As of this writing we are two thirds of the way through the month of May and we can call the corn planting basically done! What a blessing. Of course there is the scattered low lying field or area in the state where planting is late or lagging, but being this far ahead or done before Memorial Day has been a pleasant surprise. The question is: “how did this happen?”
You have probably noticed in years past that blessings (of higher yield and higher quality crops and of course higher prices) often come at the expense of other’s misery and that is certainly the case this year. The storm track or area under the jet stream has been in the central and southern Plains eastward into the heart of the Corn Belt in the “I” states. This pattern will persist for another 3 weeks. Visualize the northern hemisphere of the entire earth being circled by the jet stream. It goes up and down (north to south) like a roller coaster with about 4 or 5 peaks and valley’s or troughs. At this time we have 5 very deep southerly dives or troughs of the jet stream that are circling the globe. This whole roller coaster ride takes about a month to circle the earth. Five long wave troughs represents an active weather pattern since more than once a week severe storms are breaking out and heavy rain has been falling in the central plains eastward. Even so our hardworking farmer neighbors to the south have been able to get the crops in for the most part. The market is not responding to this poor weather pattern since the weekly crop progress and condition report doesn’t show much lateness or quality issues compared to last year or the five year average.
Our severe weather season historically happens in June as the jet stream is usually overhead at that point as the warmer and more humid air has finally made it to the northern plains and southern Canada. This year, unless that roller coaster ride of the jet stream takes a different form or shape, we will see weather patterns continuing as they have been; a little cooler than we’d like and average to near normal precipitation amounts that may be a little tardy but always arrive.
There is a greater than 50% chance that June and July could be cooler than normal (although not by much) with near normal precipitation amounts. Since Mother Nature always has a way of balancing things out by the end, if the next two months are not blessed with as many growing degree days as you would like, August could be much warmer than normal, or even hot. That warmer weather pattern appears like it will linger well into fall this year.
In the meantime, we can be thankful there is seed in the ground and there is for the most part adequate moisture for the crops (and weeds).