The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Nueces with the assistance of the Nueces Field Crops Task Force will present a Crop Marketing Workshop from 8:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Dec. 4 at the Jonny Calderon Building, 710 East Main in Robstown. Not only will this workshop cover our current understanding of farm policy and market outlooks, but also, mid and long-term weather forecasts and our current soil moisture conditions. The event intends to provide as much information to growers as possible so that they can make the best management decision for themselves regarding their planting mix and marketing strategies for the 2014 growing season.

Of primary interest to growers at this time is the 2013 farm bill. Having farm policy and legislation in place helps growers plan for next year’s crop and make investments in farms that protect the long-term sustainability of their business. However, the bill remains a political football in Washington currently being kicked around in conference committee. Therefore, during the workshop George Knapek, Program Director for Representative Farms and Extension Economist, will discuss the current status of the farm bill, what is anticipated, and how it may affect cotton and grain growers in this area.

Dr. Levi Russell, an Extension Economist who recently joined the faculty at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center in Corpus Christi, will then speak about current crop marketing conditions and outlook as we move into the crop year. Dr. Russell will also offer growers marketing strategies for the various commodities.

John Metz a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service will then give a presentation on mid and long-term weather forecasts to participating growers. His program will lead into a presentation on current soil moisture conditions across the county. Recently with the assistance of local growers and NRCS personnel we were able to collect soil samples and use them to estimate plant available soil moisture in fields throughout Nueces County. Grower rainfall records at each field location will also be tied back to in field plant available moisture.

By having good information on current soil moisture conditions and what our future weather and market outlooks appear to be, Coastal Bend Area producers should have a good base to make their cropping decisions on for the 2014 growing season.

A participation fee of $10 will be charged to attendees. Seating is limited, so attendees are asked to RSVP to the AgriLife Extension office in Nueces County at 361-767-5223 by Dec. 3.

Individuals with disabilities, who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any of the mentioned activities, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office eight days before all programs for assistance. Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.