Market Update in Preparation for Planting

As the new year gets underway and preparation for planting season begins, having a trusted partner and resource is prudent in the development and execution of a 2018 marketing program for your operation.

According to Advance Trading Inc. (ATI), crop insurance is an integral part of a comprehensive production plan, but it should be incorporated in conjunction with a risk management strategy that provides market flexibility. Since February is the established price projection time period for 2018 corn and soybean crop insurance, be sure to consult with your Big River manager or merchandiser for the proper risk management strategy for your operation.

ATI has provided the initial insights into crop insurance price projections for the month of February with corn being forecasted to be the average of December 2017 corn futures, while the average of November 2017 soybean futures will generate the projected price for beans. December corn numbers could be near where they were in 2017, while November soybeans could be slightly lower. There could be much change, however, over the next several weeks considering the crops in South America are at a critical point and the weather is uncertain.

It’s also important to note that corn and soybean projected prices have been trending lower in recent years as yields recovered following the 2012 drought. Since 2013, the national U.S. corn average corn yield has increased 11.7 percent while the national average soybean yield has risen 11.2 percent.

Other current market news provided by ATI can be found below and is important to take into consideration when developing and executing your marketing plan.

  • USDA at its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum on Feb. 22–23 will release updated U.S. balance sheets for 2018/19.
  • A few well-respected sources think the USDA will need to lower its Brazilian corn forecast in the coming months.
  • Recently there has been selling pressure for soybeans from Brazilian producers.

To continue strategizing the proper market program for your operation and learning how Big River can service your needs, please contact your local Big River elevator.



Holly Barthol

New Addition to the Management Trainee Team

Over the last year, Big River Rice & Grain has pioneered a year-long management training program with the intent of identifying and developing young talent into professionals that will be invested in the future leadership of Big River. During the program, management trainees are exposed to both the operational and commercial sides of the business, and at the conclusion they are evaluated and placed in a position that utilizes their strengths.

Two trainees, Romeo Stalling and Ben Gallant, have already successfully completed different segments of the program, including extensive merchandising content. In the beginning of January, Holly Barthol, the newest member of the management trainee team, was welcomed. Just like her fellow management trainees, she too has successfully completed the merchandising coursework.

Even though, Holly Barthol is the newest member of Big River’s management trainee team, she is not new to Big River agriculture. Barthol has been working for Big River for almost two years as a grain accountant in the Parkdale location. In addition to her experience at Big River, Barthol is married to a former agricultural producer on the Arkansas/Louisiana border. With an educational background in biology, Barthol has instinctively taken to the agriculture industry, which explains her natural fit into the management trainee program. The current executive leadership of Big River encouraged Barthol to join the program as they saw her demonstrate her ability to positively communicate with producers, passion to learn, and humility to take initiative within the workplace daily. Barthol has enjoyed the new experience so far, saying, “Big River wants you to be well-prepared and have a flexible skill set to fill a role where there is a need. The management trainee program is hard work, but enjoyable work.”

As Barthol continues in the management trainee program, she is committed to using her understanding to serve the needs of the Big River community. To learn more about the management trainee program and what Big River can do for you, visit our website and locations:

Young soybeans growing in field

Upcoming Grower Engagement Meetings

Big River Rice & Grain will be hosting our annual Grower Engagement meetings this year on February 20 and 21. Advance Trading will be discussing the market environment, along with BRRG commercial personnel. Question and answer sessions will also take place after the presentations. A meal will be provided at each of the meetings.

Details on location and time are listed below:

When: February 20, 2018; 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Where: Louisiana Cotton Museum, 7162 Hwy. 65 North, Lake Providence, LA 71254

When: February 20, 2018; 4 a.m.–6 p.m.
Where: Poverty Point State Park Conference Room, 1500 Poverty Point Pkwy., Delhi, LA 71232

When: February 21, 2018; 11 a.m.–1 p.m.
Where: Parkdale Facility, 2159 Hwy. 165 South, Parkdale, AR 71661

For more information, please contact your local Big River facility.


Big River Management Change at Parkdale Location

Big River Rice and Grain is announcing a managerial change at the Parkdale location. Justin Johnson will now be the facility manager for the Parkdale site. Johnson formerly oversaw the Monticello facility but will now be transitioning into the day-to-day operations at Parkdale. Management trainee Romeo Stalling will be handling the Monticello facility as Johnson shifts into his new role at Parkdale.

Justin has served as an elevator manager in multiple locations since his original employment with Bayou Grain in 2003. He worked at Eudora, Arkansas, and then at Monticello, Louisiana. Justin has done an exceptional job of adapting to new situations and performing the duties required to be an effective manager. He is an asset to Big River, and we are looking forward to continued success as he adapts to this new challenge.

For the full list of Big River facility locations and their managers, visit