Two agriculture marketing short courses set Feb. 12-14 in Amarillo

Futures and options, feed grains to be covered
Writer: Kay Ledbetter, 806-677-5608,
Contact: Steve Amosson, 806-677-5600,

AMARILLO – Drought, record tight feed grain supplies in the U.S. and world markets, and the lowest cattle inventory in 60 years are just some of the factors that will lead to volatile markets in 2013, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist.

To help producers understand and manage their way through these markets using a variety of marketing tools such as futures and options, AgriLife Extension will host two workshops, said Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist in Amarillo.

The 2013 High Plains Short Course series, featuring two workshops at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd. in Amarillo, is co-sponsored by AgriLife Extension, Panhandle-Plains Land Bank and Tru Trading Co.

The first course, “Intro to Futures and Options,” is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12. This course is designed to help participants gain a better understanding of the basics of how futures and options can be used in agricultural markets, Amosson said.

The “Feedgrains Workshop” will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13-14. This workshop will delve deeply into what and how fundamental and technical factors are affecting the feed grains market for the upcoming year, he said.

“We could easily see a $3 swing in prices this year, so risk management is going to be critical,” Amosson said. “The ultimate goal of this workshop is for the producer to be able to develop a written marketing plan for the 2013 crop.”

Amosson and Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grain marketing specialist in College Station, will be the primary instructors for both courses.

Guest speakers for the feed grains workshop will include a panel of area lenders, brokers and grain merchandisers who will address key issues facing local producers in the upcoming marketing year. In addition, Krissy Scotten with the National Weather Service in Amarillo will provide the weather forecast for the upcoming growing season.

The cost is $50 for the Feb. 12 event and $125 for the Feb. 13-14 program. This will cover costs associated with instruction, breaks, meals and materials, Amosson said.

To register and pay for these courses, go to: While this is the preferred method of registration and payment, Amosson said payments will be accepted at the door. However, all registrations must be completed by Feb. 8, either online or by contacting Leon Guerrero at 806-677-5626 or

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