The update on U.S. drought is a little improvement in the western Corn Belt.
“We saw during the last couple weeks some pretty wet snows that moved across that area and they did produce some decent moisture.”
Anderson did say there are some exceptions to overall decent soil conditions in the eastern growing area.
“The only areas in the eastern belt where it’s maybe still kind of on the dry side would be in the northern tier of counties in Indiana, extreme southern Michigan, and then in northwestern and far northern Illinois. But that’s about it. The eastern belt has really done a good job of getting a soil moisture recharge pattern, and I think that it’s a pretty optimistic scenario there as we think about this field work season.”
He said much of the eastern Corn Belt is well positioned for spring planting.
“Springtime looks to be normal to above normal on temperatures so I think temperatures will be favorable and moisture is also going to be above normal. So there could be actually a little bit of a delay at times in field work. I don’t think it’s going to be nearly as big a delay as we saw two years ago. Remember two years ago it was cold and wet but I’ve had growers in Ohio and Indiana tell me you give me a warm and wet spring and I’ll work with that.”
As of now Anderson foresees better weather this year during the actual growing season when we likely will not see the extremes of a year ago. That means yields are bound to improve.
“Our thoughts on yields this year is in the 150-155 bushel an acre range for corn. That’s a notable improvement from last year obviously.”
Those kinds of averages would mean a roughly 30 bushel jump this year, but Anderson says weather suggests Indiana could be in that ballpark.