Crop Marketing Workshop slated Dec. 4 in Robstown

ROBSTOWN  – The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Nueces County will present the Crop Marketing Workshop from 8:30-10:45 a.m. Dec. 4 at the Johnny Calderon Building, 710 E. Main St. in Robstown.

Greg Harris (left), with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, helps Jason Ott, an AgriLife Extension agent, take soil moisture samples taken from a fallow grain sorghum field in Nueces County to be used at a crop marketing workshop Dec. 4 in Robstown. (Photo courtesy of Jason Ott)

Greg Harris (left), with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, helps Jason Ott, an AgriLife Extension agent, take soil samples from a fallow grain sorghum field in Nueces County. Soil moisture levels will be among the information released at a crop marketing workshop Dec. 4 in Robstown. (Photo courtesy of Jason Ott)

The workshop will address the current version of the 2013 U.S. farm bill, market outlooks, soil moisture conditions and long-term weather forecasts, according to Jason Ott, AgriLife Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in Nueces County.

“We intend to provide as much information as possible to our growers so they can make the best management decisions regarding planting mix and marketing strategies for the 2014 growing season,” he said.

The farm bill is of significant interest to growers at this time of year, Ott said.

“Having farm policy and legislation in place helps growers plan for next year’s crop and make farm investments to protect long-term sustainability in their businesses,” Ott said. “Unfortunately, the bill remains a political football in Washington, D.C. and is being kicked around in conference committee.”

Ott said providing insight on the bill will be George Knapek, program director of the Texas A&M University System’s Agricultural and Food Policy Center for Representative Farms and an AgriLife Extension economist in College Station. Knapek will discuss the status of the farm bill, which is eagerly anticipated by growers because of how it could affect cotton and grain growers in the Coastal Bend area.

Dr. Levi Russell, an AgriLife Extension economist who recently joined the faculty at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Corpus Christi, will speak on current crop marketing conditions and outlook for 2014. He will also offer growers marketing strategies for the various commodities of the area.

John Metz, a National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist in Corpus Christi, will present mid- and long-term weather forecasts, which will lead to a presentation on the current soil moisture conditions across the county, Ott said.

“With the assistance of local growers and personnel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, we’ve been able to collect soil samples from throughout the area and use them to estimate available plant soil moisture levels,” he said. “Grower rainfall records at their respective field locations will also be incorporated into those soil ratings.”

Coastal Bend producers should have a good base from which to make their 2014 growing season cropping decisions after assessing the information to be presented on soil moisture conditions and weather and market outlooks, Ott said.

A fee of $10 will be collected at the door. Seating is limited so those wishing to attend should RSVP by Dec. 3 to the AgriLife Extension office for Nueces County at 361-767-5223.

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