El Niño’s moisture timing important for U.S. crop

The moisture that traditionally comes with an El Niño could miss a key part of the 2023 growing season.

Drew Lerner with World Weather Incorporated says El Niño’s influence is expected to hit major U.S. crop growing areas in the later summer and autumn, past the reproductive and fill stages for corn and some soybeans.

“An El Niño, after it matures for awhile, will present more moisture across the U.S. crop growing areas, but we’re on our own for the next few weeks, which is what everyone is concerned about.”

USDA is forecasting U.S. corn yields at 181.5 bushels per acre. Stephen Nicholson, a global grain and oilseed analyst with Rabobank, tells Brownfield some analysts believe the forecast is too high.”

“We’re at 179.5 bushels per acre for corn on our estimate. We’ve had quite the discussion on it thinking even before USDA came out with the estimate, it was too high. That’s a lot of bushels to get in.”

USDA is forecasting this year’s soybean crop at 52 bushels per acre.

Nicholson says timely rains will be needed for the United States to stay on track and if not, supplies of corn and soybeans could be tight again.

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