Taylor: Risky period upon us

Elwynn Taylor speaks to farmers in Peoria Wednesday morning / CIFN photo.

PEORIA – This may be a good time to start focusing on the markets and coming up with a risk management plan.

Elwynn Taylor, extension climatologist at Iowa State, says we are entering a risky 10-year period for agriculture, which will likely include some of the harshest weather years of the century. Taylor spoke at this week’s Greater Peoria Farm Show.

The La Nina weather pattern which we are currently experiencing is not typically a friend of the Midwestern farmer as it gives us a 70 percent chance of having below trend crop yields.

“This is a year that you pay attention to your insurance and you take care of things,” Taylor said.

La Nina has the same effect on the southern half of the agricultural area of Brazil and they will feel the effects first. Crop prices could get a boost from abnormal weather in the northern or southern hemisphere. Taylor starts paying close attention to long-term weather outlooks once April arrives.

“I tell people to pay your taxes and then listen for what I have to say.”

Taylor feels there is no reason to believe there will or won’t be a drought, but he notes all of the big U.S. droughts start in South Carolina then move west. Droughts often impact Texas before Illinois.

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