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3 dumb marketing rules to live (or die?) by

Ag Marketing IQ: Baseball and grain marketing share idioms that make no sense – or cents. Get out there and score a profit.

Justin Aeder, Ag management risk advisor

May 14, 2024

4 Min Read
Baseball with money
Getty Images/wojciechz

The sportswriter for the local newspaper, who was a sports dad like me, recently wrote about all the dumb sayings that get said at baseball games. The article went on to list several of them and what made them so dumb. If you’ve ever been around any high school baseball game, you know which ones I’m talking about.

“Now you’ve seen one.” This phrase is typically used when a batter watches a strike go by instead of swinging at a good pitch. It’s nicer than saying, “Well, Billy, you should have swung at that one. Try to pull your head out and be ready for the next one, would ya’!”

“Just go out there and throw strikes.” This one is used when your pitcher is struggling with their accuracy and has been walking too many batters. Do you think by saying, “Just throw strikes,” a lightbulb will suddenly go off in the pitcher’s head and he’ll miraculously start blazing fastballs by all the hitters? Like he forgot that was his job?

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

Oddly enough, we in the ag industry tend hold to a few of those same types of sayings and philosophies. They are rules we live by. But if we think about it, they make as much sense as “Take one for the team.” With that in mind, here are my top 3 dumb rules we live (or die?) by:

  • “I never sell on a down day.” There it is, the No. 1 excuse we all hear (and have used) countless times in our marketing strategy. Since I made the mistake of not selling yesterday when the price was higher, I will double down and not sell today either because the price has to be higher tomorrow. Do you think the fund managers are all sitting at their desks, watching to see what you do today? And when they see you didn’t sell, they throw in the towel and buy more futures?

  • “I can’t make any money at that price, so I’m not going to sell/hedge/buy puts at that price either.” In almost every other industry (except the government), if it costs more money to produce something than it can be sold for, you don’t do it. It’s Business Sense 101. Unfortunately, that isn’t how farming works. Yet we all behave as though the world cares about how much more inputs cost this year than in previous years. Or if rent has gone up in your neighborhood. Or how interest rates have gone up on your operating line. Sometimes, the hardest decision you can make is to decide to limit your losses versus making the most money.

  • “{Fill in the name of your favorite podcaster/blog writer} said not to sell because the price is going up, so I’m not going to do anything.” We all like to think that someone out there has all the answers, and for only $50 a month, they will watch the market and make marketing decisions for us. Without a doubt, information is power, and that cannot be overstated. But ask yourself: If this expert knew what would happen, would they sell that information to you for $50 a month, or would they be making millions of dollars sitting on a beach somewhere while drinking a cold one?

There are many more, and I could go on and on, but I’m supposed to keep this relatively short. So, to wrap things up, as you head out there this season, may your chants be, “Good eye!” “Keep your eye on it!” and “Score some runs!”

Contact Advance Trading at (800) 747-9021 or visit

Information provided may include opinions of the author and is subject to the following disclosures:

The risk of trading futures and options can be substantial. All information, publications, and material used and distributed by Advance Trading Inc. shall be construed as a solicitation. ATI does not maintain an independent research department as defined in CFTC Regulation 1.71. Information obtained from third-party sources is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed by Advance Trading Inc. Past performance does not necessarily indicate future results.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress.

About the Author(s)

Justin Aeder

Ag management risk advisor , Advance Trading Inc.

Born and raised in the heart of Michigan’s agriculturally rich Thumb Area, Justin has been passionate about farming his entire life. After graduating from SVSU with a business degree in 2007, Justin began his career in Agri-Finance and in late 2020 started with Advance Trading as an Ag Management Risk Advisor in Bad Axe. He has over 13 years of Ag Finance experience and over 20 years of experience working first-hand on a family farm. In his spare time, Justin enjoys fishing, traveling with his family, and following his favorite sports team.

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