Elwynn Taylor to speak at Farm News Ag Show
By KRISS NELSON
FORT DODGE – The weather is a leading factor in the world of agriculture, and to help try to decipher how the weather could potentially affect the 2018 growing season, Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University climatologist, will present.”Weather Outlook 2018″ at the 16th annual Farm News Ag Show.
Taylor, who is scheduled to speak on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 8:30 a.m., said his presentation will also include a review of the weather that affected ag producers last year as well.
“For example, this past year, 2017, we started off wetter than usual,” he said. “And it was difficult for planting. Then turned drier than usual and people then became concerned we would have serious losses from drought conditions from this summer – especially where planting had been interrupted or was less than ideal.”
Come fall, he continued, was a different story.
“Then, we ended up almost too wet to harvest,” he said. “We had high variability through the year. It was the sort of the year of extremes.”
Looking ahead, Taylor said there is a likelihood of a La Nina.
“We expect extremes to be stronger than they were this past year,” he said. “The La Nina brings the Corn Belt a 70 percent chance of a below trend line yield. It has been several years since the nation has been below trend line yield.”
Specifically, Taylor said not since the drought of 2012.
What could a La Nina mean for commodity prices?
“The prices of grain have been a concern in that they have been lower than people find desirable,” he said. “And a La Nina sometimes is the correction to prices and the compensation of a lower than trend line yield. If it is below trend, people should be ready, for perhaps, a smaller yield, but a little bit better prices. This would mean properly managing your sales, especially where you have corn or soybeans in storage. And so we will talk about the price risk that would go along with the weather we anticipate.”
Who should attend?
“Always, producers themselves and people that make a living of service to producers,” he said. “There’s lots of people supporting our farming operations – the equipment people, chemical people, fertilizer people, marketing people – everyone that is of service of agriculture is concerned about how the weather influences agriculture.”
Taylor encourages people to attend to Farm News Ag Show and to come to his presentations with questions.
“I am always happy to take questions,” he said. “I have found that in its (ag show) new location that people seem to be very happy with it. It is consistent, I think, for the people that have the booths that show us their products and services as well as consistent for educational purposes for those of us that are there to learn something more about the risks of farming as well as those that are there to learn more about the availability of services of the farmer.”
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