Favorable weather through the end of July and beginning of August improved corn and soybean health across America. Was it too little, too late? Or the first step in a resurgence? Uncertainty prevails in a challenging season that’s become even more difficult to predict.
Even with downward revisions announced today for corn and soybean production, this season finally has a streak of optimism. The dog days of summer brought heat, humidity, and even some rainfall to many U.S. farmers – four weeks of favorable weather in a year that’s offered none. Crop health has surged in some states as a result, such as Missouri, while others that were already performing well, like Nebraska, are now breaking above the ten year average. A dismal start could, in fact, get corrected.
The key question is what will happen between now and harvest. We are making up ground, but we’ve got a long way to go yet. However favorable the weather is from here on out, an early frost would spell doom for a late crop. Illinois corn maturity is currently 22 days behind the ten year average; Indiana is 20 days behind; Ohio, 22 days. Overall, for corn, the United States is 15 days behind. At this rate, reaching black layer in many areas is not a foregone conclusion.
A peek into the field-scale imagery of Atlas tells the same story. Compared to last year, the fields in the heart of many important corn and soy production areas of the country are either not planted, or far behind where they should be by this time in the season.
Whether the recent bout of favorable weather was too little, too late, or if it’s the first successful stride towards a decent season remains to be seen. Indigo will continue to use its state-of-the-art technology to keep a close eye on the U.S. corn crop as the situation evolves , and will report back in September with revised yield, acreage, and production forecasts to bring insights to how farmers should prepare for the end of the season.
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