Grain and Feed Scholarship
Hello again, my name is Kyler Masching, and I am a Junior at the University of Illinois studying Agriculture and Consumer Economics with a concentration in Agribusiness- Markets and Management. I also am completing a minor is Crop and Soil Management. I was able to be paired with Consolidated Grain and Barge at the Dwight, Illinois location for my job shadow. I really enjoyed being able to job shadow here, as I was able to learn about the company as well as the basics of grain trading. The merchandisers, Sam and Kevin were able to explain to me the different pricing options that customers have when selling or delivering grain to CGB. These pricing programs are great for farmers that are attempting to sell their grain ahead of harvest and for farmers who think the market might have some upside potential but want to reduce their downside risk.
One of the days I conducted my job shadow during the Spring of 2021 was on Wednesday, March 31. This was a very exciting day to observe the markets because the Prospective Planting Intentions Report was scheduled to be released from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In the morning, we discussed how large of an impact the Prospective Planting Intentions Report could have toward commodity prices as the number of projected acres being planted directly relates to the supply side of commodity grain prices. We discussed the acreage projections of other firms in the market and how these projections would compare to the USDA acreage projection numbers. Then at 11am, the Prospective Planting Intentions Report was released, and the market began to react to the Acreage Projections. The commodity futures market quickly jumped up toward its maximum price move in one trading session, which is called the limit price. At that time, the limit price for corn was $0.25 and the limit price for soybeans was $0.70. Both corn and soybean increased prices to their limit that day, moving corn upward $0.25 per bushel and increasing soybean prices by $0.70 per bushel.
On my next job shadow day, I met with Larry Ketcherside who is the facility manager at the Dwight Consolidated Grain and Barge location. He explained to me what his daily roles and responsibilities included and that his roles can change based upon the day. He showed me the various Excel spreadsheets he uses to help organize and track grain while it is at the facility. He also explained the aspect of his job which includes planning for the future and ways to help make the facility more efficient. Another important role I was able to observe and help with was the probing of grain trucks as they would enter the Consolidated Grain and Barge facility. Probing is an important action the elevator takes in order to know the moisture content and the quality of the grain is it receiving. After the trucks are dumped the grain is monitored inside of the grain bins by cables that track the moisture and temperature of the grain. By tracking the moisture and the temperature of the grain, the operators at the elevator can ensure the grain is keeping its proper condition for when the time comes that the corn and soybeans will leave the facility.
I would again like to thank the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois for this scholarship opportunity and to Consolidated Grain and Barge for a great job shadow experience. I was able to learn many interesting components about the grain industry through the Industry Immersion Tour and through the job shadow experiences.
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.