CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — After one of the coldest, wettest Aprils on record, Nutrien’s Eric Snodgrass says that will reverse beginning next week.
“After we get past this weekend, the pattern opens up to a big ridge,” Snodgrass said. “It’s so funny to think by early next week we’re going to be talking about temperatures in the mid to upper 80’s and with that some dry weather coming in. I have a feeling that with planting we are going to move very very quickly just staring with early next week. So we are going to make up for some lost time, but just remember, this whole crop is going to go in in a tight window, which means its all going to go through all of the crop stages in a tight windows, which means its all going to be vulnerable at the same time. So its going to open up, but its one of those things where its going to keep the crop in a vulnerable stage going through the growing season. And that’s what it means when you lose about 4 weeks. We would have loved to have been planting about 4 weeks ago, as soon as we could there in April, but unfortunately it was just too wet, so its going to be a really compressed season. Good news is, in this part of the world we’ll get enough GDU’s but the time we get to our first frost date to not worry about the crop getting hit, but its something that for the folks to the north of us might be considering to be a source of risk this year.”
What has caused all this delay? Is this still La Nina?
“La Nina is a part of it,” Snodgrass said. “It also helps that the Pacific Jet has really gained a lot of momentum which means its moving really fast in March and April, and the results of that, plus a little bit of what we call high latitude blocking, just pushed that jet stream south. Remember, that jet stream just sits on the boundary of cold air to the north and warm air to the south so it got stuck there and we kept putting snow in the Dakotas, which helped keep the cold air in place. It stay hot in Texas and southern California which kept the heat down there. The jet stream ran in between and got stuck underneath it. I think what we are going to see is once we break the pattern, we are going into a summer where we are going to see normal temperatures, maybe even warmer than normal temperatures at times this year. I would actually expect us to make up for lost time as we start to gain heat through the rest of may and through June and July. But we also kind of sit here and worry about the risk of this summer. Because you mention La Nina. The La Nina through spring has really maintained strength. It poses a risk for us of this upcoming summer of having issues with not enough precipitation.”
More on that, next time. For now that’s our report from the farm. I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA-3, your local news leader.