Weather experts told the state Climate Assessment Response Committee (CARC) that drought conditions probably will not be eliminated by predicted fall and winter precipitation and that agriculture producers need to put careful thought into their post-harvest tillage practices.

Officials with the National Drought Mitigation Center, the National Weather Service and the State Climatologist's office told CARC members that some models are showing a slight possibility of above normal precipitation in some areas of Nebraska in October though December, but that the affects of the La Nina weather pattern have faded, making the long-range forecast more unstable and difficult to predict.

"Even if we do have a wet fall and winter, a year of below normal precipitation has left us with a massive moisture deficit in much of the state," said Greg Ibach, CARC chairman and assistant agriculture director. "As harvest winds down, producers need to think about trying to preserve what little moisture remains in the soil."

Committee members discussed the availability of tillage management and fall irrigation education material. Producers are encouraged to seek the advice of their Cooperative Extension specialists or access the information at website, hosted by Cooperative Extension and the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

"Producers need to begin thinking about next season even as this crop year is winding down," said DeLynn Hay, a CARC adviser and Cooperative Extension specialist. "Leaving corn stubble or other crop residue in the field will help capture and hold moisture from fall rains and winter snow and reduce soil erosion."

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