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By Kay Ledbetter
Special to The Hesperian-Beacon—
AMARILLO – Knowing how to grow a crop is important, but learning how to market that crop is equally vital to surviving in today’s agricultural climate.
That’s what feed grain and cotton producers should focus on in 2020, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist.
The yearlong outlook and planning ahead will be the focus of AgriLife Extension’s Developing This Year’s Marketing Plan for Cotton and Feed Grains workshop Feb. 6-7 in Amarillo.
The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd. The registration fee is $125, which covers the cost associated with instruction, breaks, meals and materials.
“Weather and international market forces made 2019 a volatile year,” said Justin Benavidez, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo. “I would say it was a case study in how valuable a marketing plan can be. Given that you know you can grow a crop well, we want to have a plan in place to make the most money possible on that crop.”
Traditionally, the spring marketing workshop has focused on feed grains. This year, the workshop will cover feed grains and cotton.
“We’ve had more than one producer ask about the fundamentals that drive cotton marketing in the Texas High Plains,” Benavidez said. “As we continue to learn to produce with less water on the High Plains, producers are turning to cotton, and in turn, we want to provide education on the unique aspects of marketing cotton.”
The course is limited to 50 participants. To register and pay, go to https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/Grain or call 979-845-2604. While this is the preferred method of payment, payments will be accepted at the door. However, all registrations must be completed by Jan. 31, either online or by phone.
For the registration brochure or more information, contact Lacrecia Garza at 806-677- 5600 or [email protected]
“I expect producers to face continuing challenges in 2020,” Benavidez said. “We’ve taken the first step in alleviating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, but there are still plenty of forces to be concerned about in the cotton and grain markets. Stocks and supplies continue to rise year over year. It will be critical for producers to manage costs and take advantage of marketing opportunities as they occur to have a successful year.”
Benavidez, Mark Welch, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension grain marketing specialist in College Station, and John Robinson, Ph.D., cotton marketing specialist in College Station, will be the primary instructors.
Segments will cover developing a marketing plan, marketing tools and strategies, cost of production, basis and technical analysis, crop insurance considerations, seasonal weather forecast and marketing, as well as supply, demand and technical factors that influence the feed grains market. An industry panel will provide insights.
“We want producers to walk away with the ability to make informed marketing decisions for the 2020 production year,” Benavidez said. “Our goal is for producers to have the knowledge they need to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.”