Farmers told of 40-year weather cycle change

“Whole industry going autonomous”

By Jim Nowlan
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Two farming experts recently told a State Bank of Toulon farm outlook breakfast audience to expect really big changes in their business in the coming years.

Before introducing the speakers, Toulon bank president Doug Parrott reported to his audience of nearly 200 that the State Bank of Toulon with its $200 million in assets ranked number seven in agricultural lending among the state’s 500 banks in the past year.

State Bank of Toulon president Doug Parrott is shown here pointing out special guests at a recent farm outlook breakfast, which the bank and the Stark County Farm Bureau held at the Dunes Golf Course between Galva and Kewanee.


The meeting was co-sponsored by the Stark County Farm Bureau.

Ag Precision specialist Chris Steidinger, of Princeville, told the farm group of amazing advances in the industry, which sounded like science fiction to this listener.

Steidinger told The News that, “The whole industry is going autonomous. There will be driverless planting and combining.

“Case-IH introduced an autonomous tractor with no cab (for the farmer) at the last Farm Progress Show.”

Steidinger also talked about the importance of planting each seed at the correct depth and about planters that can now measure ground contact as the equipment goes over the field—200 times a second!

A salesman for the Jenner Company of Fairbury, Steidinger reported on a planter with an electric meter that will ensure the same seed population is planted on both the inside and the outside of curves made by the tractor while planting.

           
Larry Acker predicts changes to colder weather

Popular farm weather analyst Larry Acker, of Polo IL, told the breakfast group the Midwest was moving into a 40-year cycle of cooler weather.

“Over the next 40 years, average temperatures will be lower, and we will have lesser growing degree days.

“We will often have winter in the springtime, for years to come, to follow this year’s springtime in the winter,” he added.

As for this year, Acker predicted frost in the first of May, “So don’t plant too soon.”
He also expects the season to be wetter and cooler than normal into July.

Acker also predicted an early frost, “by the end of August, so maybe planting an earlier maturing seed makes sense.”

Acker also recommended that, “If you are running short on cash, beans are probably a better option this year than corn, which is more expensive to plant.”

He also suggested that farmers watch cotton prices. “If they go up, there is less chance they will be planting those acres to soybeans.”

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