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How’s the weather? Find out at seminar

Agricultural weather is about as easy to predict as how much U.S. cotton China will import this season, but there are identifiable trends for both which could help the decision-making process for farmers.

Decisions 2009, a seminar focusing on markets, weather, lending, crop inputs and new technology will take place Monday, July 20, at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn.

Has global warming gone from hot topic to hot potato? Drew Lerner, president and owner of World Weather Inc., an international weather forecasting firm, will discuss how the current sunspot minimum (the sun is producing fewer sunspots) will influence summer temperatures this year. Lerner says drought potentials are below average and there may be a decrease in tropical cyclone activity this year.

Lerner has been serving the agricultural weather market for close to 30 years, by analyzing and predicting worldwide crop conditions based on current, past and future weather.

Richard Brock owner and president of Brock Associates, an agricultural marketing advisory service, will provide market analysis on corn, soybean, rice, cotton and other commodities and recommend marketing strategies for the coming season.

Erin FitzPatrick, a research analyst for Rabobank International, will provide a global perspective on farm inputs. She will discuss how farmer demand for key inputs is being affected by the current economic slowdown, and how this will affect production levels and suppliers around the globe.

Randall Pope, president of The Westchester Group, an agricultural asset management company, will discuss fundamental drivers of farmland values. Pope will explore the historical reasons for changing farmland values and discuss current and potential changes in farmland values, given demand for commodities and the land on which they are produced.

Barry Knight, regional business director for Monsanto’s Delta and Pine Land west region, will discuss how frequent shifts between crops and new advances in plant breeding and biotechnology have changed the time interval of adoption. Knight will map out Monsanto’s movement in cotton, corn and soybean germplasm over the next three years.

“Doc” Yarlagadda, national agronomist, Helena Chemical Co., will share his crop production knowledge and experience with his unique presentation style.

To register, call (800) 558-3431 or register at The sessions begin at 8:15 a.m. and conclude at 3:15 p.m. Lunch is included in the registration fee.

The event is sponsored by Brock Associates, Delta Farm Press, Helena, Monsanto and Rabo AgriFinance.

TAGS: Management
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