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Agenda Overview

Day One: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

12.00pm Registration and continental style networking lunch

1.15pm Chairman’s opening remarks


1.30pm Macroeconomic overview: The North American market in a global perspective

  • Assessing the impact of the global macro environment on grain markets and grain prices
  • Progress or decline: How is global growth shaping up and where do concerns lie?
  • How much does the strengthening dollar affect the competitiveness of US crop exports?
  1. Bluford Putnam, Managing Director of Strategic Intelligence and Analytics, CME Group


2.30pm Global grains and oilseeds outlook 2015-2016


This session will feature renowned grains and oilseeds experts discussing the supply and demand dynamics affecting the key producing and consuming regions globally.

  1. Dale Durchholz, Senior Market Analyst, AgriVisor LLC
  2. David Hightower, President, The Hightower Report
  3. Jerry Gidel, Chief Feed Grain Analyst, Rice Dairy LLC 

3.30pm Afternoon refreshments and networking break

4.15pm How does China’s goal of food security impact on the North American grains and oilseeds industry?

  • Is China really 90% self-sufficient? Do they really have multi-year highs?
  • What is the situation in China for coarse grains and corn? How does the feed arbitrage play out?
  • What impact will a move from supporting farmers through stockpiling to direct payments have on imports of North American grains into China?
  • Following the approval of MIR162 what other potential concerns are there in GMO approval?
  1. Eric Trachtenberg, Director, Agriculture and Food Sector, McLarty Associates

5.00pm The US biofuel and ethanol industry outlook

  • How will the expected increase in the Renewable Fuel Standard affect the market? Is national and international demand sufficient?
  • Understanding the effect of falling crude prices on the ethanol market
  • With predicted low margins, how will US ethanol production continue and can it remain competitive against South America?
  • Assessing the knock on effects of increased biofuel production on the national and international feed markets
  1. Dr. Robert Wisner, Biofuels Economist, Iowa State University




5.30pm Chairman’s closing remarks followed by networking cocktail reception


Day Two: Wednesday, May 20, 2015

08.45am Morning refreshments

09.15am Chairman’s opening remarks

09.30am Price transmission for wheat, corn and soy from global or regional benchmarks to farm gate

  • How does price transmission vary across countries?
  • Determining levels of regional price transparency and producer price realization
  • Where does this put North America grains in global competitiveness?
  1. Ann Berg, Commodity Market Specialist


10.00am Tackling transportation logistics for North American grains


  • How well has the North American transport logistics network coped with a bumper crop year?
  • Rail: Understanding how grains compete with other commodities and energy
  • Keystone pipeline: Will the pipeline happen and if so what will be the consequences for the movement of grains?
  • Can North American river and barge infrastructure cope with the constant demand and how much modernization is needed?
  • What are the fundamental changes that will occur in grain flow with the Panama Canal widening?
  1. Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director, Soy Transportation Coalition
  2. Adam Sparger, Economist, Transportation Services Division, USDA-AMS

10.45am Morning refreshments and networking break

11.15am Meeting the demands of the US livestock industry

  • Restocking and herd sizes: What is the predicted growth of the US hog, poultry and beef industry?
  • How does fishmeal fit in to the feed protein mix?
  • Will feed demand both domestic and international, supersede energy demand as the main driver for US corn?
  1. Chris Hurt, Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University  

11.45pm Domestic and global weather update: Who are the winners and losers of global weather patterns?

  • Perfect summers and cold winters: Have we seen late plantings and a premium on the May/June period in North America?
  • An overview of this summer’s growing season in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Are El Niño conditions holding? Who are the winners and losers?
  • What anomalies can we foresee occurring in weather conditions?
  • Looking forward: How will weather conditions and cycles play out in the next 10 years?
  1. Joel Widenor, Co-Founder, Chief Administrative Officer, Commodity Weather Group, LLC
  2. Corey Cherr, Head of Agriculture & Weather Research & Forecasts, Thomson Reuters.
  3. Kyle Tapley, Senior Agricultural Meteorologist, Weather Services, MDA Information Systems LLC

12.45pm Networking lunch

2.00pm The Canadian story

  • How has the transition from Canada Wheat Board played out?
  • Perspectives from farmer organizations.
  • Examine the opportunities, obstacles and setbacks from this transition period
  1. John Snell, Senior Vice President, INTL FCStone

2.30pm Understanding North American containerized grain export capacity: Where does this leaves producers and end users

  • Update on current and future container capacity
  • How does choosing containerization over dry bulk affect pricing and profit?
  • What are the operational constraints of increasing containerized grain exports?
  1. Colby Eymann, Senior Container Trader, Scoular
  2. Brian R. Bickford, President, Agri Logisitcs



3.15pm Afternoon refreshments and networking break


3.45pm Black Sea update: Trading Black Sea wheat in an era of uncertainty

  • 2015/2016 Crop production forecasts
  • What implications does the political unrest in the region have on global agricultural markets and trade and what is the likely outcome of these developments?
  • How do logistics and quality affect competitiveness in the Black Sea?
  1. Matt Ammermann, Commodity Risk Manager- Eastern Europe / Black Sea Region, INTL FCStone




4.15pm Understanding the increasing role of ETFs in commodity markets


  • How do grain ETFs work and how do they influence the market?
  • Are ETFs there as a buy and hold option or a trading instrument?
  • Using ETFs instead of futures as a risk mitigation strategy
  1. Sal Gilbertie, President and co-founder, Teucrium Trading LLC
  2. Jared Cummans, Analyst, ETF Database

5.00pm Chairman’s closing remarks and close of conference

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