The 25th annual meeting of North Carolina corn, soybean, small grain and cotton growers association will be held Jan. 15-17. The meeting will take on added importance this year as growers from one end of the state to the other try to recover from damage from last summer’s historic rainfall and plan for the 2014 crop.

The meeting, which will be held at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham, N.C., is co-sponsored each year by the four grower associations, which combined represent about 3.5 million acres of crops in the state. Program planning rotates among the four grower associations and this year the North Carolina Corn Growers Association leads the program.

Featured in the opening session on the morning of Jan. 16 will be two presentations that will be critical to the planning of grain crops in the state in 2014. Thomas Sleight, president of the U.S. Grains Council in Washington, D.C., will provide an update on the Grains Council and provide insights on world grain markets. Grain exports have grown rapidly in North Carolina over the past few years as all crops continue to be influenced by global factors that directly impact local growers.

Dave Fogle, vice-president of Advance Trading in Bloomington, Illi., will discuss, “Changing Markets — How to Defend Your Balance Sheet,” at the 10:20 a.m. presentation on Jan. 16.

At 1:00 p.m. on the opening day, commodity marketing experts will present a roundtable discussion of marketing strategies for cotton and grain crops in North Carolina.  Moderator for the discussion will be Clif Hardison with Sweet Water Creek Seeds in Williamston, N.C. In addition to moderating the panel, Hardison will provide information on seed availability in grain crops and provide valuable information to growers as the plan for their 2014 crops.

Panel  members include Edgar Woods, president of Palmetto Grain Brokerage in Ridgeland, S.C.; Mike Quinn, Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative in Garner, N.C.; and Lucas Richard, with LFR Grain & Chemical Inc. in Newton, N.C.