Separating The Wheat From The Chaff

by John DePutter, Jan 25th, 2012
What, another blog? Yeah – we get it. These days it seems everyone has an opinion, and there’s no shortage of places to share them. This is the day of the digital soapbox; our inboxes and our mailboxes (not to mention Twitter and other social media accounts) are filled with voices that want our attention.

Despite an explosion in media services that provide everything from the latest local weather forecast to crop conditions around the world, many people in the farming industry find it increasingly difficult to get the information they truly need.

Do you really want more information? Generally, people tell us they don’t. What they do want is a way to manage the information that’s out there, and an opportunity to develop their own knowledge so they can make the best decisions for their farm and business.

Managing the glut of information is something like separating the wheat from the chaff – and that’s one of the guiding principles we follow at DePutter Publishing.

Right off the bat, here are some tips we suggest you keep in mind when filtering the market information you receive:

  • Remember, the news will seem the most compellingly bullish at the top of bull markets, and extremely bearish and pessimistic when markets are bottoming.
  • It’s great to be well informed, but sometimes soaking in too much information can dampen your ability to focus on the marketing and business decisions you need to make. In the world of commodity markets it’s not about knowing more; it’s about using the markets to your advantage to turn a profit.
  • People often tend to seek out news and information that will support their already-existing views or their position in the market. Try to recognize your tendency if you fall into this trap.
  • The news often follows the market, rather than making the market. Point being: When markets go up, people tend to look for explanations as to why. So reporters and analysts create news stories that help explain and justify why prices rose. When prices drop, people look for stories that explain why prices are falling. Often it is not really the factors covered by the news stories that drove prices up or down. The news was simply being created to follow the market. Get it?
  • Use commodity market related news and information to add to your bottom line rather than to your trivia skills.

In the future, we’ll be sharing our approaches and tips on things like commodity cycles & trading, the psychology of farm markets, and more. Watch this space!