2013 yields likely to exceed 2012
By LARRY KERSHNER
DAKOTA?CITY – Despite heading into the spring planting with a dry subsoil profile, and despite there is little chance of an El Nino weather pattern (cooler and wetter), this fall’s harvest should be better than 2013, but corn and soybeans will not measure up to trendline levels.
This was the prognosis of Dr. S. Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University’s climatologist, on Feb. 12 as he spoke to grain producers in Dakota City.
Forty farmers from nine counties were in attendance, most were clients of the meeting’s host Tim Burres, owner of AgriPeril Insurance Inc., based in Humboldt.
Taylor said from 1993 to 1999 yields exceeded trendline each, the first that happened since 1865.
“Breeders thought they accomplished more than they thought,”?Taylor said. “But breeding didn’t do it because from 2010 to 2012 there’s been three straight below-trend years.”
He expects 2013 to also be below the national trend, currently set at just under 160 bushels per acre, but higher than 2012’s average of 123.4 bpa.
“Historically,”?he said, “it takes two years to get back to trend after a disaster year.”
He noted that much of the Western Corn Belt is still in extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and that Northwest and north central Iowa remain in severe drought conditions.
The subsoil profile is still bone dry. Some spring precipitation is expected to help in planting time, but timely rains will still be the key throughout the growing season.
That would require an El Nino weather pattern, that tends to be wetter and cooler. The U.S. has been dry from the second-worst La Nina weather, which is hotter and drier, on record.
He said Eastern Iowa has a better chance for higher yields since it depends on seasonal rains, where north central Iowa depends more on spring rains and soil recharging.
Looking specifically at Humboldt County, Taylor said the area usually received 5 inches of precipitation between October and February, and this winter it is well below that level.
“So you’re below-normal,”?Taylor told producers, “just like last year.”
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