What is in this article?:
• Continuing triple-digit temperatures and a lack of rain, the situation could easily tip much of rural America into official, severe drought.
• “In the Deep South, at least as far as corn and soybeans, we expect below trend-line yields." — Elwynn Taylor, veteran Iowa State University Extension climatologist and agronomist.
Texas has moderated
“It’s been nice to see Texas have high temperatures that are less elevated than in the Corn Belt.
“In the Deep South, at least as far as corn and soybeans, we expect below trend-line yields. I haven’t yet looked into rice and cotton, although I will soon.
“The weather pattern – no longer a La Niña — gives us pretty good hope. In much of the southern United States, the first crop of the summer is already either made or, at least, the die is cast for whether it will be poor or good. It is unlikely to come out on the yield high side in most places.”
On La Niña/El Niño…
“Will the La Niña stay gone? There’s a 60 percent chance of that.
“Right now, there’s a 60 percent chance of moving into an El Niño by the time we move into August.”
A move into El Niño “would be very favorable for forages. We’d have a recovery from the summer doldrums when there’s a lull in the growth of forage plants. We could see those favorable conditions all the way from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, the Canadian border has ample moisture and reasonable temperatures.
“Canada has more water than they’d like this year — at least from the central region to the west coast.
“The central U.S. farmer typically finds La Niña not to be a friend. El Niño, particularly for the Midwest farmer, is their friend.
“When there is an El Niño, tropical storms seldom make it to shore with any serious strength and don’t arrive as hurricanes. When there’s La Niña, they can. So, there’s a whole different set of parameters when nearing the Gulf coast: a La Niña will let the big storms in while an El Niño puts a cap on them.”
On a typical length of an El Niño/La Niña…
“The typical sequence is El Niño followed by La Niña in 75 percent of the cases. El Niño is followed by ‘neutral’ in the following year in 25 percent of the cases. Then, there can be five years of neutral conditions in the next El Niño.
“However, this time, we’ve seen a La Niña that was well over two years in length. This is extraordinary since they usually last around 10 months.”
On farmers marketing crops based on Taylor’s predictions…
“Different people call asking what I’d do in certain situations.
“I’m not in the business of giving crop marketing advice. I am in the business of likely yields and yield risks.