybeans or wheat, National Farmers offers risk management choices to help you level the global farm market playing field.

Reduce Your Grain Price Risk

RiskReducer
Futures options for grain can help you set a price so you’ll know where you stand. Or, with the power of hindsight being 20/20 vision, using call options you can capture a price when it arises in a market, even after you’ve sold your corn, soybeans or wheat.

We can purchase call options on your behalf and protect the crop price of bushels you already sold. We can establish a price floor, as well, and give you downside protection. Using put options, we lock in new-crop grain or other unsold inventory of corn, soybeans or wheat.

We have a variety of RiskReducer strategies we can use, because options offer many, well, options. Those choices open up marketing opportunities, and help you to know exactly where you’ll stand in crop sales.

Options strategies list
Buy and sell put or call options
Buy put options
Buy call options

We use options, and do not trade them, because our purpose with futures options lies in helping farmers profit. For example, if we’ve sold grain for a producer, and it appears the market price may go higher, we use call options to protect the sales we’ve made on the producer’s behalf.

If fear arises that a producer may not raise a crop, we may buy a put option on unsold grain to protect that grower from downside risk in the market. And, there are strategies to use to reduce the cost of futures options.

Using options is not as complicated as producers may perceive. If you have professional assistance with experienced marketers like those at National Farmers, then using options strategies is within most producers’ reach.

GMP Forward Contracts account for the majority of price protection measures National Farmers professionals secure for producers through the Grain Marketing Plus program.

GMP Forward Contracts use the two things that set the price of grain to turn market situations into marketing opportunities for you.

  1. Futures prices, which can vary a great deal in one year.  For example, in corn, a futures price can change by a $1 in a year.
  2. Basis, at one specific delivery point, varies less, but still greatly impacts ultimate returns.  Basis moves about 25 cents to 50 cents in one year.

What’s the draw for growers to forward contract their crops?
Establishes the Quantity to Market
Sets the Price for that Quantity — and Eliminates Downside Risk for that Quantity
Determines exact delivery date
Opens up Opportunities for Volume and Quality/Special Characteristic Premiums
Allows almost any Quantity to be Contracted

GMP Futures First Forward Contracts
With futures first forward contracts, producers set, or lock in, the futures price of the forward contract, and wait to set the basis portion of the contract until it improves.

Futures First Forward Contracts are especially effective on distant contracts, those set farther into the future.

GMP Basis First Forward Contracts
With basis first forward contracts, producers set the basis from the outset of the contract. Then, they lock in the futures price later.

One circumstance when the GMP Basis First Forward Contract works well is, for example, as in 2015, the eastern Corn Belt had a strong basis because of a poor corn crop. In that situation, the basis was stronger than is typical for the harvest time of year.

In a situation like that, corn will gradually move to the place where the basis strengthened at harvest, and cause basis to weaken. But, with a GMP Basis First Forward Contract, the producer has already protected a good basis. Then, an agreeable futures price can be locked in at a favorable time.

Grain Marketing Plus Forward Contracting Guidelines
Non-Irrigated Land
Generally, in the case of new crop grain, Grain Marketing Plus professionals suggest producers market 1/3 of their crops prior to harvest.
Irrigated Land
Typically, in the case of new crop grain, Grain Marketing Plus professionals suggest producers market up to 1Ž2 of the crops prior to harvest.

Many farmers contract based on their level of crop insurance coverage. With Grain Marketing Plus Forward Contracts, we customize marketing plans with producers, and according to producers’ wishes, and in conjunction with crop insurance.

“When I sit down with these guys, I tailor make a plan to their farm and their comfort level,” says Grain Marketing Plus Analyst Matt Brandyberry.

Piggyback Crop Insurance with Marketing

National Farmers Crop Insurance Gives the Best Coverage

Weather risk and price risk are two unwelcome terms for grain growers, but reality dictates that you maintain crop insurance coverage and protect your farm, and your future. It’s a good way to take a preemptive strike against unwanted events — planting delays, falling prices, droughts and flooded pastures.

Eight basic types of crop insurance are available to you through National Farmers Crop Insurance, and our agents provide you with unmatched service. It’s important you review the choices carefully, and discuss your situation with our knowledgeable crop insurance agents, who know how these plans work with marketing and risk management plans.

Revenue Protection
You want to protect the money coming into your grain operation. There’s a good way to do it, too. For farmers up against a loss of revenue caused by a price increase or decrease, low yields or a combination of both, revenue protection provides protection the protection needed today.

This coverage guarantees an amount based on the individual producer’s APH and the greater of the projected price or harvest price. The projected price and harvest price are established according to the crop’s applicable commodity board of trade/exchange as defined in the Commodity Exchange Price Provisions.

While the revenue protection guarantee may increase, the premium won’t. The projected price is used to calculate the premium and replant payment or prevented planting payment.

An indemnity is due when the calculated revenue is less than the revenue protection guarantee for the crop acreage. Here’s how the calculated revenue is established.

Production to Count X Harvest Price = Calculated Revenue

Crops covered under this plan include barley (includes malting type), canola/rapeseed, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, sunflowers, and wheat.

For corn silage and rapeseed, protection is only provided for production losses.

Revenue Protection with the Harvest Price Exclusion – RP HPE
Surprises happen in farming, and because you want to farm for a lifetime, you know you want to be prepared. RP HPE coverage provides protection against loss of revenue caused by a price decrease, low yields or a combination of both.

However, unlike RP, the revenue protection guarantee for RPHPE is based on the projected price only, and it does not increase based on a harvest price.

Crops covered under this plan include barley (includes malting type), canola/rapeseed, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat.

Yield Protection – YP
High yield numbers are exciting to see on the screen when your combine is rolling. When that doesn’t happen, there’s a way to offset the loss of the disappointing situation. YP provides protection against a loss in yield because of those situations you just don’t want — unavoidable, naturally-occurring events.

For most crops, that includes adverse weather, fire, insects, plant disease, wildlife, earthquake, volcanic eruption, and failure of the irrigation water supply because of one of those natural problems.

Like the APH, or actual production history, plan of insurance, YP guarantees a production yield based on the individual producer’s APH. Unlike the APH plan of insurance, a price for YP is established according to the crop’s applicable commodity board of trade/exchange as defined in the CEPP.

The projected price is used to determine the yield protection guarantee, premium, any replant payment or prevented planting payment, and to value the production to count. The coverage and exclusions of YP are similar to those for the APH plan of insurance.

An indemnity is due when the value of the production to count is less than the yield protection guarantee. The main crops covered under this plan include barley (includes malting type), canola/rapeseed, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat.

Actual Production History – APH
For some grain growers, the tried and true methods work best. The APH plan of insurance provides protection against a loss in yield because of nearly all natural disasters, and it’s one of the oldest crop insurance products available.

For most crops, those natural disasters include drought, excess moisture, cold and frost, wind, flood and unavoidable damage from insects and disease.

Like YP, the APH plan of insurance guarantees a yield based on the individual producer’s actual production history. Unlike YP, the available price elections are established by the Risk Management Agency.

An indemnity is due when the value of the production to count is less than the liability. Of the small grain crops, only oats, rye flax and buckwheat remain covered under the APH plan. (for crop year? Plan comparison sheet says something about 2015.)

Area Yield Protection – AYP
In some cases, county yield numbers are a good way to establish coverage. AYP coverage is based on the experience of the county, rather than individual farms.

Maybe you didn’t know that maintaining an insured’s actual production history is now mandatory. And it may be used by USDA’s Risk Management Agency as a data source to establish and maintain the area programs.

AYP indemnifies the insured in the event the final county yield falls below the insured’s trigger yield. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation will issue the final county yield in the calendar year following the crop year insured.

Because this plan is based on county yields and not individual yields, the insured may have a low yield on their farm and not receive payment under AYP.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection – WFRP
WFRP provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy. This insurance plan is tailored for any farm with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm-identity preserved, specialty or direct markets.

Pasture, Rangeland, Forage – PRF
Crop insurance isn’t just for row crops these days. Pasture, Rangeland, Forage insurance was designed to help protect your operation from the risks of forage losses that are produced for grazing or harvested for hay resulting in increased costs for feed.

The program is designed to allow maximum flexibility to meet the risk management needs of your operation. You aren’t required to insure all your acres, but you can’t exceed the total number of grazing or haying acres you operate, of course.

The program provides protection while allowing you to insure only those acres that are important to your grazing program or hay operation. By selecting a productivity factor, you can establish a value between 60 percent and 150 percent of the county base value, and match the amount of your protection to the value of forage that best represents your specific grazing or hay operation.

Margin Protection – MP
The MP plan of insurance is a privately developed product that was submitted to the FCIC Board under Section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act. MP is offered as an area based plan that can be purchased as a stand-alone policy or purchased in conjunction with a Yield Protection or Revenue Protection policy. The plan provides producers with coverage against an unexpected decrease in their operating margin.

Starting in the 2016 crop year, the new MP plan was available in addition to underlying crop insurance policies in select counties, starting with corn, rice, soybeans and spring wheat.

The plan provides coverage that is based on an expected margin, which is the expected area revenue minus the expected area operating costs, for each applicable crop, type and practice. Margin protection is area-based coverage, and may not necessarily reflect a producer’s individual experience. The margin protection plan can be purchased by itself, or in conjunction with YP or RP policies.

Margin protection will be available for rice in select Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Texas counties. Coverage is available for spring wheat in select Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota counties. Corn and soybeans in all Iowa counties will be eligible for margin protection insurance.

Producers may choose coverage from 70 percent to 95 percent of their expected margin. A higher level of coverage will have a higher premium rate. The catastrophic level of coverage is not available under this policy.

Contact the National Farmers Crop Insurance licensed in your state today. Get the assistance and professional attention you deserve.

National Farmers Crop Insurance Agents

Indiana
Mike Kleaving National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 812-719-6736
Chris Webb National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 765-426-7134

Illinois
Mike Kleaving National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 812-719-6736
Corey Ertl National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 715-437-0238

Iowa
Al Smith National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 515-306-0275

Kansas
Al Smith National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 515-306-0275

Michigan
Chris Webb National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 765-426-7134

Minnesota
Al Smith National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 515-306-0275

Missouri
Al Smith National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 515-306-0275

Nebraska
Al Smith National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 515-306-0275

Ohio
Mike Kleaving National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 812-719-6736

South Dakota
Al Smith National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 515-306-0275

Wisconsin
Corey Ertl National Farmers Crop Insurance Agent 715-437-0238

Source: USDA Risk Management Agency

This agency is an equal opportunity employer.

Non-Discrimination Statement
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (Voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.