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Kruse and Taylor to speak at Farm News Ag show

By Staff | Nov 6, 2019

Crop weather

outlook for 2020



Back by popular demand, Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University Extension climatologist and professor of agronomy emeritus will be speaking at the Farm News Ag show on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8:30 a.m.

Taylor will be presenting a “crop weather outlook for 2020.”

Taylor said the climate cycle is not as clear-cut as the seasonal, summer/winter cycles, however it does exist.

“The worst years for Midwest crops during the 1900s was the 1930’s Dust Bowl,” he said. “The early farmers of Iowa and Illinois made note of the terrible crop years around 1847. The study of tree growth rings demonstrates a cyclic climatic associated with historic Dust Bowl years. As experienced in the Midwest extreme conditions for crops in the 1847 and 1936 periods, we anticipate that crop weather may very well be adverse in the years proceeding and/or immediately following 2025.”

According to Taylor, weather extremes impact Corn Belt agriculture beyond the threat of drought. Extreme winters include the “open winters” with winter dust storms and the associated wind erosion of barren fields as well as the harsh and long winters that historically had farmers excavating under-snow tunnels from home-to-barn.

The affect of the weather on producer’s crops is what eventually led to the protection of federal crop insurance.

“The drive behind federal crop insurance was and is to give some assurance that those who produce the abundant crops will be able to endure flood and drought and even pest out-breaks associated with abnormally extreme seasons,” he said.

So what can producers expect leading into 2020 and beyond?

“There is no forecast that either drought or inundation will be increasingly common during the next several years. Still to be forewarned is to be for-armed,” he said.

The weather impacting the 2020 growing seasons began in October 2019.

Elwynn Taylor

Taylor is a student of adaptation to climate. He did his doctoral work at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis, MO. His work has taken him to the major climate zones of the planet and he directed studies conducted on Skylab and other space vehicles. Any person interested in the nature of climate and how plants and animals adapt will find his work of benefit. His clear explanations, of the workings of frost protection to the avoidance of heat exhaustion, to El Nino (and how it influences the Midwest), will open new levels of understanding our enigmatic environment. He is the climatologist that served on the committee to develop the revised USDA Winter Hardiness Map. He is Iowa State University Extension Climatologist and Professor of Agronomy Emeritus.




David Kruse, founder and owner of CommStock Investments and Farm News columnist is planning on presenting a new commodity portfolio during his talk at the Farm News Ag Show on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 9 a.m.

WIN is the title of his speech and the commodity portfolio that Kruse said stands for “Win in November 2020.”

His presentation could be something many of his readers and customers aren’t used to hearing come from Kruse recently.

“For the last three years or more, I have been bearish commodities when essentially looking at the Trump Administration, their trade policy and so forth – recognizing that it had put a lot of pressure on the ag sector. It hasn’t been the best of financial times,” he said. “I have been negative to the ag economy due to the fundamentals. Now, I am turning. I think that the situation is such that we are going to see a recovery.”

Kruse said as he looks ahead to next year, he thinks the table is set for a pretty good recovery especially from the standpoint of trade.

“We are very close to dotting the “i” and crossing the “t” to the USMCA. We have finished a trade deal that will be very competitive for U.S. agriculture with Japan. That is supposed to go into affect in January,” he said. “They are also working on the Phase 1 trade deal with China that is rumored to have significant benefit to ag commodities and buying from their part of it. I think all of that, including even maybe a more positive RFS policy than what we have had is likely.”

Kruse said part of the premise to his presentation is that if the ag economy is in its current state this time next year, President Trump will be a one term president.

“It is in his political interest, as in all politicians, as they go into an election year, do things that will benefit their constituency – to get the vote out – and I think he is setting the table for that now with these trade deals,” he said.


Kruse said anyone that is interested in the ag and or Iowa economy, as they are tied together very tightly, could benefit from sitting in on his presentation.

“We are putting our investment where our mouth is and we have put together a portfolio of commodities in a program where we are purchasing them. It’s a broad range of commodities, everything from corn, soybean meal, KC wheat, copper, cotton and a few more too natural gas is one of them, and we are looking for a general improvement in commodity prices as we move into next year and we think we can come out of this commodity low,” said Kruse. “So, we are looking at the prospects that seem to make sense and we fashioned an investment portfolio to match it. To take advantage of it. I think I will have a very interesting presentation and plan to make money in 2020.”

David Kruse

Kruse is founder and owner of CommStock Investments, his Northwest Iowa agricultural risk management company that provides an umbrella of services. They include commodity market brokerage and commodity market advisory services, crop insurance through Agrivantage LLC, and a managed bushels grain marketing program through Agri-Plus LLC. Kruse also owns Royalty Insurance LLC which is a property/casualty insurance company.

In the past 30 plus years he has produced The CommStock Report, an opinionated ag commentary and market analysis available daily on many radio stations covering the greater Midwest. The CommStock Report has also been delivered electronically by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet since 1985 to thousands of subscribers across the U.S. and Canada. Additionally The CommStock Report is a regular feature of many Midwestern newspapers.

The CommStock Report, called the “Mark Twain of the Plains” for its writing style, is especially noted for its colorful, opinionated commentary and perspective from rural Americaadvocating farm community interests and traditional farm values.

After thirty years as President of CommStock Investments, Kruse has turned over the day to day operations to his son, Matthew, allowing him to focus on the writing of his reports and speaking engagements such as this.

Kruse is also a 4th generation family farmer, having been personally engaged in production agriculture since 1973. He continues to manage his family’s corn/soybean farms in Northwest Iowa. He has also been an outspoken proponent of ethanol and has used his market advisory service as a platform to advocate for the biofuel industry.

Kruse, who lives in the Iowa Great Lakes Region, is also the designated Chief Economist of the University of Okoboji.

Kruse is a frequent keynote speaker at major U.S. agricultural conferences.

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