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Deadline for NPPGA Scholarship Apps is this Friday
Each year the Northern Plains Potato Growers Research & Education Foundation offers a scholarship to the sons, daughters, grandsons, or granddaughters of the Potato Associates and NPPGA members only.
We are excited to again offer this scholarship opportunity to four (4) individuals who meet the following requirements:
1. Parent or Grandparent must be either a grower-member or an Associate member of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.
2. Applicant must be graduating from high school this spring or be attending college.
3. Applicant must have at least a 3.0 grade point average.
If the above criteria can be met, please request an application by email.
There will be a total of three $500, and one $600 NPPGA scholarships awarded. The application deadline has been extended to May 3, 2013. Applications must arrive at our office by that date A selection committee will be comprised to evaluate applications, interview candidates, and make the final selections.
We are also pleased to offer the Potato Bowl Scholarship Ambassador Program with this application. The only additional requirement is that the selected scholarship applicants chosen to be the Potato Bowl Ambassadors and recipients of the Potato Bowl Scholarship MUST be available to participate in Potato Bowl events during the month of September (times and events flexible). Two individuals will be selected to serve as Potato Bowl Ambassadors and will each receive a $500 scholarship.
Please contact our office at 218-773-3633 if you have any questions. We look forward to helping you meet your education goals.
New Seed Potato Harmonization Program to Increase Trade Opportunities for U.S. Potatoes
The following joint statement is from the National Potato Council (NPC) and the United States Potato Board (USPB) on last Thursday's U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announcement of the launch of the State National Harmonization Program (SNHP) for U.S. seed potatoes:
"The announcement by APHIS of the implementation of the State National Harmonization Program (SNHP) culminates years of hard work by our state and national partners and provides a sound foundation upon which the industry can demonstrate the effectiveness of establishing harmonized national standards. The SNHP provides a format for the pota to industry and state seed certification agencies to voluntarily adopt standards and management procedures for non-quarantine pests of concern, which would be universally applied to seed potatoes moving between the various states, between the U.S. and Canada, and shipped to other foreign trading partners.
"Not only does the SNHP for seed potatoes better position high-quality U.S. potatoes in the international marketplace, it places us on solid footing as we work to address other issues of industry concern, including the management and control of pests, like PVY. Adoption of an effective PVY management plan for seed potatoes and voluntary inclusion of that plan by the signatories to the SNHP will be an important next step in the evolution of this partnership between the potato industry and APHIS.
"The process of establishing the SNHP has been instrumental in gaining access for U.S. seed potatoes to a number of markets. With the SNHP in place, USDA and the industry should be able to finalize market access for U.S. seed potatoes to Egypt, the Dominican Republic, and other potential export markets. Increased access for U.S. seed potatoes in foreign markets will help U.S. seed potato growers to diversify and strengthen their programs, thereby better serving the U.S. potato industry as well as expanding demand for U.S. potatoes."
Understanding Marketing in Years with Late Planting and Prevented Planting
By Bret Oelke, University of Minnesota Extension
he potential of reduced production due to delayed planting in 2013 because of the cold, wet start to the growing season could result in additional challenges in managing marketing. While there is still time to plant this year's crop and achieve normal yields, it is important to understand the marketing implications if we experience continued delays in corn planting.
Many parts of the United States saw their crops, especially corn, devastated by drought in 2012. In other locations the damage was much less severe. But we saw reduced yields, which, coupled with the increase in futures prices, triggered a crop insurance payment. With significant reductions in yield, farmers who typically forward-priced a portion of their crop before harvest found themselves in the predicament of having sold or hedged more grain than they ended up harvesting.
If planting is delayed and producers change their cropping plans - resulting in fewer corn acres on their farms - they could see significant reductions in the amount of corn produced. Growers who have already forward-priced any significant amount of production may end up having sold more corn than they end up producing. Farmers in this position, or who expect to be, need to approach managing their marketing positions in a thoughtful, well-planned manner.
The first thing farmers need to do is to review their current marketing actions.
1) What types of contracts were used?
futures fixed or hedge-to-arrive
futures and/or options contracts2) What amounts of grain (especially corn) have been hedged or forward-priced with elevator contracts?
3) At what price have each of the contracts been set?
4) What are the terms of the elevator contracts?
Cash forward: Delivery-obligated contract. There normally is not a non-delivery clause in this contract. Sellers (farmers) are expected to deliver grain; if unable, they must find grain to fill the contract.
Futures fixed or hedge-to-arrive contracts: These are also normally considered delivery- obligated contracts. However, in many cases there is a buy-back clause in the contract that will outline the circumstances that allow for non-delivery and the cost to exit the contract.
Futures and option on futures contracts: These contracts can simply be bought back or sold to offset the futures contract or the option on futures positions. The difference between the sales price (the initial price set with the futures hedge) and the price upon offsetting or buying back the contract will result in either a gain if the buy-back price is lower than the original sale price or a loss if the buy-back price is higher.5) Crop insurance considerations
It is important to understand that to minimize risk, any of the contracts that can be offset or bought out should be offset during the harvest price discovery period for revenue-based crop insurance. The price discovery period for crops commonly grown in our region is during October. If producers panic and lift the positions before then, and the price decreases during the price discovery period, losses will be increased.
In many cases a combination of the previously mentioned contracts will have been used by growers to price their crops. If that is the case, then the lowest cost exit strategy or strategies need to be implemented.
Keep in mind that communication with grain buyers, brokers and lenders is important so everyone who may be impacted by these situations will be informed of the consequences of non-delivery of contracted grain. Also, unnecessary risk can be avoided by waiting until the harvest price discovery period is in process before contracts are bought back.
For more information on managing agricultural businesses, visit www.extension.umn.edu/AgBusiness
Red River Valley Potatoes are Now on Facebook!
Red River Valley Potatoes now has a home on Facebook, the world's number one social network. Facebook.com/RedRiverValleyPotatoes is a great place to spread the word about our great tasting potatoes!
Currently the site has photos, links to recipes, promotional videos, nutritional information, fresh shipper's contact information and more. But the cool thing about Facebook is that you, our readers, shippers, growers, and potato lovers can post your own comments, recipes, or whatever to the site. This type of activity spreads to your circle of friends, and their circle of friends, etc., etc. This is what make the site grow.