World Grain - July 2020 - 44

WILL THE UNITED STATES PRODUCE A

BUMPER CROP?
Positioning of high-pressure ridge could hold key to the size of corn and soybean harvests

U

nited States summer crop weather was nearly
ideal in June. A huge crop of corn and soybeans
could be reaped from the US Midwest this year if
conditions were to remain unchanged. However, corn
and soybeans are quickly approaching a turning point
LQZKLFKZHDWKHUZLOOKDYHDKXJHLQÀXHQFHRQ\LHOGV
Long-term weather trends in the atmosphere have
been evolving away from the excessive moisture environment of the past two years and turning toward a
drier bias. How dry the US Midwest becomes this year
largely will be determined by the tropics. The drier tendency slated for the Corn and Soybean Belt is not a
death sentence for crops, despite growing commodity
trade hype that the United States is facing some production issues in 2020. The reality is that many summers have had regional dryness and warm temperature
biases and yet yields have come out looking very good.
Recent history suggests that it takes a rather extreme year like 2012 to bring along enough crop moisture stress to seriously cut into production potentials.
Below-average precipitation during the summer does
not mean what it used to mean. Crops that are faced
with warmer-than-usual temperatures and below-average precipitation are not destined for failure or even
VLJQL¿FDQWO\ ORZHU \LHOGV DV ORQJ DV VXEVRLO PRLVWXUH
is maintained at favorable levels and some periodic
showers occur. Much does depend on nighttime temperatures, and the warmer those readings stay in an
environment that is a little short on moisture the more
likely yields will slip lower.
In the past two growing seasons there were numerous periods of nighttime temperatures near or above
75 degrees F and yet crops performed well, but that
was because of the abundance of soil moisture. This

44

\HDUPD\EHGL൵HUHQWZLWKZDUPHUWKDQXVXDOWHPSHUD
tures and below-average precipitation expected to lead
to low soil moisture and some crop stress. That stress
could be exacerbated by warm nighttime temperatures
and a close watch on the scenario is warranted.
July was expected to be dominated by a high-pressure ridge during the early part of the month. The ridge
was forecast to generate warmer-than-usual temperatures and restricted rainfall, the combination of which
will lead to lower soil moisture as time moves along.
The abundance of soil moisture initially during the
month will keep relative humidity high at night, and
that is why nighttime temperatures may stay above 75
at times, limiting crop stress relief at night, which has
proven to be important for protecting crop yields.
Most of the atmospheric trend modeling for July suggested a westward shift in the high-pressure ridge during the second half of the month. This change is important for crop yields in corn and soybean areas because
shifting the ridge to the High Plains region and Rocky
0RXQWDLQVLQWURGXFHVDQRUWKZHVWHUO\ÀRZRIDLUDORIW
across the Midwest, and that brings in brief bouts of
cooler air and a chance for showers. If the high-pressure ridge fails to relocate to the west, dryness and heat
stress will quickly become a problem and production
potentials will be at risk in late July and August for
late corn and soybeans. If the ridge successfully shifts
to the west, there "may" be enough rain and cooler air
to reduce crop moisture stress and could provide just
enough moisture and nighttime cooling to perpetuate a
good production year.
&RQ¿GHQFH LV UHODWLYHO\ KLJK WKDW WKH ULGJH ZLOO
shift west for a while, mostly because the mean position of summer high-pressure ridges tends to be in
July 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com

© JJ Gouin - stock.adboe.com

by Drew Lerner


http://www.World-Grain.com

World Grain - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - July 2020

World Grain - July 2020 - 1
World Grain - July 2020 - 1
World Grain - July 2020 - 2
World Grain - July 2020 - 3
World Grain - July 2020 - 4
World Grain - July 2020 - 5
World Grain - July 2020 - 6
World Grain - July 2020 - 7
World Grain - July 2020 - 8
World Grain - July 2020 - 9
World Grain - July 2020 - 10
World Grain - July 2020 - 11
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World Grain - July 2020 - 14
World Grain - July 2020 - 15
World Grain - July 2020 - 16
World Grain - July 2020 - 17
World Grain - July 2020 - 18
World Grain - July 2020 - 19
World Grain - July 2020 - 20
World Grain - July 2020 - 21
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_12_01
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https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_04_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_02_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2013_01_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/wg/2012_12_01
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http://digital.world-grain.com/sosland/wg/2009_05_01
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