Input costs, water resources and the effects of monetary policy on agriculture will be among the topics of discussion at the sixth annual North Carolina Ag Development Forum Thursday, Feb. 3, at the State Fairgrounds.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler also will deliver his annual State of Agriculture address at the forum, which will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Holshouser Building.

Keynote speaker will be Matthew Martin, an economist and senior vice-president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Charlotte branch. His remarks will focus on the economic outlook for agriculture and the effects of monetary policy on the industry.

“This will be a great opportunity to come learn more about economic factors affecting farmers,” Troxler said. “This is going to be a critical year to stay informed because of ongoing economic concerns in North Carolina, the United States and even globally.”

There also will be a panel discussion focusing on the cost of agricultural inputs, such as seed and fertilizer.

Other agenda items include the unveiling of a strategic plan for agricultural water resources in North Carolina.

Farmers, agribusiness professionals and others interested in agricultural policy and economics are invited to the forum. Admission is free, and lunch will be provided. Registration is requested by Jan. 28. To register, go to www.ncagr.gov/agforum. People with questions should contact Christina Waggett at (919) 707-3008.

The forum is sponsored by Altria and the North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation.