Cold Weather Has Big Impact on Grain

Forecasters predict winter weather will descend into the northern plains and the northwestern corn belt this week. Economist Arlan Suderman, with INTL FCStone warns a freeze event could lower corn yields once the kernel’s starch line is only halfway to the black layer.

This could be one of the most challenging harvest seasons in quite some time for U.S. farmers. Considering how much of the nation’s corn crop was planted extremely late after the wet spring, Suderman says we could be looking at substantial production cuts.

“There would be about nineteen and a half million acres, as I calculate, that would be immature, not fully mature, so it would have varying levels of loss. Some of that loss would be just a few percentage points. Some of it would be much more significant, all the way up to 40 to 50 percent loss and everything in between. So, it does add up to the possibility of 300 to 400 bushels of grain that could be lost.”

Soybeans are also at risk of losing yield if a freeze hits before maturity, but other factors could impact the crop.

Because of the late growing season and so many unknown factors, analysts say it may be January or later before we get a good idea of what our actual 2019 production is. According to the National Weather Service, winter storm watches are in effect for the northern plains. North Dakota and Montana could receive up to 4 inches of snow.

Report By: Marlin Bohling