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Mother Nature's pendulum swings

Jeff Caldwell 04/11/2013 @ 9:59am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

What a difference a year can make. Last year, planters were rolling like crazy after an early start and warm conditions. Now, farmers are waiting out the polar opposite; wet, cool weather -- though a blessing in some areas -- has prevented farmers from getting much, if any, corn planted yet.

Wednesday's USDA reports -- typically a driver for grain prices after their release -- did steer prices for a while, but the focus turned sharply back to crop weather in the Plains and Midwest. In the former region, the winter wheat crop's freezing while farmers in the latter area are fighting ongoing rainfall and cool temperatures. The rain's still needed in some spots, but the trend is generally one whose end farmers would welcome. Check out some of the latest news and discussion on Mother Nature's early spring tantrum.

Drought shrivels again

A week of cool, damp weather has taken another bite out of the area of the Corn Belt under drought conditions, according to Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor map.


'Average by extremes'

Last year at this time, corn planting was off and running, with farmers getting the crop in at one of the earliest junctures in years. Mother Nature's not letting that happen again this year.


Market turns to weather

Moving ahead from Wednesday's USDA WASDE report, the market's focus will quickly turn to Mother Nature and and the increasing likelihood of a planting long, rain-delayed planting season.

Late planting likely

To have planting progress delayed is bullish grains, but more bullish corn and bearish soybeans as it also typically means more soybean acreage planted and less corn.


Wheat in a deepfreeze

After a downright painful growing season in much of the Plains, now the region's winter wheat crop is feeling the sting of freezing temperatures at another critical juncture in crop development.


Soils stalling planters

Missouri farmers itching to plant corn find that soil temperatures are well below the 13-year average, according to University of Missouri Extension specialists.




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Farm Science Review, Day Two