There are a number of factors producers must understand before marketing wheat in the open market, according to a farm management consultant with MNP.
"They mainly have to focus on looking for the right buyer," says Trevor Elyk. "In doing that, they need to understand things like where they'll get their payment from, different options for hedging, location of the buyer, grading and discounts, and what kind of service they're going to provide."
Part of wheat marketing in the future will consist of matching the product with the buyer who has the most suitable end-use market. For example, Elyk says Manitoba farmers will likely have to find buyers who want wheat even if it has high fusarium.
"Where are farmers going to use this high-fus wheat if we're going to have it? It's been a concern in the past and it probably will be in the future. We need to understand what buyers will buy this grain and how we can maybe focus on these markets that are going to take it, possibly the ethanol industry," he says.
Elyk says producers should be careful when selling wheat into the U.S.
"We don't know what it's going to be like. No one's ever been able to do it. So we need to look at making sure the person we're selling to is an accredited buyer, how we're going to get payment, how we're going to do hedging," he says. "We also need to know if we're not able to meet the specs, will we have to bring it back to Canada? What kind of issues will we have at the border with that? Will we be able to find another buyer down there? Those are all questions producers need to consider."
He says ultimately, producers need to ensure they have adequate cash flow.
"With the last couple years that we've had in parts of Manitoba, we need farmers focusing on where they're going to get the cash available to sustain the farm for the years going forward."