Farmers Encouraged To Attend "GrowingOn 2014" In January

Farmers Encouraged To Attend "GrowingOn 2014" In January

Crop insurance update, grain price outlook and marketing strategies will be covered in meetings at 17 Iowa locations.

Farm Credit Services of America is hosting 17 "GrowingOn 2014" meetings for farmers throughout Iowa in January. Purpose of the FSCAmerica-sponsored meetings is to share marketing information and to explain the economic influences on production agriculture and the risk management strategies farmers can use for the coming growing season.

MARKETING WILL BE CRITICAL: Marketing corn and soybeans will be a much more important—and more difficult—task for farmers in 2014 as grain prices level off at or below the cost of production. Helpful information on how to manage these tighter profit margins will be available at 17 "GrowingOn 2014" meetings across Iowa in January. Farmers are urged to register now and attend a meeting near them.

Steve Johnson, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, is the main speaker. He will offer observations and information on possible 2014 planted acreage, expected corn and soybean prices and estimated cost of production. Moreover, Johnson will share strategies and explain the tools farmers can use for managing risk and making a profit.

"With larger crops grown globally in 2013, we are already seeing much lower crop prices, and these low prices are expected to continue through 2014. That will result in lower farm incomes in 2014," says Johnson. "With the exception of fertilizer, which is below its cost of a year ago, the lower crop prices and lower farm incomes will not likely equate to lower input costs overall. And that includes cash rental rates which generally are remaining strong. Crop prices have declined significantly and the forecast is for them to stay low in 2014, but the cost of production is remaining high."

Crop insurance will again be an important tool to help farmers manage crop revenue risk with low grain prices in 2014

Other factors influencing farm operations in 2014 are the U.S. and global economies and government policies. Crop producers should spend more time on controlling the factors they can control and less on what they can't, says Johnson. "Together, the fundamental laws of supply and demand are at work, and the use of various grain marketing strategies and tools will be the best game plan for growing your farm operation in 2014," he adds.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Johnson reminds farmers that crop insurance is a great tool for managing crop price volatility. Buying crop insurance and choosing the options that fit their farming operation will be one of the most important risk management decisions farmers will make this winter. The 2012 drought and the 2013 drop in corn prices should serve as an eye-opener for the need to manage revenue risk. "The importance of crop insurance to insure against both yield losses and price declines has kept most all farm operations financially viable. In 2014, with low corn and soybean prices forecast, crop insurance's ability to protect against loss of revenue will be critical," he notes.

Crop insurance is one of the most fundamental tools for farm business risk management. Johnson says farmers need to choose the right multiperil policy, and that includes decisions regarding level of coverage, trend-adjusted yield and whether to use the enterprise or optional unit coverage. In addition, various supplemental policies can be added to multiperil policies that can vary the projected price -- also policies such as crop hail as well as wind and greensnap policies.

A "GrowingOn 2014" farm financial and marketing management meeting will be held at a location near you in January

Each meeting will last for approximately two and a half hours and includes a meal. The GrowingOn 2014 meetings will be held in Eddyville, Mount Pleasant, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Marshalltown, Newton, Perry, Lenox, Oakland, South Sioux City, Storm Lake, Emmetsburg, Webster City, Carroll, Mason City, Manchester and Festina.

Preregistration is required before attending the meeting. Specific times, locations and registration details can be found online or by calling the local FCSAmerica office at 800-884-FARM.

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