Tuesday, June 3, 2014 brought too much of a lot of weather to a big swath of the western Corn Belt. Baseball-size hail, hurricane-force winds and tropical-caliber rainfall hammered crops and flooded big acreages from Nebraska to the mid-Mississippi Valley. The rain amounts--from 3 to 6, 7 inches--were record amounts by a long, long way. Just for one example--in Omaha, 5.30 inches were tallied for the Tuesday June 3 24-hour period--beating the old record of 1.85 inches set back in 1890. That is close to 3 TIMES the old record. As we have seen in other rainfall events over the past few years, record rainfall is blowing completely through old records.
From pictures that have been sent around, there appear to be quite a few fields in that heavy rain/storm corridor where some hard thinking is going to have to be done. Corn and soybeans have been either hailed out or drowned out. Here we are in early June; what next for these acreages?
The thing is, this one occurrence is likely going to have some company. The next week and a half looks like it is going to remain very active in the central U.S. When you're talking "active" in the weather world, just substitute "stormy" and you've got things described. And, since we are in early summer, "stormy" also implies "heavy" something--whether it's rain, hail, wind, or--as some portions of the western Corn Belt had in this week's storm--all three.
Should this round of stormy conditions maintain this intensity--in different locations--it will be interesting to see how the trade reacts. At this point, the collective opinion is moisture is a benefit to more acres than those that are damaged by a storm, with the trade generally feeling that at some acres are lost to storm damage every year. But, if this gets to be a more-general trend during a good portion of June, there could be some re-assessment on that "rain makes grain" mantra.
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