Pricing & Rates
Futures: $7.00 per side
Options: $14.00 charged up front
(Does not include echange, clearing, and NFA fees which vary by exchange. Generally fees run about $3.63 per side)
Cost For Services
Free when you trades 4 sides (2 round turns) or more per month.
$50 fee for live quotes for clients making 3 or less.
Free live quotes, no hidden fees.
$5,000 to open an account
$2,000 accounts can be opened, but at double the commission rate.
Additionally, you may also fund the account by transferring an existing Brokerage Account to Grain Hedge.
Firetip Trading Platform (software) with Real-time Quotes
Web-Based Trading Platform with Real-time Quotes
Grain Hedge Web Platform to find Best Cash Markets
Grain Hedge Web Platform for My Grain Trades
Planalytics Web Platform for Weather Intelligence
24-hour phone order desk
You can deposit funds at no charge via check, ACH transfer, or wire transfer.
Funds will available at different times depending on the type of deposit.
1. Wire Deposit funds are available for trading on the same day.
2. ACH Deposit funds are available for trading after 5 business days.
3. Check Deposit funds are available for trading after 10 business days.
Funds can be received either via Postal Mail Standard Delivery (no charge),
Overnight Delivery ($25 charge), or wire transfer ($25 charge). Checks will only be mailed
to the address on the trading account. Wire transfers can only be sent to a bank account
with the same account name/title as the trading account.
For same day processing, requests need to be submitted before 12:00PM CST.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any hidden fees?
No. Clients who make 2 or more round turn trades per month get live streaming quotes through the Firetip platform for free.
Make less than 2 round turn trades? $50 is charged by our clearing member for the live quotes. Don’t trade a lot, going on vacation,
or want to take a break from trading? Simply have Grain Hedge turn off Firetip’s streaming quotes and you can still use our web platform for free.
Who do you clear through?
We clear through Ironbeam. Ironbeam does not have a prop trade desk and is strictly in the business of executing trades. After the collapse of PFG Best, we subscribed to a third party
FCM rating agency called Atlas Reports. Ironbeam consistently meets or exceeds the ratings of FC Stone, RJ O’brien, and the Linn Group in their monthly report.
Do I have to call Grain Hedge before making a trade?
No. All Grain Hedge clients have direct access to the futures and options market. We don’t give specific trading advice but Grain Hedge brokers are more than
happy to help answer questions about order type, how to get in or out of a market, or general exchange questions. Away from your computer?
You can place trades by calling our office or through our clearing member's 24 hour trade desk at no additional cost.
If I have a hedge account, can I make speculative trades?
Yes. You are free to trade any commodity you like with your Grain Hedge trading account. When it comes to filing your tax return is when it matters if a trade was
speculative or for hedging. If you are a corn producer, selling corn futures and taking a loss is considered a business loss. Selling silver futures and taking a loss
is considered a capital loss and would go against your personal income. With this said, we strongly recommend you consult a tax specialist on this topic.
How do you handle margin calls?
Your account is self-directed, which means that you direct all trades through the Grain Hedge Standard or Firetip platform. It also means that it is your responsibility to maintain the
proper margin requirements for your positions. Grain Hedge clients often establish a strong working relationship with our brokers by keeping the lines of communication open when positions drop below maintenance margin.
Grain Hedge reserves the right to liquidate your positions in the event your account value drops below $500. This is an option of last resort and is a policy brokerages use to manage their risk.
Before liquidation, Grain Hedge brokers will make numerous attempts to contact you via phone and email. Being proactive and being in touch with your broker will help avoid these situations.
Have a question we haven’t answered here? Call our office and speak with a broker 877-472-4607
First Notice and Last Trade Days
This is the day on which the seller of the contract can inform the buyer of intent to make delivery.
The buyer is then considered to be in a “deliverable position”. About 90% of futures and options contracts
go undelivered; therefore most traders unwind their positions at least a week prior to first notice day
for a contract. As the day approaches, the price volatility of the contract increases, leading to unfavorable
prices on filled orders. To avoid this volatility, roll the position to a more distant month, or liquidate
at least one week prior to first notice day. The same rule can apply to contracts that only have last trade days.
Market Order (MKT) The order is submitted without a price. The market order is the most frequently
used order. It is a very good order to use once you have made a decision about opening or closing a position,
as it can keep the trader from having to chase a market trying to get in or out of a position. The market
order is executed at the best possible price obtainable at the time the order reaches the trading pit.
Limit Order The order is submitted with a specific price limit. The client expects to be filled
at or better than the stated price limit. Limit orders to buy are placed below the market, while limit
orders to sell are placed above the market. Since there’s a possibility that the market may never get
high enough or low enough to trigger a limit order, a customer may miss the market if he uses a limit
order. Even though you may see the market touch a limit price several times, this does not guarantee
or earn the customer a fill at that price. In most instances, the market must trade BETTER than the
limit price for the customer to get a fill.
Stop OrderA stop order is a resting order used to open or close a position at or near a specific
price level. Stop orders can be used for three purposes:
1. To minimize a loss on a long or short position.
2. To protect a profit on an existing long or short position.
3. To initiate a new long or short position.
A buy stop order is placed above the market, and a sell stop order is placed below the market.
Once the stop price is touched, the order is treated like a market order and will be filled at the
best possible price.
Stop Limit A stop limit order lists two prices, and is an attempt to gain more control over
the price at which your stop is filled. The first part of the order is written like the above stop
order. The second part of the order specifies a limit price. This indicates that once your stop is
triggered, you do not wish to be filled beyond the limit price. Stop limit orders should not be used
when trying to exit a position. If a customer does not give a limit price, then the stop price and the
limit prices are meant to be identical.
Market if Touched (MIT) MITs are the opposite of stop orders. Buy MITs are placed below the
market and Sell MITs are placed above the market. An MIT order is often used to enter the market, or
initiate a trade. An MIT order is similar to a limit order in that a specific price is placed on the
order. However, an MIT order becomes a market order once the limit price is touched or passed through.
An execution may be at, above, or below the originally specified price. An MIT order will not be executed
if the market fails to touch the MIT specified price.
One Cancels the Other (OCO) This is a combination of two orders written on one order ticket.
This instructs our floor personnel that once one side of the order is filled, the remaining side of
the order should be cancelled. By placing both instructions on one order, rather than two separate
tickets, the customer eliminates the possibility of a double fill. This order is not acceptable on
Good-Till-Cancelled (GTC) ) An order to buy or sell a security at a set price that is active
until the investor decides to cancel it or the trade is executed. If an order does not have a
good-till-canceled instruction, then the order will expire at the end of the trading day.
Initial Margin The percentage of the purchase price of securities that the investor must pay
for with his or her own cash for futures and options contracts. For hedgers, initial margin is about
10% of total contract value.
Maintenance Margin The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account.
The maintenance level is generally 75% of initial margin.
Margin Call A margin call is the demand on an investor, which is using margin, to deposit additional
money to bring an account up to the minimum maintenance margin level. Margin calls occur when an account’s
value depresses to a value that is less than required. You would receive a margin call if one or more of the
securities you had bought (with borrowed money) decreased in value past a certain point. You would be forced
either to deposit more money in the account, or to sell off some of your assets.
A contract that conveys the right--but not the obligation--to buy or sell a particular item at a certain
price for a limited time. Only the seller of the option is obligated to perform.
Call Options An option that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase (go "long")
the underlying futures contract at the strike price on or before the expiration date.
Put Options An option that gives the option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to sell (go "short")
the underlying futures contract at the strike price on or before the expiration date.
Option Premiums The price of an option, or the sum of money, that the option buyer pays or the option seller
receives for the rights granted by the option.
Financial guarantees required of sellers of options contracts to ensure fulfillment of contract obligations.
Futures Commission Merchants, or FCMs, are responsible for overseeing customer margin accounts. Margins are
determined on the basis of market risk and contract value.
When to use and why Options are useful when a trader wants to limit their risk exposure in the futures
market. The premiums in options are less volatile in nature than are the prices on futures contracts. Buyers
of options are not subject to margin calls, lessening their risk. Buying put options is a good strategy to set
price floors for your products.
Bid and Ask
Bid An expression indicating a desire to buy a commodity at a given price.
Ask An expression indicating one's desire to sell a commodity at a given price.
Bid/Ask Spreads The spread is the trading difference between the most competitive bid and the most
competitive offer on a contract. Normally these spreads are narrow for high volume, or “frequently”, traded
futures and options. “Infrequently”, or low volume traded contracts usually have a larger spread. For these
contracts it is advantageous to use limit orders within the spread, but still near the bid price if buying,
and near the ask price if selling.
To download the FireTip trading platform, follow this link: Firetip Software (39 MB). FireTip is the online trading
platform that most of our clients use to trade. This program is where all the live
quotes on futures and options are displayed. Traders can also track and chart any
future or option that is available for trading. Your account is updated daily to
reflect the worth of open positions and equity. FireTip has a few unique features
for traders to use, such as advanced trader and depth trader.
The trading matrix is the main window that every trader should have open to display
the contracts that have open positions and any contracts of interest to the trader.
Orders can be placed from this window by either using the Place Order button or
the Buy and Sell buttons located on the bottom of the matrix. The live quotes are
displayed here, as well as, the entire bid and ask information. Separate matrices
can be created for option chains.
Advance trader allows traders to view up-to-the-second market conditions for any
future and option being traded. It can indicate movements in the market depending
upon the size and total amount of bids and asks at certain prices. Orders can also
be made from the advanced trader window. With such features as Go Flat, Reverse,
Cancel All, Buy Market, Sell Market, Buy Bid, and Sell Ask a trader has more options
when trading from this window.
There are two commonly used forms of hedging transactions—selling futures, and buying put options. Using these transactions transfers risk to speculators, minimizing the price fluctuations of your commodity. Loss through hedging goes into the profit-loss of your business’ operation costs. Profit-loss through speculation, on the other hand, is taxed as a capital gain or loss—which is in a higher tax bracket. A hedging transaction is always opposite of what a farmer’s physical position is, otherwise it is considered speculation.
Farmer going long grain futures or calls would be spec and taxed as a capital gain More hedging transactions tax information