Richard Brock, one of the nation's leading market analysts, will discuss marketing strategies for today's wild times at the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, Feb. 29 — March 1, at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.

Brock, president of Brock Associates, will speak at the Ag Update Seminar, in the Lobby meeting room at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 1. He will discuss the impact of ethanol, China and index funds on today's markets.

“The missing piece of the puzzle that we need to concentrate on is the flow of money by index funds, and how much influence they have over all this,” Brock said. “They literally are controlling these markets. We would not be anywhere near this high in any of the grain markets or crude oil if it weren't for billions of dollars invested by index funds that have no position limits.

“It's a money game right now on prices, and marketing is going to have to change for growers. As the index funds have supported the futures, the cash has not gone with it. Farmers are not getting the full benefit of this move.

“A lot of grain companies are saying they can't afford to take on the risk of futures and options positions anymore. There are some grain companies that won't even give a bid on new crop corn and beans right now. That's pretty scary.

“The big question is whether these high prices will continue to last or are we looking at possibly a two- to three-year top in the grain markets,” Brock said.

After the seminar, farmers will have an opportunity for one-on-one teaching with Brock, in a Q&A session. There will also be additional opportunities to meet and talk with him at his booth at the trade show.

Brock will also discuss farmland values, investment opportunities and what the future holds for the cotton market. “Frankly, the cotton market doesn't make any fundamental sense right now. If you look at supply/demand and the cotton carryover, this market ought to be in a bull move instead of the grain markets.”

Brock believes better times are ahead for cotton, “but we have to see that the lower acreage materializes. If it does, I think we will see a lot higher cotton prices. But we're not getting high enough cotton prices between now and planting time to pull in any acres.”