Imagine receiving market outlooks, growing season weather forecast and land value information all in one location. That’s exactly the material farmers are gaining at this year’s Linder Farm Network Ag Outlook Meetings. And the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council sponsors these events for the value of information they bring to the state’s soybean farmers.
The Ag Outlook Meetings kicked off Monday in Alexandria, where farmers began the morning hearing from South Dakota State University Climatologist and Professor of Meteorology Dr. Dennis Todey.
“For this year’s growing season, the NOAA outlooks are not very helpful yet,” Todey said. “We expect dry soils starting out the growing season, but that will happen after what we expect to be a wet start to the spring.”
Other highlights from Todey:
- Over the past century, our region has mostly warmed. This is positive for our growing season.
- Summer temperature highs have seen only slight increases, but are generally flat. Meanwhile, nighttime lows are increasingly higher, which can create some growing issues.
- Minnesota has seen an increase in precipitation.
- Our regional trend is more spring precipitation, and only a small increase in fall precipitation. We tend to have a dryer summer.
- There is an increase in higher dewpoint episodes.
- Data shows more CO2 in the atmosphere, and there are some weeds and plants that respond very well to the increases. This can cause problems when controlling pests.
Joining Todey for the Ag Outlook meetings were International Ag Consultant John Baize, who gave an outlook for U.S. agriculture in 2015 and how world events are shaping what farmers grow and how it is grown; Wingert Realty & Land Services Chuck Wingert, who discussed land values in the region and the impact taxes have on how landowners sell their land; Cory Bratland, Chief Grain Strategist of Kluis Commodities, who highlighted the recent USDA Stocks report and factors to consider when planning to sell grain.
The sessions in Alexandria, Willmar, Marshall and Mankato were filled to capacity. While the Ag Outlook Meetings are winding down, there is still one last chance to hear from the speakers. The final Ag Outlook Meeting is Friday, Jan. 16 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Owatonna.