Friday, January 29, 2010

El Nino to boost 2010 U.S. crops: report

From Reuters:

U.S. farmers grew record-large corn and soy crops in 2009 but production in 2010 could be even bigger, aided by an El Nino weather pattern that is typically a boon to the Midwest but less so for growers in Australia and southeast Asia, a forecaster said on Thursday.

Allen Motew, meteorologist at QT Weather, forecast a dry U.S. spring, which should minimize problems at planting time, followed by a favorably wet summer growing season.

"It's exactly what we need to increase (crop) yields," Motew said at the Top Producer Seminar, a farmers' conference held in Chicago.

Temperatures in the U.S. Corn Belt are expected to be mostly below normal this summer, while precipitation will be above normal.

"We have a double-whammy here -- colder and wetter," Motew said. "The odds say we are going to have quite a good year."

Motew said corn yields typically increase when an El Nino weather pattern persists for two years in a row. The same is likely true for soybeans, he said....MORE