Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin DTN Contributing Analyst

Friday 02/28/14

End of January Palmer Drought Readings

Weather is always a topic of conversation but rarely has it been discussed as much over the past few weeks.

An unbelievable winter in the Midwest and Northeast along with major drought in California and surrounding states have been record breakers in every way which way imaginable.

For the grain and oilseed markets, it is difficult to quantify the impact that the resultant snarled logistics have added to price gains but it has to be substantial.

Furthermore, a period of well below normal readings now seen into mid-March for much of the Corn Belt definitely raises the possibility of delayed spring plantings.

One positive factor despite today’s updated U.S. Drought Monitor map showing expanding drought in large regions of the Western Corn Belt is that heading into spring, most of the major corn and soybean producing states have a better subsoil moisture profile than seen last year.

The accompanying graphic shows the end of January Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) readings vs. January 2013 readings.

Of these 21 states only two, Louisiana and Mississippi have lower PSDI readings than last year.

Furthermore, only two states Iowa and Texas have PSDI readings at low as -2.00 that indicates moderate drought vs. the year ago figure of nine states.

Last year miraculous spring rains helped erase severe subsoil moisture deficiencies caused by the 2012 drought but in the process resulted in large tracts of intended corn and soybean ground that never were planted.

This year hopes are for some recharge of moisture in areas of IA, MN, KS, and NE while allowing for more timely seedings of the 2014 row crops.


Posted at 8:10AM CST 02/28/14
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