Will a freeze be the next wild card??

Published on: 10:46AM Jul 31, 2013

Weather remains next to "ideal" for many US producers as cooler temps and light rains are forecast into mid-August. Right now the only real concerning bullish weather card left in the deck gaining much attention are thoughts of an "early-freeze." Talk is circulating that if a freeze across the Midwest were to occur just 1-2 weeks earlier than normal 20%-30% of the US crop could still be at risk. This keeps the "freeze" card clearly in play. Yes there are concerns regarding lack of GDU's and overall lack of sunlight, but those are not single cards, they take much longer to play out and will need to be suited in order to lay down a run. Essentially meaning they will need to be paired up with other bullish cards in order to produce a winning-hand. 

Another reason for the early cold weather fear is the cooler than normal sea-surface temperatures starting to be recorded. I know we haven’t talked much about the La Nina weather pattern in the past few months, as we have lately been in more a "La Nada" mode, or in between the warmer El Nino and cooler La Nina patterns. However, we are now getting official confirmation that sea-temperatures have finally moved off-center pointing to a weak La Nina type event.  What we have to understand is that this type of weather event favors early freezes in a large portion of the northern US. 

Keep in mind corn generally takes about 60-days from the time of tasseling and pollination until the corn kernels reach what many call "maturity." This is "IF" the crop gets a normal amount GDUs and sunlight. From there the corn kernel  becomes "black-layered," most often considered free of significant damage from a killing type frost. With the crop not only behind in planting, but also lacking major heat and sunlight there is a greater risk for early frost damage. 

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