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FCS schedules 2012 GrowingOn meetings

By Staff | Dec 30, 2011

Farm Credit Services of America is hosting 17 GrowingOn meetings in Iowa during January.

The purpose is to share information and insights to help producers make better business decisions in 2012.

Within the Farm News coverage area the 2.5-hour programs will be held:

  • Marshalltown – at 6 p.m., on Jan. 4 in Dejardin Hall at Iowa Valley Community College.
  • Perry – at 10 a.m. on Jan. 6 in the McCreary Community Building.
  • Storm Lake – at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Buena Vista University.
  • Sioux City – at 10 a.m. on Jan. 12 in the Marina inn & Conference Center.
  • Carroll – at 7 p.m., on Jan. 12, at the Carrollton Inn.
  • Mason City – at 10 a.m. on jan. 13 at the Prime ‘N’ Wine.
  • Webster City – at 6 p.m. on Jan. 19 at the St. thomas Aquinas parish Center.

Pre-registration is required and can be done by visiting www.cropinsurancespecialists.com or by calling (800) 884-FARM.

The program will be presented by Steven Johnson, farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension.

He will share 2012 price and expense outlooks, which, more than ever, will be influenced by more than supply and demand fundamentals.

“We’ve experienced the best of times in row crop farming,” said Johnson. “But with high crop prices comes risks and volatility.

“In 2012, prices will be greatly influenced by outside markets.

Struggling economies in the U.S., Europe and Japan and the value of crude oil and the dollar will vastly affect the commodity market.”

Commodity fund investors who will try and protect their profits by placing sell orders will have an effect, too, causing futures prices to drop, Johnson said.

Farmers need to look at implementing a number of strategies to manage crop risks and expenses and protect profit.

“It’s likely we’ll see an end to direct payments as we transition from the 2008 to the 2012 farm program.” Johnson said.

“This means crop insurance will be a producer’s primary safety net when making decisions in 2012.

“The decision isn’t whether to purchase or not to purchase crop insurance next year. Rather, decisions will center around endorsements – the new Trend-Adjusted APH Yield Endorsement and common endorsements, hail, wind and green snap.”

According to Doug Burns, vice president of insurance for FCS, the Trend-Adjusted Yield Option, gives eligible corn and soybean growers the option to adjust their APH yield based on their county’s historical yield trend.

“This allows indemnity payments to be calculated based on what trend yield would have been, not where they’ve been,” Burns said. “Agricultural producers should speak to a knowledgeable insurance agent or specialist who understands the new endorsement and how electing it affects coverage and premium.”

Overall, variable crop production costs are expected to be up 10 percent or more in 2012, Burns said. This means producers will want to carefully consider their product selection and coverage levels.

“In an economic environment with a lot of uncertainties, it’s smart for growers to think of what-if scenarios and determine how their operation would hold up in each situation,”?Burns said. “

FCSAmerica crop insurance specialists will share information about 2012 insurance changes at the GrowingOn meetings.

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