Saturday, July 28, 2012

Drought Worsens Across Nation; Outlook Miserable

The latest drought monitor update on July 24 cites an increasing and worsening drought across the nation, with Extreme to Exceptional drought conditions most prevalent across the Plains and Midwest.
With this latest update, the hope for help for agricultural products dims further, and it is likely that entire sectors of the agricultural business may be a total loss.
Now, we look from the short term corn crop concern to the question of 'How long will this last?' I can tell you that it will take months to regulate this deficit.

This map shows the precipitation needed for the drought to end. But, before we analyze it, there are some caveats. First and foremost, the needed precipitation must fall over a prolonged period of time. If it happens to fall all at once, only a small fraction of help will be delivered, while the rest of the rain will run off the dry ground and produce flash flooding.
The areas needing most precipitation (on the order of over 15 inches of rain) includes the Southern Plains into portions of the Midwest. This is typical of an El Nino pattern, with a possible expanse eastward and further deterioration of soil conditions.

I am predicting this drought to continue for months to come, into 2013. Considering we are entering an El Nino, I find the Plains and Midwest to be between a rock and a hard place, with El Ninos typically delivering below normal precipitation to the mentioned areas.
If you are a farmer based in the Midwest, I must say that the next 4-8 months (or beyond if the pattern holds) are looking miserable for agricultural crop harvests and/or plantings.


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