Agribusiness Today Video: 3-2-2016
March is coming in like an El Nino lion. Stu Ellis looks at approaching weather in the month of March for the Cornbelt from a farming perspective.
Hello again, everyone. March is certainly coming in like a lion—maybe an El Nino Lion—not quite as fierce as would normally be expected. While it was certainly cold and a little bit rainy on Tuesday the weather is certainly going to be getting a lot milder in a hurry; more of an El Nino type mild start to spring. Even the weather, the temperature in Iowa expected to be getting into the 70’s this weekend. Now, how many people would bet there will be a lot of Iowa farmers who will be in the field on Sunday? I certainly would not want to bet against that.
For this coming weekend, temperatures could be 20 to 25 degrees warmer than normal throughout much of the Cornbelt. Where soils are dry, you can certainly bet that every machine shed door will be open and either tillage underway or crop nutrients being applied.
Total precipitation for February—that is rainfall plus the water content of snowfall–was between 1 to 2 inches for most of Illinois and we were about a half inch short of normal for February.
Total snowfall for February was widespread across Illinois in February. However, the amounts were relatively light in northern, western and southern Illinois and in the range of 2 to 5 inches of snow. There was a band of heavier amounts between St. Louis to Chicago thanks to the February 24th winter storm, it left 5 to 10 inches of snow.
Farmers are headed into spring with good soil moisture. In the northern part of the viewing area it is rated 93% adequate in the topsoil and 91% in the subsoil. With the balance in the surplus category. To the southeast and southwest of Decatur it is much wetter.
Weather windows are few and far between anymore and farmers will take advantage where they can.
Meteorologists have recalculated the 25 year heavy precipitation event, and says it comes every 3 years now on the average. That is what happened last year, which delayed field work and planting to a point of concern by many.
Last weekend there were a lot, maybe not a lot, but a few Central Illinois farmers in the field pulling anhydrous ammonia applicators, getting an early start on the spring and watching for any weather window they may have.
Spring is in the air—application and tillage equipment will be on the roadway in the next few weeks—and farmers and motorists both need to watch out for the other.
David and I will be reporting to you from the Commodity Classic, we hope you will join us –and brought to you as always by Baum Chevy Buick in Clinton. I’m Stu Ellis
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