Fundamentally Speaking

Growing Conditions Split in Corn Belt States This Summer

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst

All summer we have talked about the diagonal line going southwest to northeast and how growing conditions for the top corn and soybean states were far better south and east of that line, meaning greater precipitation and reasonable temperatures, than was the case for those states north and west of that line, which in general saw elevated readings and limited rainfall. In the first of two blogs on this situation, this graphic shows the difference between the average June-August 2021 temperature and the average June-August temperature from 1960-2021 on the left hand axis, while the rank of where the 2021 June-August temperature stacks up in the period 1960 to 2021 is plotted on the right hand axis -- a rank of 1 is the hottest average June-August temperature since 1960 and 62 is the coolest. It was a hot summer in much of the U.S. and certainly where the row crops are grown as only Texas saw its average June-August temperature this year below its 1960-2021 average for the same time period at minus 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Much attention has been focused on the very stressful summer seen in Minnesota and the Dakotas and that is borne out by the figures with Minnesota having its average June-August temperature 3.4 degrees above average, North Dakota 3.8 degrees above average and South Dakota 3.4 degrees over average. In fact, it was rather toasty throughout the Upper Midwest with Michigan 2.8 degrees above average and Wisconsin 2.5 degrees above average. As for rankings, again Texas stands out as it was the 36th hottest summer (June-August) in that state or the 16th coolest and this is the only one of the top corn and soybean growing states that ranks as having a cooler-than-normal summer. Contrast this with Minnesota and both North and South Dakota having their second hottest summer since 1960, Michigan its third hottest, Colorado its fourth hottest, PA its fifth hottest and Iowa and Wisconsin their sixth hottest summer since 1960. One observation includes ideas that corn really loves cool temperatures and even in states with good summer rains, one wonders whether the elevated readings capped yield potential.

Joel Karlin, Western Milling

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