The grain and oilseed markets are seeing quite a bit of short-covering as that fundamental spark we have been talking about has arrived in the form of threatening weather with concerns that drought in Northern Plains which, according to latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, now includes some areas of severe drought will spread south into heart of Corn Belt where temperatures this coming weekend will move to the mid 90's, very high given all the moisture in the ground.
We focus on this last point for we have heard that despite ample subsoil moisture levels, the heavy spring rains have created very hard topsoils that have prevented an extensive corn root system from being established as the recent drier conditions and rising temperatures has begun to stress some of the young corn plants.
This graphic shows this year's cumulative March-May rainfall for the top 18 corn producing states in inches and this total as a percent of the average March-May rainfall seen in the 1950-2016 period.
We also rank this year's spring (March-May) rainfall for the years 1950-2016 with a ranking of 1 meaning this past March-May had the highest amount of rain since 1950 to a ranking of 68 meaning this past March-May had the lowest amount of rain since 1950.
Of the 18 states, only four including MN, NC, SD and TX had Mar-May rainfall this year below their long-term average.
On the other hand some states like KS and MO had more than 150% of their normal precipitation and 6 of the 18 had 2017 March-May rainfall that ranked in the top five of all years since 1950.
With all this moisture in the ground there is concern about corn plants with "short feet" or undeveloped root systems that may come back to haunt should conditions turn drier later in the crop year.
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