Meteorologists at the opening day of Farm Progress Show say the next three months should bring more moderate temperatures and a return to normal rainfall.
Jed Lafferty, managing director of life sciences at Planalytics, says this year's extreme weather is not a sign of long-term global warming, but rather the end of a La Nina weather cycle. "We're now going to transition toward an El Nino pattern, which means more moderate weather – less extreme and more moisture," says Lafferty, speaking to reporters at the Koch/Agrotain exhibit. "We think there's going to be a lot of improvement in the weather."
Based on historical trends, El Nino harvest seasons typically bring moderate temperatures and later freeze dates. He expects above normal rainfall especially in the south and good soil replenishment in September. October weather should bring normal to below average temperatures across most of the corn belt. Expect to see above average precipitation in the eastern and central Corn Belt.
November sets up for a typical winter weather patter with below average tempeartures across most of the corn belt, but lower than average rainfall in the Midwest. "As we move toward an El Nino pattern, more rainfall typically goes south," he says.
"El Nino is the predominant rainfall pattern going forward, with a lot more wetter trend during the normal harvest window," says Lafferty.
"We understand weather is cyclical. There's no such thing as runaway global warming."
University of Illinois soil fertility expert Fred Below was on hand to talk about the seven 'wonders' of high yield corn – elusive this year, considering the widespread drought. In fact, weather ranks number one on Below's list of factors impacting high yield corn. Nitrogen is second on his list, followed by hybrid selection, previous crop, plant population, tillage and growth regulators.
"If Mother Nature cooperates and we don't' make silly mistakes, we can grow 260 bu. corn on a fairly regular basis," says Adam Henninger, University of Illinois crop scientist.
So what happens to untapped fertilizer remaining in the soil after drought?
"If we have a normal winter, that extra nitrogen may end up in the Gulf of Mexico," Below warns. "Just because it was not used this year does not mean it will still be available next year. You're better off to stay the course and plan accordingly for 2013."