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Serving: United States

July Weather Expected Cooler Than Previously Thought

Reasonably good growing conditions now forecasted for the Corn Belt.

July may not be as hot as previously forecasted, according to Jim Newman, retired ag climatologist from West Lefayette, Ind. Newman foresees a continuation of the pattern that has played itself out across the Midwest so far this season.

Producers can expect relatively mild temperatures and many rainy days, with slightly above to slightly blow normal rainfall, depending exactly upon where you farm in the Corn Belt.

"August could get hotter and a bit drier I suppose," he says. "But once patterns set up it takes a while to break them, and it certainly looks now like the pattern that set itself up earlier in the summer could hang around for awhile here in our area of the country."

The bottom line could be reasonably good conditions for corn across the Corn Belt. Conditions are unknown for soybeans, depending upon if and when and where it might turn a bit warmer and drier in August. That month, usually the middle half of it, is the critical period for soybeans.

No El Nino or La Nina present

"The El Nino/La Nina cycle is contributing nothing to this year's summer weather pattern," Newman states. "The mild La Nina, cool phase of the cycle, went neutral earlier this spring. Right now the cycle is stuck in neutral."

That doesn't mean the Corn Belt is exempt from troughs, although right now widespread drought seems unlikely, the weather expert says. Other factors that influence weather, although usually not as much, take over and exert their influence in the absence of the dominating El Nino cycle. These included the PNA index, a phenomenon that can cause some north-south flow of storms across the U.S.

Newman is not sure when another El Nino trend might develop. If all goes according to expectations, next to form would be a warm phase. However, when it forms, how strong it is and where it forms, plus how much oceanic area it covers, are now all known to play a factor in how severely the El Nino might influence our weather. Since there is a three-month lag time between onset of an El Nino event and appearance of the weather symptoms produced by it in the Midwest, don't look for El Nino to have any impact upon this year's crop.

TAGS: USDA Soybean
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