Assessing Elsa’s aftermath and ripples on ag markets

Tropical Storm Elsa is making its way up the East Coast, causing flooding in the Carolinas.

The damage to Florida, where it washed ashore, was not as bad as past storms, and we are still waiting to see the impact on agriculture.

The strong winds and spin-off tornadoes are another threat. There are reports of RVs and mobile homes being turned on their side. It has also snapped some trees near Edisto Island.

Elsa gained hurricane strength over the Caribbean and it had a huge impact on agriculture in the region. Current estimates show more than $12.5 million dollars worth of damage in St. Lucia alone.

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility tells St. Lucia authorities there will not be a significant pay out

Storms like Elsa are a key factor driving the ag markets right now. The American Farm Bureau also says that demand is a big driver.

USDA’s June 30th acreage report confirms farmers planted more corn and soybeans this year.

Farm Bureau economist Shelby Myers explains traders are now focused on how the weather will impact quality and yield.

“Attention has definitely shifted to monitor weather impacts, and that will really determine the crop quality and overall supply quantity,” Myers states. “We’re monitoring drought in the west and that’s simply moving eastward, and you see heavy rains in the south and along the Mississippi Delta region. That all could really cause current supply estimates of these principal crops to drop if the weather conditions aren’t ideal.”

She said that the report gave no indication of major production expansion despite higher corn and bean prices from USDA’s earlier prediction.