Based on history, expect a fourth consecutive year with below-trendline corn yields in the Midwest in 2013, says Iowa State University climatologist Dr. Elwynn Taylor. “Historically, severely deficit precipitation years of the magnitude of 2012 do not recover to normal annual precipitation in a single year. Accordingly, an additional year of significant moisture stress is considered to be not unlikely and a fourth consecutive year of below-trend U.S. corn yield is a distinct possibility,” he says.
Taylor points to the precipitation patterns that followed the droughts of 1956 and 1988 – the two driest years in central Iowa since 1950 prior to 2012. “In both cases, the subsequent year also received below-normal precipitation and experienced below-trend yields in Iowa,” he states. “It is not likely that subsoil moisture will be fully replenished by the beginning of the 2013 planting season.”
He says the precipitation outlook will become more definitive in the early weeks of 2013 as the likely phase of the El Niño/La Niña for the growing season becomes more clear. Writing in an online forum sponsored by Reuters, Taylor said he is using a corn trendline yield of 160 bu. an acre for 2013, based on USDA’s past 30 years of crop data. He also wrote he sees the 2013 U.S. corn yield at 147 bu. per acre compared to USDA’s 2012 estimate of 122.3 bu. per acre.
Source: Landowner newsletter reports