What Might El Nino have in Store for Wheat?

Wheat Image

by David Widmar

One of the biggest stories of the summer was the strong El Nino conditions. By several measures, current conditions are among the strongest El Nino measurements in history (Secord or third highest since 1950). Recent media articles have also citied El Nino related agricultural production issues to higher dairy, sugar, palm oil, and wheat prices. It appears, however, that the most significant impact will occur this winter.

This got us wondering how current El Nino conditions might impact the winter wheat crop. Similar to our post earlier this summer, which considered corn and soybean yields, this week we take a look at historic El Nino conditions to glean potential insights for the US winter wheat crop. Continue reading

Will El Nino be a Bin-Buster?

ElNino Yields

by David A. Widmar and Brent A. Gloy

One of the top stories in agriculture for 2015 will likely be the impact the current El Nino has on production. Earlier this spring an official El Nino was declared and is expected to last until 2016. It appears the event predicted for last summer has finally arrived.

There is great interest, and concern, over exactly how El Nino conditions could impact the summer growing season for corn and soybeans in the U.S.  Much work has been done looking at the temperature and precipitation patterns of El Nino events, but these are often very general. This led us to look into how historic El Nino conditions have overlapped with corn and soybean yields.

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Planning on a Big ARC-County Payment? Better Wait for the County Yields

By Brent Gloy

It’s that time of year when farmers are putting together their crop budgets and operating credit requests for the next crop year. One big unknown for many farmers relates to the size of potential government program payments. Earlier it appeared as if the new ARC-County farm program was set to make some substantial payments to farmers, but farmers and bankers may want to be very conservative about the size of government payments that they place in their budgets. Although crop prices are well below the 5 year Olympic average for both corn and soybeans, it is quite likely that crop yields for many counties will be high this year. How high these yields are set will greatly influence ARC-County payments.

Many farm bill sessions that I have either attended or read about have focused on how the market year average (MYA) price will impact the size of farm program payments for the ARC and PLC program options. When it comes to payments under ARC-County, the level of county yields will also be critical in determining the payments, so we decided that it would be useful to provide some information on how county yields might influence the ARC-County payments. Continue reading