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AgriLife Extension crop workshops help producers determine profitability

Producers wondering what the profit and financing options are for certain 2009 crops can find out by attending either of two Texas AgriLife Extension Service crop profitability workshops set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 17 and March 5 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Lubbock.

"Our objective is to provide producers the tools, data and skills to evaluate the potential profitability of alternative crops that are grown in the area or have the potential to be grown here,” said Dr. Jackie Smith, AgriLife Extension economist at Lubbock.

"Each participant will get a printed copy of our presentations and selected crop budgets. They will also receive a CD with Excel crop budgets and break-even tables, reference files and a set of Internet links," Smith said. "This will help them use the Excel spreadsheet on their own computer."

Individual registration is $20 (by check) and includes lunch and refreshments.

The workshops are funded by a grant from the Texas State Cotton Support Committee.

"The grant enables us to develop a crop budget projection tool, conduct training workshops, keep the data updated, and then make the tool and information available to producers," Smith said. “The producers will go home with a spreadsheet that they can fine-tune using their own cost figures to make accurate comparisons of the profitability of cotton and sorghum, for example.”

Smith said the comparison spreadsheet includes four cotton budgets and 17 other crop budgets that can be quickly evaluated with expected input costs and crop prices.

He said the Excel spreadsheet allows users to examine the impact of different crop-share rental arrangements on landlord and renter's net income.

Smith, along with AgriLife Extension risk management specialists Jay Yates and Jeff Pate at Lubbock, and marketing specialists Dr. John Robinson and Dr. Mark Welch, both from College Station, will conduct the workshops.

Other agenda topics will include: input price trends and projections for 2009; a farm bill update; and basis cash contracts and forward pricing tools using futures and options.

To register, contact Wendy Durrett at 806-746-6101. For more information, contact Smith or Yates at 806-746-6101.

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