AgOutlook Speaker Preview: Bill Kirk

The 12th annual AgOutlook Trade Show and Conference will be held December 8, 2016 at the Best Western Ramkota in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. AgOutlook draws more than 1,000 farmers, industry representatives and thought leaders to the one-day event.

Along with a trade show and networking opportunities, AgOutlook features nationally recognized speakers who will help farmers understand opportunities in farm futures. Attendees will also get a view of anticipated future weather and economic trends that will impact how they plan for the year ahead.

Billing himself as the Real Captain Kirk, Bill Kirk is the CEO and co-founder of Weather Trends International (WTI). Kirk has 27 years of experience applying year-ahead business weather guidance and predictive analytics to companies and farmers.

Bill Kirk CEO Weather Trends Intl 2012 High Res

Kirk served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force and worked with NASA and the space shuttle Columbia ferry flights, and briefed F-16 fighter missions during Operation Desert Storm. He is an Air Force Distinguished Graduate with a B.S. in meteorology from Rutgers University. Kirk has published several business-weather and technical reports, identifying winning strategies to capitalize on the weather and has identified how weather influences retail sales, agriculture and the overall economy.

Kirk says WTI uses statistics and 24 climate cycles, a math based approach, as opposed to traditional meteorology that uses physics to predict year-ahead weekly temperatures, growing degree days, weekly rainfall and monthly snowfall. Part of Kirk’s presentation at AgOutlook will focus on the differences between his statistical climate approach and traditional meteorology, along with a 2017 outlook.

“I’ve been doing this for 27 years,” Kirk says. “We’re not only able to tell what the weather will be, but we tie it to outcomes. For example, if it’s going to be a cold winter, we can advise clients that there will likely be a 300 percent increased need for heaters or 500 percent more car batteries, for example.”

Kirk says, for agriculture, knowing next year’s weather forecast with greater certainty can help farmers make better decisions.

“If we know it’s going to be hot and dry in the year ahead, farmers can pick hybrids that are better suited for those conditions,” Kirk says. “They can also prepare for possible pests as well as possible nutrient depletion. If farmers are able to get their decisions right, it is a huge win.”

Kirk’s session will cover information on the 2017 growing season, which he says will likely present similar challenges to 2016. He takes the stage at 1:00 p.m.

For more information on AgOutlook, click here.