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Will 2013 marketing strategies work in 2014?

Get caught up on the latest in farmland values, commodity prices, marketing and the farm bill, while enjoying a taste of the Big Easy.

Agriculture once again seems poised at the precipice of uncertainty over the farm bill, farmland values and fluctuating commodity prices. It could be a year when what you don’t know could hurt you.

With that in mind, a February symposium could provide just the information you need to make market wise and sound economic decisions this coming season.

The 2014 Agricultural Economic Symposium will be held at the New Orleans Marriott, 555 Canal St., in New Orleans, La., Feb. 17-19. Rooms must be booked by Friday, Jan. 24, at 5 p.m. to reserve the special hotel rate. Early bird registration is $495 per person and $395 for spouse or business partner.

The symposium will feature Richard Brock, president of Brock Associates, who provide a view of commodity markets from ground level and at 30,000 feet. He’ll deliver a no-minced-words commodity price outlook, followed by a question and answer session. He’ll discuss marketing strategies for 2014 and trends that could impact your bottom line in 2014.

Here’s a primer on other speakers:

Tax specialist Andy Biebl will help farmers navigate new health care rules, the status of farm rents and the 3.8 percent tax. Jack Juelich, senior relationship manager for CoBank/Farm Credit Leasing will highlight major tax code changes for 2014 that could impact growers.

Jason Moss, chief operating officer, Brock Associates, will cover a wide angle of cash market economics, including addressing true cost and return to storage and how futures spreads and basis can drive marketing decisions.

Kurt Barth, chief financial officer, Brock Associates, will examine the larger role that cash grain marketing will likely play in the next few years. He will discuss proper use and timing of various cash contracts and deconstruct them, exposing the futures and options strategies that underlie and support them.

Texas A&M agricultural economist and farm management expert Danny Klinefelter will share management practices that any producer can do, but 95 percent don’t.

Darren Hudson, an economist at Texas Tech University, will bring attendees up to date on the status of the farm bill. David Behrel, vice president of Brock Investor Services, and Kevin Woods, broker for Brock Investor Services, will cover the basics of using futures and options to manage risk. They’ll also discuss the nuances of fundamental and technical analysis and clues behind picking a top in the market.

Robb Fraley, chief financial officer for Monsanto, will lead off the symposium with a discussion of agricultural innovations to increase yield and improve agronomic systems to meet the challenges of sustainability.

Randy Hertz, chairman of Hertz Farm Management, will provide his usual update on farmland prices, and will delve into whether farmland values are experiencing a bubble similar to the 1970 and 1980s.

Roger Murdock, with Ingersoll Tillage, will discuss new tillage techniques, while Bob Hooten, with FMC, will share his insight on how growers can push the yield ceiling with a solid resistance management program.

Tuesday evening will be spent aboard the Creole Queen, cruising the Mississippi River and enjoying creole cuisine and live jazz.

Registration includes all sessions and materials plus Monday evening social, Tuesday meals and refreshments, Tuesday evening dinner and jazz cruise and Wednesday breakfast, lunch and refreshments.

Following the event, optional tours include a Carriage Ride of the New Orleans Historical District followed by the Honey Island Swamp Tour, both on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 20.

To register, go to the Brock Associates website,; email Brock Associates at; or call 800-558-3431.

The event is sponsored by Ag First, Brock Associates, Delta Farm Press, Farm Credit Leasing, FMC, Ingersoll and Monsanto.


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