Last year on Ag Day, farmers across Indiana were putting seed in the ground. That was not the case this year, and the forecast calls for planting delays well into April. The short term outlook calls for below normal temperatures the rest of this month. Brice Anderson, Meteorologist with DTN sees planting delays continuing into April, “What we have going on now is an upper air pattern that is bringing on fieldwork delays similar to what we saw in 2011.” He added this blocking pattern will keep temperatures below normal and bring more storms into the Ohio Valley and on into the Southeast.
Once farmers get a chance to get seed in the ground, the Eastern Corn Belt will have enough moisture to have a good crop. Anderson says more than 20 inches of precipitation since last October has recharged Eastern Corn Belt fields, but that is not the case in the west, “From about Rockford, IL west to Sheridan, WY, there are many areas that are very much on the dry side.” He noted that this includes parts of Iowa and Nebraska that have not had the kind of moisture recharge they need to produce average yields.
He predicts that corn yields in eastern states including IN will recover from last year and have close to average yields, “I think the best chance for a rebound in yields will be from central Missouri and eastern Iowa, east.” He sees corn yields in states such as IL and IN averaging in the 155-160 bpa range. Anderson disagrees with the USDA outlook that calls for a bumper crop in 2013, “There is just too much of our corn crop that is produced in the west and North where conditions are far from ideal to have the kind of crop that USDA predicts.”