70% chance of El Nino by August
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology says there’s a 70% chance of an El Nino event this year.
Iowa State University Extension Climatologist Elwynn Taylor tells Brownfield the pattern could be in place by August, “That’s a little bit late for the corn, maybe in time to help the beans, and definitely would help with the last cutting of alfalfa in the Midwest. Yes, the El Nino is the ‘Midwest Farmers’ Friend’; coming in August, it’s mostly for a favorable winter and a good preparation for 2015.”
Taylor adds a more “stable” weather pattern would definitely be welcome, “We’re due for a few good years after four years of below trend corn yield in the U.S. That followed six years of above trend [yield] which got everybody spoiled. People would like to see a return to at least trend, if not above.”
The bureau measures the chances for an El Nino or La Nina event, either the warming or cooling of water in the Pacific Ocean, through modeling and the Southern Oscillation Index. The weather patterns effect both the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere.
USDA will release updated 2014 corn and soybean production estimates Wednesday, June 11.