MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Kansas State University’s (KSU) IGP Institute held the annual IGP-KSU grain purchasing course from April 1-12. Sixteen participants joined the IGP Institute for the course to gain a better understanding on grain purchasing and management practices. This training also included a field trip to an export facility located in Portland, Oregon, U.S.

“The IGP-KSU grain purchasing course was a big success,” said Guy H. Allen, senior agricultural economist for the IGP Institute. “The participants were able to gain great knowledge on the importance of grain procurement contracts and the supply chain on an international level and focus on the importance of risk management strategy.”

The first week of the course focused on the fundamentals of grain purchasing, including topics on grain transportation; USDA grading standards and how they are implemented; how to read a USDA report; examination of world grain supply and demand; grain trading rules; and international trade contracts, among other things.

“This course gave me the opportunity to become more familiar with the grain industry,” said Rolando Solis, charter merger for MF Grains in Panama City, Panama. “The specifics in the grain industry are still new to me. This course definitely helped me learn a lot about key concepts in grain purchasing and risk management.” 

The second week of the course drove into advanced principles of grain trading, including topics surrounding commodity exchanges, futures trading, price risk management and hedging. Participants also engaged in discussion over the topics on futures, options, OTC contracts and applied management strategies.

“After taking this course I understand more of the importance of properly managed grains how to manage risks in such a volatile environment and how communication and news can play a big role in what we do,” Solis said.

During the course, participants took a field trip to the United Grain Corporation export facility in Portland, Oregon, U.S.

“We had a great experience a the United Grain Corporation elevators,” Allen said. “Being able to visit the location helped our participants see the commodities unload from rail cars and loadout into ocean vessels in a hands-on fashion.”