Why Watching Daily Grain Bids is Important

Have you ever wondered if the cash grain bid data found on various internet sites is accurate and up-to-date? You know it’s important to track commodity futures prices. And, everybody likes to check the “Board” to see where grain markets are heading. But, everybody also wants to be able to trust the data.

That’s why one of the foundations of DTN’s proprietary markets analysis is to build and share information from our in-house cash grain bid gathering system.

How is accurate grain bid data compiled?

Each market day, more than a dozen folks on the DTN grain bid team talk to elevators, ethanol plants, and scour the internet for real-world cash grain prices from around the U.S and Canada.

Other cash grain bid-supplying organizations rely chiefly on “scraping” bids from websites. That can mean those prices are what was posted when someone remembered to update the site, or they can a “posted” price, not what the buyer might actually pay. That’s why DTN continues to gather bids the hard way, by talking directly to real people who set the prices at each location.

Because of the extra effort, we collect bids where others can’t, giving us a wide view of North American markets. We collect between 36,000 and 40,000 bids per day, from 4,200 grain buyers, which are fed into DTN’s propriety database. Those prices are accessed by subscribers through tables on our Markets pages and through our interactive price and basis maps.

While yellow corn, soybeans and hard red winter wheat make up a large share of the bids collected, we also gathering daily prices on four other types of wheat, grain sorghum (milo), millet, flax, canola, barley, five types of edible beans, two types of peas, rice and both oil and seed sunflowers.

Those prices are also used to set daily DTN cash grain indexes and national basis levels for corn, soybeans, hard red winter and soft red winter wheat. DTN analysts use that data to create our proprietary Six Factors look at the markets. Our customers use those prices and indexes to make their own market calculations.

Staying connected to local grain buyers

One of the side benefits to physically calling locations is we get an on-the-ground feel for how things are going across the country. When snows are shutting down the dump pit, or when train backlogs are chocking the system, we hear about it. That information is relayed to analysts and reporters, who sit just a short distance from where the grain bid team is hard at work.

All this fresh information and insight is available to DTN subscribers each and every market day.