The weather patterns in the U.S. continues to show more of an El Nino signature. This supports our sea surface temperature data, which we commented about in last week's blog suggesting that we may be already close to an El Nino. The wet winter in California is projected to continue during the second half of the month supporting an El Nino with a strong tropical connection associated with these rain events. Some significant rain events in west Texas and the Southern Plains this winter. Occasionally this region can experience a blizzard in the winter that is not related to El Nino. However regular, significant rain events in winter can usually be traced to El Nino. The recharge of soil moisture in the south-central and southeast states this winter after the drought last fall is also likely related to a developing El Nino. In South America the wet weather pattern in the major corn and soybean areas of central Argentina is also likely related to El Nino.
We would expect the El Nino pattern to continue during the spring and summer of 2017. The likely impacts of this would be favorable soil moisture for winter wheat development in the Southern Plains. Some potential planting disruptions due to wet weather in the southern and eastern Midwest. More favorable planting weather in the northwest Midwest and Northern Plains due to warmer, drier weather. We could be looking at a spring where planting progress in the northwest Midwest is ahead of the southern and eastern Midwest. An El Nino summer should be generally favorable for corn and soybeans in the Midwest and Northern Plains with no significant hot/dry weather expected.
Overseas, the main impact of El Nino could be an early end to the rainy season in central Brazil. This could affect double-cropped corn. However right now conditions are very favorable for planting. We could see some drought conditions for planting winter wheat in eastern Australia. And there could be some problems with the Indian monsoon.
Michael Palmerino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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