Martell: Corn Planting Delays After Heavy Midwest Rains

May 7, 2012 04:45 AM

The following content was provided by meteorologist Gail Martell of

Corn Planting Delays Expected From Heavy Midwest Rainfall

Minnesota and Iowa once the driest areas of the Midwest are now the wettest, following a series of strong thunderstorms over the weekend. Corn planting, on the fast track last week, has come to a screeching halt, due to very heavy weekend rainfall, 3-6 inches in Minnesota and 2-4 inches in Iowa. Corn planting made excellent progress in late April reaching 50% complete. Strong thunderstorms this morning were rumbling through Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, where corn was already 70% planted by May 1. No doubt the heavy rainfall is linked to an emerging El Nino signal.

Corn Belt Extreme Wetness

Wheat Quality Tour Finds Excellent Wheat Yields in Kansas

Kansas wheat yields may set a new record in 2012 with 49.1 bushels per acre, based on results from the Wheat Quality Tour. The projected yield would be 32% higher than last season, when severe drought occurred. The flood gates have opened in the Southern Great Plains, as the La Nina rapidly weakened from winter to spring. Kansas rainfall was 132% of average in the 3 months February-April, in the top 20% of wet years. Oklahoma , the US second biggest winter wheat state, has a projected yield of 43.7 bushels per acre, which if achieved would shatter a 39 bushel-per-acre record set in 2003.

La Nina Drought Damage Worse Than Expected in Argentina Soybeans

The Argentina soybean harvest has revealed worse-than-expected yields from a severe summer drought. The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange now pegs the crop at 41 million metric tons (MMT) with around two-thirds of the harvest finished. The new peg is 1 MMT lower than a previous estimate and a whopping 8 MMT less than last year’s production. For corn, the Buenos Aires Exchange predicts 19.8 MMT and the lowest output since 2008-09. Exports of both crops would be revised lower in the USDA world supply-demand due out Thursday May 10.

Conditions Too Wet in Western European Wheat

France, United Kingdom and Spain have turned extremely wet over the past couple of weeks receiving 3-6 times the normal amount of rainfall. Severe drought previously plagued Western Europe, causing Strategie Grains, the French analysis group, to reduce the EU soft wheat production number to 126.8 MMT and 3-4%. Winterkill was named as another cause for a projected mediocre soft wheat harvest. Wheat conditions began to improve, as rainfall increased in April, however. AgriMer the French farm agency rated that country’s wheat at 63% good-excellent by month end, significantly better than last year. Now, the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction causing extreme wetness in Western Europe and encouraging the development of disease.

West Europe Extreme Wetness

Russia Rapid Spring Planting a Good Omen for Grain Production

The Agriculture Ministry last week reported that 11.1 million hectares of spring grains were planted, completed on 22% of the anticipated spring grain area. This was faster than last season’s 7.9 million hectares for the same date in May. The spring weather in Russia has been exceptionally warm and 8-10 degrees F above average of the past 4 weeks. Maximum temperatures have been in the 70s F most days in European Russia. Not only has the warmth hastened field drying, but also soil temperatures have warmed up, encouraging fast germination of seeds. In a northern climate, early seeding Is always beneficial, extending the length of the growing season. The extra heat units accrued from early seeding encourages early harvesting in the fall as grains mature ahead of schedule. This prevents yield and quality reductions from dampness or a premature freeze. Based on the current fast planting conditions, spring grain potential would seem very promising. It is worth remembering that deep layer soil moisture was replenished by above-normal winter snowfall in European Russia. On the negative side, very poor winter wheat output is anticipated in the Russia Southern District where drought and winter kill have occurred in Krasnodar and Stavropol. We also are worried about drought in spring grain areas of eastern Volga District, the Urals and Siberia where conditions have been extremely dry for several months.

Russia April Heat Wave





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