The Corn Belt has been experiencing unusually cold weather since late March. While meteorologists predict this cold spell to end before May 1, the damage to your yields could already be done.
According to Mike Tannura of T-Storm Weather, there’s a strong correlation between historically cold April months and below trend yields. On Monday, Tannura told AgriTalk After The Bell host Chip Flory that April 2018 will go down as one of the three coldest Aprils since 1895.
“Based on the data we’re looking at today, there’s a chance it could be the coldest of the entire period going back to 1895,” he said.
According to Tannura, if you look at the 20 coldest years since 1895 and you compare that data to how the corn crop has performed since 1960, you see that cold Aprils impact yield.
“You have to start at 1960 when analyzing the U.S. corn crop, because technology was so different prior to then that it’s hard to compare what yields might have done before 1960,” he explained. “Seven [of those 20 coldest Aprils have] occurred since 1960, and of those seven, six had below trend corn yields.”
Tannura was quick to point out that while April weather is typically not the driver of the U.S. corn crop, a cold April leads to later planting which does influence yield.
“Six out of seven times you can’t get back to trend line yields because of it,” he said.