This year’s planting season for corn is on a good pace, by and large. This has made an impact in corn futures, but the overall harvest is expected to be robust…but we have a long way until the hay is in the barn.
For the propane industry, this is always one of the first tumblers to keep an eye on.
Two years ago, the plant was late and that delayed the harvest a great deal, which pushed it into late October and early November…then came some cold temps and the corn also needed some drying, so we had the second-largest grain drying year since 2003. That factor helped contribute to the nightmarish heating season that was 2013-2014.
It’s way too early to make grain drying predictions for this year, but I will toss out a few things here…some may be repetitive, but I think they are worth reinforcing.
El Nino springs and summers tend to bring ample rains to the growing areas of the country…and temperatures are a bit more moderate than extreme, with leanings more towards below normal than above normal.
Now, here is a summer to fall temperature outlook from our friends at MDA:
When corn gets planted ‘on time’, that can lead to the plant having a better ability to navigate through the hotter (and drier) summer months which can cause stress to the crop. The quicker the crop reaches maturity, the better it can withstand those conditions without a big impact to yield.
Take a look at the July time frame, temperature forecast prediction from above. You see a below normal bullseye centered over the heart of corn country…likely where 90% of this country’s corn crop is grown, the below normal temps bullseye is there.
Below normal temps in May and June can also stunt the maturation rate of the crop. If the rains are there, you are still looking at a great crop and one that can produce big yields.
We were on the road for a rather significant grain drying season last year until the last half of September and early March turned dry and the corn was able to shed a great deal of moisture out in the fields.
El Nino years ‘typically’ see rainfall throughout the spring and summer and sometimes into the fall.
The current consensus of the weather experts (who all fell on their faces with last year’s El Nino predictions) are calling for the El Nino to strengthen and carry into the fall. The CFSV2 forecasting model is actually projecting this to be one of the strongest El Nino’s, ever…at this time. But I wouldn’t buy that stock just yet after last year’s poor El Nino model guidance. IF they are correct, that could have more than just grain drying implications…but we can discuss El Nino’s historical analog effects on winters in an upcoming post, if conditions persist.
Here is what the government is saying about this El Nino:
— NOAA Climate.gov (@NOAAClimate) May 14, 2015
As stated before, we have a long, long way to go to get to the harvest and to know how wet the corn will or will not be. The table is being set for another excellent corn crop, nationwide…but we won’t know for some time as to just how much drying it will need.
Finally, where I live (Tulsa), folks are beginning to make a run on the lumber yard and trying to convert cubits to inches and feet! It’s been wet.
Last 10-days rainfall … Texas, Oklahoma & western Arkansas deluge pic.twitter.com/bYct4S9e5V
— Ryan | weather.us (@RyanMaue) May 14, 2015
And get ready for some ‘cold’ next week, if you live in the Plains or the Midwest
The wet pattern in nations midsection continues, but record cold shot possible next week plains, midwest into ne pic.twitter.com/eM5JrWt1Hy
— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) May 14, 2015