Crop Advantage Meeting in Le Mars set for next week


Farmers and agricultural lenders will want to attend the annual Crop Advantage Meeting sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The program will begin on January 22 in Le Mars with registration at 9:30 a.m. Joel DeJong, Iowa State University crops specialist for northwest Iowa says the session will begin with Dr. Elwynn Taylor, ISU Extension Climatologist, and conclude with Dr. Chad Hart, ISU Extension Agricultural Economist.

“Every site is a little bit different,” said DeJong. “In Le Mars, we are going to start with the keynote speaker, Elwynn Taylor, Extension Climatologist. It might be one of the last chances to get a chance to listen to Elwynn because he did officially retire at the beginning of this month.  So, I think we may hear him again someday, but he is retired as an extension climatologist.  Still going to join us talking about possibly the weather use data.  At the end of the day, I believe its actually at 2:30, Chad Hart is the second keynote speaker.  Chad’s going to talk about kind of an ag outlook and talk about the stress issues that come with the scenario that we’re looking at in agriculture right now.  Particularly with the prices we’ve been dealing with.  And the other factors that are kind of stressful…wondering what’s going to happen.”

DeJong says attendees will have the opportunity to pick from nine different programs from three different sessions featuring different speakers and timely topics.

The Extension Crops Specialist says when farmers look back on 2018, the word they may choose to describe the crop year could be “frustrating.”

“We had issues trying to get the crop in the ground in the spring because it was wet.  Of the nine counties I work, particularly the northeast counties, we had a couple of snowstorms go through that dumped more than about a foot of snow two different times during the month of April,” DeJong said. “And of course that slows down getting in that region.  We take a look at average annual rainfall, and our normal is probably around 30 inches.  This year, a lot of the region I cover went anywhere from 40 to actually 55 inches of average rainfall.  The crop only uses between 22 to 25 inches, that means we
have to get rid of the rest.  Well, that doesn’t always leave easily.  So, it was tough on a lot of producers, and of course the streams flooded.  A lot of frustration in the mix, but if we had well-drained soils, for the most part we had a pretty good crop.”

DeJong says that frustration continued into the autumn when the crops were ready to be harvested, and northwest Iowa had an abundance of rainfall, which led to wet fields and flooding.

Registration for the Crop Advantage Meeting is $60 for the Le Mars session. More information about the meeting can be found here

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