Prairie Grains Conference returns Dec.7 to 8
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The weather, politics and marketing affect just about everyone involved with production agriculture. So do agronomics, finances and health care. The 2016 Prairie Grains Conference will cover all those topics, and more, Dec. 7...
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The weather, politics and marketing affect just about everyone involved with production agriculture. So do agronomics, finances and health care.
The 2016 Prairie Grains Conference will cover all those topics, and more, Dec. 7 to 8 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. About 900 people are expected to attend the annual event, which crosses state and commodity lines and is considered by some to be the unofficial start of the region's winter ag meeting season.
"We think the sessions will be useful," says David Torgerson, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, one of eight groups involved in the conference. The others are the North Dakota Barley Council, the Minnesota Barley Council, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Northland Community & Technical College, Minnesota Farm Bureau and the North Dakota Grain Growers Association.
He and other organizers say attendees sometimes complain there are so many good sessions (some held concurrently), that "we can't decide which one to attend."
Farm families or farm operations sometimes send two or three people to attend different sessions and collect as much information as possible, Torgerson says.
The key three keynote speeches will be given on the morning of Dec. 8:
• 9:20 a.m. - "2017 Weather Outlook: The Big Weather Patterns and Cycles Influencing Winter and Growing Season," Daryl Ritchison, North Dakota State University extension meteorologist. Leon Osborne, a meteorologist with the University of North Dakota who usually gives the 2017 weather outlook at Prairie Grains, was invited to do so again this year, but was unable to attend, says Torgerson, who adds that Ritchison is an excellent replacement.
• 10 a.m. - "The Aftermath of the 2016 Elections - The Outlook for Federal Agriculture Policy Impacting your Farm," Sara Wyant, president of Agri-Pulse Communications Co.
• 1:15 p.m. - "Market Situation and Outlook for Our Region's Crop," Rob Fronning, vice president of insurance and commodity marketing education with AgCountry.
Other sessions on a wide variety of topics, ranging from health care to nutrient needs for wheat and soybeans, also will be held Dec. 8.
The conference begins Dec. 7 with grower and industry meetings. Registration and breakfast start at 8 a.m., with research reports and small-group discussions following from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Other highlights on Wednesday include the Minnesota and North Dakota Malting Barley Program from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and a workshop for young producers on taking charge of their finances from 1 to 4 p.m.
The conference is free to members of the partner organizations, and $25 for non-members. The fee can be paid at the door, but preregistration is preferred.
For more information, visit smallgrains.org.