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NCDA Offers Price/Volatility Workshops

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host eight free price-risk management workshops across the state to help farmers better understand the futures market and other trading options to sell their commodities.

The series, “Managing Price Volatility/Identifying Macro Indicators,” features workshops conducted by NCDA&CS staff between Jan. 8 and March 14. Topics to be covered include an introduction to grain hedging, basis trading, cost of carry, cotton futures, options trading on futures, using options to manage financial risks, and trading strategies to manage exposure to fluctuations in energy costs.

Workshops will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. except where noted. Lunch will be on your own. Registration is not required. Following are the schedule and locations:

Wednesday, Jan. 8 — Robeson County Agriculture Building
Wednesday, Jan. 22 — Wayne County Cooperative Extension

Abnormally Dry Conditions Remain the Same in South Carolina

In the latest drought monitor released on Thursday, in spite of rain over the weekend, South Carolina’s abnormally dry conditions saw no change. A little more than 19% of the state remains drought free, in the upstate and south eastern mountain region, and the remaining 80% of the state continues to experience abnormally dry conditions.

Ranchers Relief Fund Exceeds $2 Million Mark

The South Dakota Ranchers Relief fund was put together by the State Stock Growers, Cattlemen and Sheep Growers groups to help the state’s cattlemen and women recover from a devastating October blizzard that took upwards of 15,000 head of cattle. Stockmen’s Executive Director Silvia Christen says this week’s donations brought in more than 143,000-dollars …

“The South Dakota Auto Dealers Association visited our office with a check for $63,000 and I accepted a check from the South Dakota Ethanol Producers Association in the amount of $80,000 that will all go into the Ranchers Relief fund and help us to make a difference for these families.”

Assistance of everything from cash to bred and open heifers have come from all over the country to help the South Dakota stockmen rebuild their herds.

Federal Reserve Official Suggests It’s Time for International GMO Crop Standards

In response to the rejections of U.S. corn shipments by China – a U.S. Federal Reserve official suggested farmers should consider a path toward internationally accepted standards for genetically modified crops. Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher said it was important that the revolution of genetic modification be responsibly carried forward to avoid threatening trade. Millions of tons of corn have been held out of the Chinese market apparently because of GMO characteristics.