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Good timing, advice in grain market

If you’re a grain producer and want to take advantage of the bull market for corn, two things can help — good timing and good advice. In that vein, you’ll have the best seat in the house for bull market strategies and when to implement them at Mid-South Farm and Gin, March 2-3, at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

“We will have a lot of emphasis on the ethanol and biofuel industry and what it will mean for corn and soybean prices, changes in production and transportation,” said market analyst Richard Brock, president, Brock Associates. Brock will participate in an ag update seminar, Saturday, March 2, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

“We’ll also talk a little bit about the farm bill and the impact it will have on farming. We’ll also discuss the general economy, land values and the energy market and its impact on input costs for producers.”

The big question for 2007 and beyond is whether or not the bull market for corn can sustain. It will, Brock believes, “but there will be some ripples in the tide as we go along.

“For example, at the end of 2007, the 54-cent a gallon tariff on South American ethanol expires. If that tariff is not renewed, it’s going to be cheaper to bring in ethanol from South America than it is to produce it here.”

And lately, with energy prices dropping, some ethanol fuels are no longer competitive, notes Brock. “Recently, the plug was pulled on building an ethanol plant just south of Ft. Wayne, Ind., because they concluded the economics weren’t going to work. And I think we’ll see that several on the drawing board will not be built.”

Brock stresses that marketing in this environment is more important now than it’s ever been.

“For example, more corn was forward contracted this year than ever before at more than a dollar a bushel below where the market is now. So a lot of farmers are not benefiting from these high prices because they sold it too early.

“We think the best marketing opportunity for corn will be before we are through with planting this spring. The timing of the meeting in Memphis is a good one for developing marketing strategies.”

The Saturday session will also include an energy outlook, examining the potential and challenges for agriculture. Speakers include Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., and James K. Allwood, senior vice president, Informa Economics.


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