Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin DTN Contributing Analyst

Friday 01/17/14

Palmer Drought Ratings for Top Corn & Bean States

As the saying goes, what a difference a year makes.

At the end of last year only six of the 21 top corn and soybean producing had Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) ratings above zero with the majority suffering anywhere from moderate to severe drought.

Heading into the year ago planting season, concern was widespread that the effects of the worst U.S. drought since the Dust Bowl years would carry over into 2013.

This was not the case as heavy, and in many cases record amounts of spring rains helped erased longstanding subsoil moisture deficiencies helping pave the way for decent 2013 row crop yields.

Though conditions dried out in the Western Corn Belt the second half of summer, fall rains and winter snowfall have further eased the situation.

As the calendar flipped from 2013 to 2014, all states except Louisiana and Pennsylvania saw their PSDI ratings improve one year later and even those two still have positive readings.

Only two states, IA and TX are even showing moderate to severe drought though all the states that have beginning of the year negative PDSI readings are west of the Mississippi.

Still, levels of exceptional to extreme drought that were commonplace in much of the Corn Belt at the start of last year are now found in the western U.S. With much better soil moisture supplies in general heading into this growing season as opposed to last and expectations of large acreage, hopes are high that bumper corn and soybean crops will be produced this year.

Action in December corn and November soybeans since the faff are reflective of such sentiment.


Posted at 7:57AM CST 01/17/14
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