Next year promises to be one of the most challenging ever for feed grains producers in the wake of a stock market crash, rapidly falling oil, ethanol and commodity prices, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service specialist.

A two-day workshop, to be held Jan. 7-8, is scheduled to help producers gain a better understanding of the fundamentals affecting the feed-grains market for the upcoming year, according to Dr. Steve Amosson, AgriLife Extension economist and coordinator of the program.

The program will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd., in Amarillo.

Topics to be covered in the course include the relationships between oil, ethanol and corn prices and the renewable fuel standards, Amosson said.

Attendees will look at cost of production, fundamentals of ethanol, feed use and exchange rates on exports, basis, technical analysis, cash and contract seasonality and marketing strategies, he said.

“The ultimate goal of the workshop is for the producers attending to develop a written marketing plan for the 2009 crop,” Amosson said.

“If producers just pick up one piece of information that helps them improve their marketing a dime (per bushel), that’s equal to $10,000 on a section of corn production,” he said. “I don’t see how a producer can afford to miss this opportunity.”

Amosson and Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grain marketing specialist from College Station, will serve as instructors.

“Given what is going on with the domestic and global economies, it is almost impossible to predict where commodity markets will end up this year,” he said. “However, it is a given there will be extreme volatility, and where there is volatility, there is opportunity.”

Amosson said it is critical for producers to understand what is expected for the upcoming year, and what marketing tools/strategies they have available to them to develop a sound marketing plan.

Pre-registration is required by Jan. 5. Attendance is limited to 50. The cost of the workshop is $125 per participant and will cover the costs associated with instruction, breaks, meals and materials, he said.

For more information or get a registration form, contact Jane Planchon at 806-677-5600. Mail registration forms to Jane Planchon, 6500 W. Amarillo Blvd., Amarillo, Texas 79106.