Be Flexible in Your Marketing Plan
By : Dr. Andrew Griffith, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Tennessee
The marketing process is always a topic of discussion. There have been several vague questions that broach this topic and result in a longer discussion. Given the dynamics of marketing, here are a few thoughts that may be useful.
Selling is not the same as marketing. Anyone that owns cattle can sell cattle, but most do very little marketing. Selling and marketing do not have to take place at the same time. Cattle can be marketed long before they are sold and leave the farm. This can come in the form of marketing using price risk management tools such as futures, options, livestock risk protection insurance, or a forward contract. Thus, the cattle are marketed, but they can be sold later.
Another thought is that producers should attempt to be as flexible as possible in their marketing plan. Cattle producers tend to do the same thing every year as it relates to how and when they sell animals, or they consign their animals to a sale on a specific date. There can be advantages to this approach, but it reduces flexibility to take advantage of strong market prices.