The corn belt is struggling as we proceed through the month of September. Many areas are reporting warmer-than-normal temperatures with precipitation trending well below normal.
Drought conditions have spread at the expense of depleted soil moisture and deteriorating crop conditions. Over half of pastures across Minnesota and Iowa are in poor to very poor condition.
Harvest will start early in many places as cooler-than-normal fall conditions have settled in across the region. The third week of September was the ninth coldest on record even as warmer weather returns. Widespread frost starts to become more probable as we enter the final days of September and advance into the month of October.
The weather conditions we have experienced thus far in 2023 have had a lasting impact on crop conditions. Less than half of Iowa’s corn and soybean crop is rated good or better. Relief for moisture is still a mixed bag. The 30-to-90-day forecast is still suggesting equal chances of precipitation and temperature variation.
The effects of El Nino will become more evident as predictions are more confident that the probability of a “strong event” is now greater than 71%. Ocean waters in the Pacific have been warming for months causing atmospheric anomalies consistent with El Nino oscillations.
Over a billion dollars in ag-related damage has accumulated so for this year compliments of major weather events. Hurricane Ida and a series of severe weather episodes are responsible for the carnage.
Warmer ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean as El Nino continues to intensify will drive some extreme weather events over the next 12 months.