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Agrimarketing : February 2009
AG CONSULTING FIRMS/continued frompage 61 futures is under $4.50 during the month of February,acreagewill drop significantly fromlast year’s level andwill result in a bullmarket dur- ing the last half. In the porkmarket, prices are going to be torn between the bullish supply sidewhere pork, beef and poultry productionwill all be down in 2009 versus aweaker export demand than experienced in 2008. Overall, the bullish argumentswill outweigh the bearish andwith declining feed prices, the pork industrywill rebound to a very profitable level in 2009. CONTEXT NETWORK by Tray Thomas Founding Partner Leadership, vision, and strategy; these are requirements ofmanagers, businesses, and our industry as a whole at this point in time. Together withmy partners, Steve Hawkins, Blake Sieker andMike Borel,we lead The ContextNet- work, a global consulting firm that provides strategic and criti- cal decision support to companies, executives andmanagement teams. Context primarilyworkswith crop protection, seed and biotech compa- nies, biofuels entities, horticulture and precision ag firms. Each situa- tion is unique and ismanagedwith individual attention and expertise. Thatmodel has offered our clients the right level of engagement and actionable purpose required to advance their objectives today and for the future. Nowin its fifteenth year,Context Thomas is anchored by a core teamof senior executive consultants. It is comple- mented by a network of discipline- specific subjectmatter experts on- site around theworld. Context continues to provide sig- nificant understanding through our variousmulti-client reports and White Papers. These reports have become icons in the industry.They provide deeply specific data and crit- ical insights about howthese indus- 62 AgriMarketing s January/February 2009 tries have changed over time and howthey are projected to continue their development. Just lastmonth, Context launched our newSeed Services Group to provide regional and local seed companymanagerswith cus- tomized businessmanagement resources directed specifically to the many critical issues they face. Context continues to growto meet the needs of our clients. It’s our willingness and ability to approach each situationwith leadership, vision and strategy that allows our clients to advance their goalsmost effectively. DOANE ADVISORY SERVICES by David Asbridge Client DevelopmentManager Doane Advisory Services is a lead- ing provider of information, analysis and forecasts to themajor agricul- tural supply firms and food compa- nies inNorthAmerica. Doane’s AgServ product line pro- vides forecasts for allmajor crops fromU.S. county data to a global outlookwith up to a 10-year time- line. AgServ also provides acreage, production, usage, trade and U.S. price forecastswith special reports on themacro and farmeconomies. The Doane Commercial Advisor (DCA) product line offers short-term analysis, futures price forecasts and purchasing recommendations to firms that buy agricultural products such as corn, soybeans, soyoil, soymeal andwheat. The DCAteam also provides Integrated Purchasing assistance fromorder procurement and purchase analytics to global risk management solutions for firms that need assistancewith integrating their supply chain. Ag EconomicOutlook As for 2009, crop prices probably won’tmatch the highs recorded in 2008with “normal”weather.How- ever,global stocks are still very tight and could tighten further if foreign yields fall back to trend or lower.We expect crop production costs to increase onlymodestly in 2009, due to falling fertilizer and fuel costs. With falling feed costs, livestock producers should see some profits in 2009, but itwill take years to recover losses recorded in 2008.Milk prices will fall another 10%to 15%in 2009 due to lower exports, offsetting falling costs and pushing the dairy industry into the red, probably lead- ing to declines in cattle numbers. Despite the on-going reces- sion,world food demandwill rise due to growing population and improving diets. However, agribusinesses will face a gener- allymore difficult environment than they did last year. Crop prices and profitswill likely be lower, having an adverse impact on farmers’ attitudes about the future. All of that could be turned on its Asbridge head though, ifwe have badweather in the spring of 2009 and speculators come flooding back into commodity markets. FOUNTAIN AGRICOUNSEL, LLC by Robert N. Fountain President&CEO Our firmwas founded 17 years ago and special- izes inmanage- ment consulting to agribusiness. The scope of this work includes: • Financial advi- sors formerg- ers, acquisi- tions, joint ventures, licensing deals—conducting due diligence, transaction assistance, valuations and fairness opinions. Fountain •Management consulting assign- ments that include portfolio evalu- ations,market opportunities, com- petitive benchmarking,marketing and business plans. • Industry reports (usually 500 pages) that have recently included the followingmarkets and indus- tries: companion animal, livestock and poultry,equine, dairy—also generic products, and the regula- tory process. • Publication of aweekly electronic newsletter (usually 100 pages) that
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