Ag professor discusses crop outlook, La NiñaPublished 10:36am Wednesday, April 4, 2012
More than 70 community members and area farmers met at Dexter’s Geo Travel Plaza to gain insight on the upcoming climate trends from Dr. Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University professor and ag meteorologist.
“We don’t just want the Mower County Corn & Soybean Growers annual meeting to be just another meeting; we want farmers to have a nice evening out and take away some good information. That is why we paired our annual meeting in conjunction with Dr. Elwynn Taylor,” said Joel Nelson, a farmer near Lyle and chairman of the Mower County Corn & Soybean Growers organization.
Taylor spoke specifically about the crop weather outlook following a strong La Niña. He said corn and soybean yields continue to increase because of crop management, technology and seed quality. “When [yields] are not up, it is because the weather holds us back from obtaining higher yields.”
The temperature and moisture extremes in 2011 were a result of La Niña and that affected crop yields.
Taylor warned farmers to be prepared for another year of volatile weather as history suggests stable weather patterns usually last about 19 years, and we’re currently sitting in a 25-year stretch of unstable weather patterns. Taylor also mentioned 16 out of the 17 droughts we have seen in the Midwest began in South Carolina and spread across the country. South Carolina is currently in a drought, and he predicts this will move over the mountains and into the Midwest in the next couple of years.
Not surprisingly, this volatile weather will continue to affect commodity prices.
“We have the tools in hand to manage volatility [in commodity prices],” Taylor said.
He shared a weather station website called Mesonet that can help farmers track the weather patterns in their area throughout the growing season and help them predict how that might affect their yields and the crop prices in their area.
The Mower County Corn & Soybean Growers is affiliated with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. The organization works with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council to share “The REAL Story” (Responsible, Ethical, Agriculture for Life).
Read about REAL farmers at www.realstory. mnsoybean.org.