Heat and rainfall this season suggest a bountiful harvest
Beginning in August and September, U.S. producers in southern, eastern and some Corn Belt states will start harvesting corn. When they do, it’s likely they’ll be met with favorable weather conditions and a sizable crop that leans toward trendline. The same situation is possible for soybeans later this fall.
“We don’t know what the next four to five weeks of weather hold,” says Mike Tannura, T-storm Weather analyst, who spoke with “Market Rally” host Chip Flory in late July.
He says August is critical because it’s when soybeans need rain and if conditions are cooler, the stronger the corn crop will be. “We’re most likely to be near or above trend on corn yields given well-timed rains in recent weeks and the probability for additional rains going forward. Intense heat is unlikely to be sustained through at least early August,” Tannura says.
Despite dire predictions this past winter of damaging July and August heat, many meteorologists appear to agree that while warm weather has certainly been a story this season, it hasn’t created a 2012 drought scenario in most places. In part, that’s thanks to timely rains in June and early July that left soil moisture in good shape for many areas.
“I think it’s pretty likely the entire Midwest and the Corn Belt are above normal [temperatures], but not excessively so,” says “U.S. Farm Report” meteorologist Mike Hoffman, who spoke with host Tyne Morgan in July. “We have these troughs occasionally bringing a cool front just to try to keep things from getting too hot. So it looks warm, but not overly warm.”
Harvest Outlook. Through September, temperatures for much of the U.S. are expected to be above normal, according to an analysis published in mid-June by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. Yet transitioning into the fall and winter, the possibility of a La Niña pattern could influence temperature movement.
“During the fall and winter 2016/17, the typical response to La Niña is weighed more heavily in creating the temperature and precipitation outlooks,” the Weather Service notes. “A slight tilt in the odds for below-normal temperatures is favored for the north-central U.S. by next winter. Above-normal temperatures are likely to persist across the southern tier of the country during the late fall and winter, with the chances for below-median precipitation expected to expand across this same region.”
Cooling Pacific Ocean temperatures do suggest La Niña is headed to the central U.S. late this year, Tannura says. Yet “it’s very unlikely to be a particularly strong event.”
An Uncertain Temperature Outlook for the Corn Belt
This 90-day outlook valid through October shows equal chances temperatures will be above average, normal or below average in the Corn Belt, as represented by the color gray. Soil moisture for row crops is generally strong. Above-average temperatures are likely in places such as the Southeast.