COLLEGE STATION — Agriculture can be a risky business, even for bankers. That’s why issues in agricultural financing will be the focus of a May 27 Texas Agricultural Summit Conference in Austin.
“Banks and other institutions that lend money to agriculture are undergoing significant changes,” said Dr. Gene Nelson, head of the agricultural economics department at Texas A&M University and a member of the summit planning committee. “Agriculture is also changing as a result of the 1996 Farm Bill, new trade relationships and technology.
“The challenge at the Texas Agricultural Summit Conference will be to set priorities for responding to these changes.
The summit, called “Financing Texas Agriculture in the Future,” is geared toward representatives of commercial banks, the farm credit system and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, agricultural leaders and others concerned with agricultural finance.
Although the 1996 Farm Bill gave producers more flexibility in planting decisions, it also resulted in a riskier environment driven by market forces. The phasing down of fixed annual contract payments and elimination of ad hoc disaster payments will affect ways both producers and their creditors do business in the future, Nelson said.
The conference will focus on maintaining awareness of credit-risk sources, pro forma analysis in evaluating loan applications and monitoring loan portfolios, awareness of stress- testing benefits, strategic planning services for revenue generation, and information technology in the coming century.
A registration fee of $75 will be used to partially offset the cost of the conference, which will be held at the Omni Southpark Hotel. More information is available by calling (979) 845-8484 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.