Tracking El Nino’s potential impacts on global ag

As the weather pattern moves to the Southern Hemisphere, producers there could see ripple effects, USDA Meteorologist Mark Brusberg says. A bumper crop in South America will ultimately impact U.S. farmers as well.

The Climate Prediction Center has officially declared we are in an El Nino weather pattern, which is expected to last at least six months. El Nino usually results in warmer, drier conditions along with potential active storm tracks, resulting in possible impacts to U.S. crops.

According to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Meteorologist Mark Brusberg, as the weather pattern moves to the Southern Hemisphere, producers there could see ripple effects.

“The last three years of La Nina resulted in drought in Argentina; parts of Brazil were impacted by the La Nina, other parts were not,” Brusberg said in a phone interview with RFD-TV News on Wednesday. “We saw bumper wheat crops three years in a row in Australia. We are anticipating a rebound in South American grain and oil seed production, most notably in Argentina, possibly in Paraguay, and in southern parts of Brazil. We’re not anticipating another bumper crop in Australia this year.”

A bumper crop in South America will ultimately impact U.S. farmers as well.

And despite concerns over El Nino, India has received “average” monsoon rains — but it doesn’t mean farmers are off the hook. While monsoons are usually good for farmers, Reuters reports, uneven distribution can cause new worries. Especially for farmers who grow rice, vegetables, and pulses, which are most affected by uneven rainfall.

There are also worries about planting delays after mid-July, which typically result in lower yields in much of India.

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