Dutcher to examine weather scenarios at Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Al Dutcher to speak at the Alfalfa Expo

Al Dutcher

State climatologist Dr. Al Dutcher, who specializes in climate data analysis, soil moisture analysis, weather forecasting, crop/weather relationships and drought monitoring, will provide insight and analysis on how weather conditions may impact alfalfa production this year at the Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference.

Dutcher will address attendees on the second day of the two-day conference, which is being held at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney, Nebraska, February 7 and 8.

“We’re keenly watching what will happen here in terms of precipitation, because we’re more concerned with fall and spring recharge in the western portion of the Corn Belt,” he said. “We’re highly dependent on that period to give us good starting moisture in the spring for green-up of wheat and alfalfa.”

Dutcher will provide a risk assessment focusing on the dry conditions in the Southern Plains and the potential expansion of this drought northward. He’ll include information on the La Niña weather pattern and how it may play a role in what growers see this spring and summer.

Click to download audio cuts:AlDutcher_a.mp3 (34 seconds): What are you keeping an eye on weather-wise over the winter and heading into the Alfalfa Expo?

AlDutcher_b.mp3 (42 seconds): How might dryer conditions impact alfalfa production this year?
Note: He’ll give details and an update at the conference.

Dutcher has been with the University of Nebraska since 1989 and is a member of the university’s School of Natural Resource Sciences. He holds a B.S. in Meteorology and an M.S. in Climatology from Iowa State University. He is a past president and current member of the American Association of State Climatologists, serves on the Governor’s Climate Assessment Response Committee and chairs the state’s Water Availability Outlook Committee. He’s also a contributing editor/writer for CropWatch.

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Sponsored by the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association (N.A.M.A.), the Mid-America Alfalfa Expo & Conference is designed especially for alfalfa producers, livestock/dairy producers and others who are involved in alfalfa production, purchasing, hay feeding or processing.

Other speakers include Dr. Ron Hansen, ag economics professor at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, who will provide a session on multi-generational family farm ownership; Dr. Rick Rasby, University of Nebraska–Lincoln cattle feeding expert, who will focus on nutritional information for cow-calf producers; and Trent Loos, well-known commentator, columnist and ag advocate.

Registration includes admission to all presentations and programs, a Tuesday afternoon reception, dinner Tuesday evening, admission to the large alfalfa industry trade show and the opportunity to bid in the fundraising auction that takes place Tuesday afternoon. The auction features a wide range of items including seed, harvesting equipment, supplies and other valuable products and services.

Registration is $10 per person in advance (tickets must be purchased by noon, February 3) and $20 at the door. Participants under the age of 18 are admitted at no charge. Registration is available online at www.AlfalfaExpo.com.

For more information, call 1.800.743.1649 or visit www.AlfalfaExpo.com.

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