AgResource May 22 Market Outlook by Ben Buckner

Is Rain Still Making Grain?

Apr - May Rainfall: IL, IA, MO

Early season crop conditions are, for the most part, at or above last year (select states have been reporting GD/EX for the last two weeks), but crops in the Eastern Midwest are not doing as well. Illinois’ crop is rated at 51% GD/EX, down 18% from last year; the crop in Missouri is pegged at 52% GD/EX, down 23% from this week a year ago. Simply put, it’s been too wet and too cold.

Apr-Jun Rainfall vs Corn Yield: IL, IA, MO combined

And our work suggest that spring rainfall is a positive – unless at extremes. The graphic above displays rainfall in the Central Midwest from April to June as well as whether combined yield in IL, IA and MO was above or below trend. Notice that the lack of precip is much more damaging to final yield, but there is a point at which rain is a negative. Cumulative totals in excess of 16” begin to weigh on the crop’s potential, and the risk this year is that such totals are achieved. Already nearly 12” has fallen across IL, IA and MO since April 1.

NOAA Weather Forecast

The near term forecast includes additional rain (some soaking) into early next week. The major forecasting models are in general agreement that moderate shower activity will impact the Central and Eastern Corn Belt every few days into June 5th, and the issue this year is too much rain. The pattern in early/mid-June has to be watched closely. It’s not been an ideal spring in certain spots of the US Ag Belt.