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Dryness in south worth watching

(CIFN file photo)

The co-founder and senior atmospheric scientist for Agrible urges growers to keep a close eye to our south and west before the next growing season begins.

Eric Snodgrass says those areas of the country are experiencing dryness and similar weather patterns were seen in the winter of 2011-2012 before a drought impacted Illinois.

“Pre-season drought either in the Corn Belt or to the south and west of it often indicates we might have a bit of a hit on yields across the state,” Snodgrass noted at the recent Farm Assets Conference in Normal.

Texas had a massive drought in 2011 which carried through the winter. A La Nina weather pattern that year turned into El Nino. The drought of 2012 moved north into the Corn Belt and hung on.

South America is currently experiencing La Nina which typically means a wet northern Brazil and drier conditions into Argentina. Growers there have already seen planting delays in the northern growing season because of the dry season ending late.

“It’s really going to put some pressure on that second crop which is typically corn, Snodgrass said.

South American soybean yields are expected to be near or below trend.

Here at home, Snodgrass anticipates a more normal winter for Illinois and other parts of the Midwest which we haven’t seen for a while. The Pacific jet stream has more of a wavy pattern this year with more trough features moving through, according to Snodgrass.

“If we go back to normal, it’s going to feel really cold and snowy.”

Agrible is a predictive analytics company in agriculture providing software solutions to farmers to take their experience and add big data to it to make a better combined product. Several products are sent out via e-mail to subscribers each day.

Snodgrass is also the director of undergraduate studies in atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois.

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