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World weather problems overdone?

Ray Grabanski 02/01/2012 @ 7:45am President, Progressive Ag www.progressiveag.com

The recent South American (SAM) drought has been receiving a great deal of attention recently, with some media outlets claiming the SAM "drought" has impacted yields severely in affected areas, and eminent drastic cuts in SAM production estimates are forthcoming.  

However, in monitoring recent week's weather, the drought affected area has had recent rains the past 2 weeks which should have alleviated some of the drought problems.  It has rained in both Argentina and southern Brazil, both areas that the previous six weeks had suffered under dry conditions(but not very warm).  And forecasts, as of this morning, for the coming two weeks include more timely rainfall in these two areas.  

The problem with too much hype for a SAM drought is that much of SAM wasn't enduring any problems.  The central and northern Brazil regions have enjoyed below average temps for virtually the entire growing season, with seasonable rainfall that has kept yield potential in these areas record large.  That is not a recipe for a huge rally in the grain markets! 

Now that SAM weather is improving, the focus has turned weather-wise to the Former Soviet Union region, where temps are averaging well below normal currently, with some regions seeing temps as much as 10-15 degrees below normal for this time of year.  That is generating talk of dramatic freeze damage to the FSU crop, and now wheat prices are starting to see some price response to the bitterly cold temps forecast in the FSU region.

The only problem with getting too bullish on cold Jan/early Feb. weather is that the track record for freeze damage to winter wheat during the dead of winter is slim at best.  Typically, more freeze damage occurs to crops in late spring (late March/early April) than at any time during the dead of winter.  Its likely that while the cold weather is bitter to suffer through for humans, winter wheat usually doesn't suffer damage from the dead of winter cold temps.  

US winter wheat, meanwhile, has recovered somewhat from a severe drought in 2011, to winter wheat conditions in 2012 that has improved through most of the winter.  Frequent rains has occurred especially in the eastern HRW wheat belt that has replenished soil moisture deficits in the eastern HRW wheat belt, and have allowed the crop conditions in KS, OK, and TX to improve significantly above the 2011 levels.  Basically, the US HRW wheat crop has improved in yield potential since freeze up, and the balmy temps in the US certainly have not threatened the winter wheat crop here!!!

All in all, the recent so called 'demise' of the 2012 crop production in 

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The Weather/Climate crisis is Underdone not Overdo 02/15/2012 @ 2:56pm Focus on climate, not weather. Weather is rain today. Climate is what is happening in our atmosphere and its affects on many things, including weather. We are at nearly 400 parts per million CO2 in our atmosphere today because of 7 billion humans on the planet and places like India and China forging ahead to develop. The affect of green house gas like CO2 on climate and weather is old science, well documented in human and earth records. The phenomena has been understood for over 100 years, certain opinion media people's ideas aside. 350 parts CO2 per million in our atmosphere is the acceptable max. We are moving up non-stop and are in the danger zone, soon passing 400 ppm. Loss of most of the Russian wheat crop last year is but one consequence. Floods, big hurricanes, droughts abound world wide. Heat records are being broken globally every year. Agriculture needs truth and facts. Science is the best guide and nearly all climate scientists (97-98%) agree man's CO2 emissions are causing a highly dangerous situation on earth. All academies of science in all countries concur. Agriculture needs to get behind curbing CO2 - a huge and difficult task - but its results will spell out the future of the industry. If failure is ahead, agriculture will suffer first and most. We must go by established science and facts. Leave the opinion talkers to discuss their skewed ideas for their own business - opinion and getting viewers and listeners.

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The possible perfect storm 02/02/2012 @ 7:11am US farmers need and truly want bad weather across the globe in order to sell the crops stored from last years harvest. They wanted to sell $8.00/bushel corn because corn was being delivered on contracts for $4.00/bushel from the previous year. Knowing full well that South American farmers planted additional acres this year and unlike the previous year Russia and surrounding countries are taking market share, US farmers can't wait to read of problems in other parts of the world. Now, they are hoping cold weather in Russia will push up prices. However, all they need to do is look at a weather map and see the worst of the weather is not in the main growing areas of Russia and Ukraine. It has been very cold but it is winter in those areas. Our mild winter has made their weather seem much worse. With the massive amount of corn now stored, US farmers may be headed for a calamity with the collision of three combined sales. What will happen when US producers sell old crop at the same time South American grain is being harvested and delivered and combine panic selling of new crop? Will US farmers hold old crop into next year and hold new crop? It appears an economic storm is on the horizon. But there will still be hope of what assumed bad weather will do thousands of miles from the Midwest.

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