Flash Drought Repeat Threatens Corn ( Thursday 06/28/2012 ).

Discussion in 'Ag Futures' started by kanellop, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. kanellop

    kanellop

    Hello to All.

    Exist the following News:

    http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com...&blogEntryId=8a82c0bc37ec102e013834cfa3bd02e4 .

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    Thursday 06/28/2012

    Flash Drought Repeat Threatens Corn

    OMAHA (DTN) -- A second straight year of flash drought conditions has much of the U.S. corn crop in a very shaky state going into midsummer. As recently as June 1, the crop appeared on its way to break all records, but now is on the brink of disaster over much of the central, eastern and southern Midwest.

    The turnaround has been quick and brutal. As recently as March, less than 30% of the Midwest was judged to have drought conditions, according to the weekly Drought Monitor. However, by mid-June, more than 70% of the region was judged to be in some phase of drought. These dire circumstances are highlighted in almost the entire states of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

    The speed of such a development fits the description of "flash drought." The term first came up during the 2011 crop season, when Midwest drought indicators went from zero to moderate drought in just six weeks -- from early July to early August. During that stretch, intense heat combined with very dry conditions to produce the same impact that usually develops over a three- to six-month timeframe.

    A similar pattern is in effect this year. Rainfall since June 1 has been well under average from central Iowa east to Ohio. Des Moines has had just 50% of its typical June rain; Cedar Rapids, Iowa 15%; Decatur, Ill. 18%; Champaign, Ill. 65%; Indianapolis 2%; and Dayton, Ohio 39%. What's more, a generally very warm weather trend going back to October 2011 brought on some additional effects besides allowing corn planting to take place at least two weeks ahead of average. The entire plant population -- including weeds -- got a quicker start to the growing season, which has led to growing plants using soil moisture earlier.

    "We have seen an additional month of growing weather versus normal," said Nebraska state climatologist Al Dutcher. "The impact of this, with these above-normal temperatures and lackluster precipitation, is to essentially extract available water out of the soil profile."

    What caused this situation is not a long-lasting, single event. Telvent DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Mike Palmerino has noticed one general characteristic in the past six weeks.

    "Ridging (upper atmosphere high pressure) has been a constant somewhere," Palmerino said. "We've seen ridging in the South, the Southwest, and occasionally in the south and east Corn Belt through the Northeast. And we've also seen a very strong thermal boundary over the Northern Plains that has pretty much squeezed out any available moisture."

    Another detail that has elbowed its way into the crop weather scenario this season is the wind. If it seems like conditions have been windier than usual during spring and early summer, it's probably because they are. For example, Lincoln, Neb., winds during May averaged 11 miles per hour -- one mile per hour greater than average. "That doesn't sound like a lot, but it's up by 10%," said Dutcher.

    Dutcher also said that the number of days with a wind speed greater than 15 mph amounted to 14 out of the 31 days in the month, almost half the days. "It's very common that winds pick up during the day, and then drop off at night. But that number of days with excessive winds tells me that the daylight wind speed was probably greater than 20 mph," Dutcher said. "You move that kind of air through a cornfield and you will lose more water to evaporation."

    With each passing week of below-average rain and the calendar's steady progress into the hottest part of the year, the outlook for a quick change in fortune for corn dims just a little more.

    "I'm concerned that this pattern could be quite bad in terms of Midwest crops," Palmerino said. "Also, we've seen some of these eastern Midwest stress conditions develop in the absence of significant heat. Crops could really suffer if the temperature gets into the 90 to 95 degree (Fahrenheit) range."

    The commodity market has taken notice of this harsh weather pattern in corn. Prices for the 2012 crop gained a total of around 70 cents a bushel from Friday, June 22, through Tuesday, June 26. That's no surprise to DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom.

    "Using USDA's 164 bushel-per-acre trend line yield (too high I think), and losses similar to what we saw in 2002 based on DTN Crop Condition Index records, I think total production could be projected at 13.3 billion bushels, putting ending stocks at an unreasonable 398 million bushels and ending stocks at 2.9%," Newsom said. "This will not be allowed to happen ... but the situation seems tighter than it was a year ago."

    Bryce Anderson can be reached at bryce.anderson@telventdtn.com

    Posted at 3:36PM CDT 06/28/12 by Bryce Anderson

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    Kind Regards,

    George Kanellopoulos.