Market to Market host Mike Pearson has a message for farmers: “We will never see another 80s, and we won’t go back to that.”
Pearson, who farms in Iowa and is host of the popular markets show, addressed attendees of the trade show at the 2015 MN Ag Expo. While Pearson spends much of his time regayling the audience with stories of his struggles as he learns to farm, he also weaves in the current market climate to emphasize his points.
“Nobody ever wants to say it’ll be different this time,” he said. “It’s a bad omen. But if you look at the facts and look at the statistics, we aren’t just trading with one nation, we’re trading with the world.”
Pearson encouraged farmers to tell their story, and says in order for farmers to continue to operate withour regulations, it will be the commodity groups and the farmers who make up those groups who will have to lead the way.
“I truly believe commodity groups will get us to where we want to go,” he told the audience.
Pearson, who raises beef, said he thinks it’ll be the rise of the beef industry that helps the pork industry grow. And he says it’ll be the need to quality nutrition that is going to boost the row crop industry.
“Ethanol drove the beef market for the last 10 years,” he said. “But I think it will be protein and the need for high-quality protein that will carry us into the future. And I think that will be the next thing to carry row crops.”
Climate influences should shape how farmers make decisions for their operations is the message from historical climatologist Evelyn Browning-Garriss, keynote speaker at MN Ag Expo. She addressed a full house of soybean and corn farmers and ag industry representatives Thursday morning.
“If you want to understand the climate, follow the warming and cooling of ocean waters,” Browning-Garriss said. “Oceans make up over 70 percent of our earth’s surface and they ultimately store and carry around our heat. That has a large impact on what your growing seasons as farmers will be like.”
On a regional level, Browning-Garriss said that the Great Lakes started to ice over earlier this past year than ever before, which she believes will mean heavier than average ice. That means spring field work and the early growing season will start with colder temperatures.
She also enjoys watching volcanoes and how their activity affects the global climate. Browning-Garriss says volcanoes are really the wild cards and when they erupt, they can change the normal climate trend for about three years. Currently, Russian volcanoes are really active and happen to be upstream for us, which could mean some colder air in the future.
Other topics she covered included the weather influence on Asian and South American agriculture, the impact of climate on the tension in the Middle East and how a drier southern U.S. and wetter Northern China might have an impact on future prices for Midwestern farmers.
MN Ag Expo Tradeshow
With the largest tradeshow ever for MN Ag Expo, attendees were given the opportunity to network with industry leaders and experts, members of academia and other farmers. This year the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association’s booth offered participants the opportunity to share their voice by having their picture taken and posted to the MSGA support wall. “Wanted: Your Voice: was the theme of the booth.
The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council also had a booth where it gathered farmers’ input on needs assessment. Dr. Paul Meints welcomed opinions throughout the state with a “Wanted: Your Opinion” theme. Participants filled out needs assessment survey to receive an MSR&PC soil thermometer.