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It’s all predictable but the weather

Agronomist Wayne Flanary was one of five Missouri Extension specialists who put on a day-long program Jan. 25 on the drought and its impact on farmers. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

Agronomist Wayne Flanary was one of five Missouri Extension specialists who put on a day-long program Jan. 25 on the drought and its impact on farmers. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

By David Knopf/Richmond News

As hard as farmers strive for predictability with crop insurance, research support and market forecasting, all the resources at their disposal pale before an old adversary: the weather.

That was the underlying theme Friday at “AG Update 2013: Dealing with Drought,” a conference that drew five Missouri Extension specialists and 11 area farmers to the Clinton County Youth Center in Plattsburg.

Host Wayne Flanary, an Extension agronomist, and four other University of Missouri field experts reflected on the impact of the 2012 drought and looked ahead to what producers could encounter in 2013.

Although some rain was forecast for the weekend, Agriculture Business Specialist Bob Kelly said the seven or eight weather services he typically consults predict extended drought-like conditions.

“The current situation is going to continue for at least 60 to 90 days,” said Kelly, who is based in Buchanan County. “What’s the chance of watering the fields or filling up the ponds? Not very good.”

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