TEXAS DROUGHT WORSENS SLIGHTLY, NEBRASKA DROUGHT STILL FULLY INTACT... According to the National Drought Monitor, drought conditions worsened in Texas last week, with 12.88% of the state covered by "exceptional drought" compared to 10.09% the previous week. All of Nebraska is still covered by some form of drought, although the severity eased marginally.
The Drought Monitor reflects improving conditions in Iowa, where 41.65% is covered by drought, which is an improvement from 53.74% last week. Click here for related maps.
6-10 DAY FORECAST WET FOR CORN BELT... The National Weather Service forecast for May 15-19 calls for above-normal precip across the Corn Belt, with the exception being normal precip is expected across the Dakotas and Nebraska. Meanwhile, above-normal temps are expected across the Northern Plains and Nebraska, with normal temps elsewhere across the Midwest. The forecast isn't promising of lasting planting progress, as already-wet soils across the central Corn Belt would again see rains if this forecast is realized. Click here for related maps.
NOAA SEES ENSO-NEUTRAL LASTING THROUGH SUMMER... The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects ENSO-neutral conditions to last through summer. It says most models project ENSO-neutral conditions into the winter, though some dynamical models project warmer sea surface temperatures than statistical models. But NOAA says, "There is still low confidence in the forecasts for the latter half of the year, partly because of the so-called 'spring barrier,' which historically leads to lower model skill for forecasts made between March and May."
This climate prediction signals neither La Nina (associated with increased drought risk) or El Nino (associated with favorable weather conditions) will be influencing the Midwest during this year's growing season.
CONAB LOWERS BRAZILIAN BEAN CROP ESTIMATE... Brazil's supply-estimating agency, Conab, trimmed its forecast for the 2013 Brazilian soybean crop by 400,000 MT to a still-record 81.5 MMT. Conab projects soybean exports at a record 36.78 MMT, up from 32.47 MMT last year.
Conab raised its corn production estimate by 550,000 MT to a record 78 MMT due to large safrinha (second season) plantings. Corn exports are expected to drop sharply from last season's 22.3 MMT record to 15 MMT this year despite the record crop forecast.
Conab's first wheat production forecast for the 2013 crop to be harvested later this year is 5.14 MMT, which if realized, would be up from 4.3 MMT last year.
IOWA CASH RENTS RISE 7%... According to the annual Iowa State University survey conducted by William Edwards and Ann Johanns, the average cash rent in Iowa for 2013 rose by 7% from last year to $270 an acre. The survey found the highest average cash rent is $297 an acre from the central crop reporting district, followed by $294 an acre reported in both the north-central and west-central districts. The east-central district follows with an average of $284. The northwest district reports an average of $283 an acre. The northeast district lists an average of $281 an acre. The southwest district reports an average of $257 an acre, followed by $229 an acre in the southeast district and $210 an acre in the south-central district. Click here for more from LandOwner Editor Mike Walsten.