Food Business News - June 12, 2018 - 26



Weather forecast: Summer Corn Belt
outlook seen as promising

western Corn Belt to trend drier and
warmer with timely rainfall that will
support crops during the summer of
2018, with mild conditions and erratic
showers in the eastern Corn Belt. He sees
conditions this summer similar to those
of 1982 and 2000, based on an 18-year
weather cycle, with upper air flows so far
this year most like 1982.
"Average temperature anomalies for
all three years (1982, 2000 and 2018) are
cooler biased in the northern, eastern
and far western states and warm in the
southern Plains," Mr. Lerner said. "Rainfall is usually erratic and slightly anomalous with the west-central and southern
Plains driest relative to normal."
In its crop condition ratings as of June
3 (just the second of the season), the U.S.
Department of Agriculture rated corn in
the 18 major producing states at 78% good
to excellent, little changed from its initial
rating of 79% a week earlier but well
above 68% at the same time last year and
very high historically for the time of year,
although corn still wasn't fully emerged
in any of the 18 states. Corn as of June 3
was 97% planted (100% in Illinois and
Missouri, 99% in Iowa and Nebraska) and
was 86% emerged in the 18 states, slightly
ahead of 83% as the 2013-17 average.
Soybeans in the 18 major states were
87% planted as of June 3, well ahead of
75% as the five-year average, and were
68% emerged compared with 52% as the
average. The U.S.D.A.'s initial soybean
rating was 75% good to excellent, 21% fair
and 4% poor to very poor, compared with
last year's initial rating (which came out a
week later) at 66% good to excellent, 28%
fair and 6% poor to very poor.
Dryness across the U.S. Southwest

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(including Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas)
remains a concern, as moisture conditions continued to deteriorate over the
winter when moisture typically is maintained or replenished. Drought has been
reflected in expected sharply lower winter wheat production across the southern

Initial corn
(18 major states)












Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Plains, although the stress on the crop
likely will result in much higher average
protein compared with the past couple
of years. Drought conditions have been
reflected in winter wheat good-to-excellent ratings of 16% in Kansas (49% poor
to very poor), 16% in Texas (58% poor to
very poor) and 11% good in Oklahoma
(63%) as of June 3. Winter wheat production in May was forecast down 19% from

a year ago in Kansas, down 37% in Texas
and down 47% in Oklahoma. Winter
wheat production estimates will be
updated in the June 12 U.S.D.A. Crop Production report. Winter wheat was 35%
harvested in Texas and 7% harvested in
Oklahoma as of June 3, with combines
expected to move through the states
quickly due to increased abandoned
acres from dry conditions. Harvest had
not yet begun in Kansas.
Speakers at the Purchasing Seminar
suggested winter wheat yields likely
would be better north of Interstate 70, but
protein levels likely would not be as high.
Mr. Lerner said that recent significant rainfall from subtropical storm
Alberto relieved dryness in the Southeast. Attendees at the Sosland Publishing Purchasing Seminar noted the wet
conditions were ill-timed for harvest.
Moisture conditions in the Upper
Midwest and Canadian Prairie spring
wheat regions also improved significantly due to recent rainfall, Mr. Lerner said.
"Canada's crop will not be stellar,
but it won't be a disaster either," he said.
Current conditions indicate the
formation of an El Niño weather pattern
later in the fall, which may contribute
to the expansion of dry conditions from
the Southwest into the western Corn
Belt. But the greater El Niño effect may
be across Southeast Asia and the Indian
subcontinent, he said, which may reduce
sugar cane and other crop production in
2019 and 2020. For the current season
through August, Mr. Lerner expects
a mostly normal monsoon season for
Southeast Asia and India. FBN
Ron Sterk
June 12, 2018


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