Posts

Dry Conditions Persist in Northern North Dakota

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, dry conditions still persistent in the northern tier counties of North Dakota. Northern Pierce and Benson counties, located in the north central part of the state, remain in D1 or moderate drought. That area of moderate drought did expand into northeast McHenry County this week. A small area in northeast Minnesota encompassing Saint Louis, Itasca and Aitkin counties is also abnormally dry, as well as the western edge of Kittson and Marshall counties in northwest Minnesota.
 

Mexico Weather Very Dry at Start of Bean Planting

Mexico is currently behind in precipitation for this year’s spring/summer dry bean cycle and experiencing above average temperatures. Planting season in Zacatecas, Durango, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosi and Guanajuato is delayed due to the lack of precipitation. Although planting dates in Zacatecas, Durango and Chihuahua can be extended after the recommended planting season, dry beans will be at the risk of an early frost and erratic rainfall during the growing season. According to Mexican government sources, the programmed production for 2019, is projected to be 50,000 metric tons higher than 2018.
 

A Cool Fall Forecast Being Predicted

There may not be a long growing season this fall. According to World Weather Incorporated Senior Agricultural Meteorologist Drew Lerner, data is causing concern. “There are three weather cycles playing out right now, including El Nino and the lunar cycle. El Nino is wimpy and it might dissipate in the next few weeks.” Lerner says the lunar cycle is the number one reason for the wet weather and cool bias coming back in regular intervals.

The third factor is the solar minimum. “There is a tendency for solar minimum years to help continue cool outbreaks. If the lunar cycle is already promoting a cooler tendency in the atmosphere, the solar cycle will come along and reinforce that,” says Lerner. “We are concerned a shorter growing season is more likely than a longer one.”

Severe Drought Reported in Northern ND

Portions of northern North Dakota have moved into the severe drought. This is the first time this year these counties have been in the D2 or severe drought category. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the northern tier of counties is reporting delayed crop growth, poor pasture conditions and an increase in the culling of cattle herds. The northern half of North Dakota and extreme northwest Minnesota are dealing with abnormally dryness and moderate drought.

Dry Conditions Linger in the Canadian Prairies

A substantial part of the Canadian Prairies remains dry, as near drought conditions linger. Glacier Farm Media Director of Markets and Weather Bruce Burnett says some areas of the western prairies are in their third year of limited moisture. “We had a dry winter with drought conditions last fall in the southern two-thirds of the prairies. We’ve had virtually no soil moisture recharge in the past two years,” says Burnett.

Timely rains are needed to sustain the crop. “To get an average crop this year, we need frequent rains. We haven’t seen that yet this growing season. If we remain dry through June, there will be a lot of stress to crops and the yield potential will drop significantly.”

June Could Bring Some Relief to Dry Areas

While wet weather continues to plague much of the Midwest, parts of North Dakota, northwest Minnesota and Canada’s Central Prairies remain on the dry side. World Weather, Incorporated senior ag meteorologist Drew Lerner says that June will bring some change to the current weather pattern.

“A ridge of high pressure should build up across the U.S. Plains as we go through the month,” says Lerner. “Unfortunately, it may be difficult for that ridge to shut down all the wet conditions. The good news is these storm tracks will end up running across some of the drier areas in southern Canada and the northern-most part of the U.S. Plains.”

Warm and Wet Weather Forecast for April

It’s beginning to feel and look more like spring outside, and farmers are starting to prepare for the 2019 planting season. According to Nutrien Ag Solutions Senior Atmospheric Scientist Eric Snodgrass, this April will be much different than last year. “The jet stream is setting up for the eastern two-thirds of the country to carry a warm bias. But with that comes some spring-like storm systems,” says Snodgrass.

While the weather may be warmer in April, the month could also be wet in parts of the Midwest. Snodgrass says finding opportune planting windows could be challenging at times. “With the equipment and skill farmers have today, they’ll get the crop in. May is a different story. To say this May is going to carry a cold bias isn’t in the cards, but it looks like the month could be wetter than average.”

 

(Source: Red River Farm Network)

A Slow Start to Spring

After a long, tough fall, farmers are hoping for an early spring. DTN meteorologist Bryce Anderson did not paint a very optimistic picture during the Northern Corn and Soy Expo. “I’m concerned about spring being late to get underway. We’ve had a big influence by a pretty large-scale round of low pressure, and there is fairly extensive snow cover.”
 
In many cases, farmers were not able to apply fertilizer this fall. “For our company, we had about 40 percent of an average fall,” said Paul Coppin, general manager, Valley United Cooperative. “That puts the pressure on everybody this spring; we’re against the gun here and are hoping and praying for a nice early spring.” 
 
Farmers are encouraged to discuss their 2019 plans with their input suppliers, but “it’s hard to talk seed and fertilizer when they’re looking at snow and more snow.” The unrelenting snow has also impacted the farmers’ ability to haul grain to their local grain elevator.
 
Anderson goes on to say the weather for the growing season itself looks better. “For May, June and July, I think we will have fairly mild temps that will allow Growing Degree Days to accumulate. The biggest issue is getting crops into the ground.”