Peterson is CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, and is headquartered in Washington D.C.

Mike Dyar, director of global policy for the U.S. Foreign Agriculture Service will discuss the long-term outlook for commodity prices. Dyar will address at least eight trends he contends shape global markets.

North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler has been tireless in his efforts to develop foreign markets for state-grown commodities. Troxler and members of the grower associations involved in the All Commodities Conference have visited China and other foreign countries to develop contacts and buyer sources.

Growers will likely be keenly interested in presentations by Phil Laney, former director of the U.S. Soybean Export Council in China; and Thomas Eager, CEO of the North Carolina Port Authority.

China is a major buyer of North Carolina-grown cotton and is becoming a significant buyer of soybeans grown in the state.

North Carolina is a grain deficit state, yet there is a growing market for soybeans in the export market. At a steady $13-$15 dollars a bushel, competition is sometimes fierce for the state’s 1.2 million acre soybean crop.

A key component of building export markets is the ability to get commodities to foreign markets in a short period of time and to deliver these crops at high quality levels. Eager will discuss the development of port facilities in North Carolina to handle this growing export business.

Politicalization is a new term that is growing in importance to farmers across the country. Already, billions of dollars have been cut from the upcoming farm bill, seemingly without much of a fight from agricultural supporters in the U.S. House and Senate.

During the All Commodity Conference, a panel of North Carolina senators and congressmen will hold a round-table discussion to talk about the issues facing state farmers.

Included on the panel are: North Carolina senators David Rouzer and Brent Jackson and North Carolina businessman Lawrence Davenport. The panel discussion will be chaired by Ray Starling, general counsel for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

During the meeting North Carolina State University researchers will give research and Extension updates on the four commodities represented in the meeting. Keith Edmisten will give the cotton update. Randy Weisz will give the wheat and small grain update. Ron Heiniger will give the corn update and Jim Dunphy will give the soybean update.

A highlight of the annual meeting is presentation of high yield and high profitability awards by each state commodity. Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler annually provides lively commentary during presentation of these highly contested and highly prestigious awards.

The conference features one of the larger agriculture exhibits, with vendors from throughout the Southeast attending. Growers and other visitors to the annual meeting are given time during the conference to visit the exhibition hall and get information from participants.

For more information about the meeting, including the conference agenda, meeting registration and hotel reservations, contact the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association.

rroberson@farmpress.com