This past Monday’s edition of the NASS weekly Crop Progress report showed some significant improvement in the overall crop conditions for Corn and Soybeans across the Midwest growing areas. That was the good news. However, as a meteorologist who has spent the last 16 years generating a Fall Freeze Outlook for our agricultural clients, I had a tough time getting past the first page of the report. Of the 8 primary corn and soybean producing states of the Midwest, corn silking stood at 9 percent versus the five year average of 36 percent. The percent blooming of the soybean crop was 22 percent compared to the average at 46 percent.
In a normal year, we would focus on an early freeze being a threat to late corn and soybeans, while a normal freeze would do minimal damage to either crop... although it might help dry things out a little. But in 2008, a normal freeze could catch some late corn, and a huge chunk of the soybean crop. For now, we don’t want to even talk about an early freeze… but it will have to be considered when I get around to issuing our Fall Freeze Outlook in early August.