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El Nino's return key to rainfall chances ahead

07/11/2012 @ 9:26am

As I see the forecast right now, the corn and soybean markets will continue to have to deal with still lower and lower national corn and soybean yield forecasts as we head into the second half of this month. Yes, there are going to be rains later this week and into the weekend for far southern Illinois, central/southern Indiana, and a lot of Ohio and some nice totals are going to be possible in that area.

However, that still leaves a good two-thirds of the major corn and soybean areas of the Nation with very limited rains for the next five days, and the rainfall chances in those same areas in the 6-10 day period do not look any better. We've gotten a break from the extreme heat this week, but with highs yesterday of 94 at Columbia, 95 at St. Louis, and 96 at Terre Haute and Evansville, it is clear that we have not gotten into any sort of "cool" weather pattern and it looks like temperatures will be swinging upward again for the end of the weekend and next week.

By Sunday I think that highs can climb to 100 or a little higher in areas west of the Missouri River, and 1000 degree temps will probably be a little east of there for Monday and Tuesday (and possibly even for a few more days later next week). Highs of 95 or higher next week should reach as far east as Illinois. That is an exceptionally poor 10-day forecast for crops that have already been beaten up so badly by dry and hot weather that has been seen since the latter half of spring. Hopes for a reversal in this situation of any sort still largely rest with the developing El Nino.

When that event becomes strong enough to truly influence world weather patterns in a bigger way, a better rainfall pattern should develop over the Midwest. Timing is the question mark though.

Will that El Nino develop in time to bring us a better rain pattern late this month...or does it hold off until early August...or does it hold off until late August or even later than that? Those are questions that can't be answered right now. All that we can focus on now is the likelihood of more significant stress for the next ten days for at least the western or northwestern two-thirds of the major corn and soybean growing areas of the Nation.


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