The weather has been the big story in agriculture all year, so far. And it may continue to be.
The late planting of corn puts pollination in late July and early August, typically a period of heat and diminished precipitation. That is not good for the corn crop, which was planted into moist soils and root systems likely stayed shallow.
Stu Ellis reports on several dynamics are underway that could make or break the 2019 corn crop.
El Nino, once thought to be driving our weather for 2019, seems to be diminishing early. The Climate Prediction Center reported Thursday that sea surface temperatures across the Equatorial Pacific decreased during the month of June. Temperatures were above average at the outset of the month, but were average by the end of the month as cooler waters were expanding. The departure of El Nino means a reduction in the potential for precipitation at a time when cornfields will need it, as well as warmer temperatures.
However, the arrival of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Barry and its slow march up the Mississippi to the central and eastern Cornbelt might provide the opportunity for moderate, but welcome, rainfall in areas where soils have dried and corn leaves are curling. The National Weather Service indicates Barry’s influence on precipitation will begin to falter about the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, as it turns east to provide 1-2 in. of rain in most of Indiana and Ohio, along with the southern counties of Illinois by next weekend. NOAA’s 3-4 week precipitation outlook indicates above normal chances for beneficial precipitation across much of the Cornbelt during that late July and early August period when much of the late planted corn will be pollinating.
Soil moisture is becoming an issue in the central Cornbelt. We’ll see what Adam has to say about all of this.
That’s our report from the Farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader