AMES, Iowa -- The 2005 crop season in Iowa has been one of incredible diversity, and it continues to be affected by weather locally and nationally. Iowa producers face a variety of strategic decisions depending on the crop growing and weather conditions experienced during the 2005 crop year.
Northern and northwestern Iowa are expected to experience corn yields that will equal or surpass the 2004 harvest. Parts of eastern and southeastern Iowa will experience a harvest below or well below average. In addition to the weather extremes, record high energy costs, limited storage capacity and new market dynamics associated with the burgeoning bio-fuels industry are major factors that will affect 2005 and 2006 business decisions. This rapidly changing business environment requires re-evaluation of risk management strategies.
To help farmers and other ag business professionals face these challenges and make better decisions, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension has formed a team of experts to address risk management, energy, and grain storage issues. The team consists of ISU research and extension faculty and field specialists. The team is co-chaired by Paul Brown, assistant program director, ISU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources, and John Lawrence, professor, Economics.
“The Managing Risk and High Energy Costs Issues in Agriculture Team will deliver resources in two phases,” said Gerald Miller, program director, ISU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources, and associate dean, ISU College of Agriculture.
“First, new educational and decision aid materials are being created that will assist producers and agri-business professionals evaluate risk and energy management strategies. Excerpts of these materials will form the basis of radio segments to be broadcast during harvest. A Web site has been created -- www.extension.iastate.edu/agenergy. This site is a starting point for producers looking for information that will help them manage the storage and fuel issues facing them right now.”
“The second phase of this project will be delivering existing and new educational activities that address post harvest and 2006 crop year management strategies,” said Miller.