Joaquin Could be Powered by Midwest Storm
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The hurricane bearing down on the east coast of the United States may find new strength from a system in the middle part of the country.
Joaquin is a unique weather system as hurricane’s go. First, it has developed really fast. In less than three days its gone from nothing to really something says meteorologist Mike Tannura from t-Storm weather in Chicago, Illinois.
Quote Summary - This hurricane, at this point, is expected to have sustainable of 140 miles per hour. It would need to get to 155 miles per hour to reach a category five status.
Category five is the highest level possible. The key to it maintaining strength is the eye of the hurricane. If it stays in tact then Joaquin will be dangerous. Even if it doesn’t the system is going to move northward and interact with a different weather system already moving through the Midwest. If the two combine Tannura says a worst case scenario develops for the east coast.
Quote Summary - Then we would end up with a storm system similar to hurricane Sandy back in 2012. Now hurricane Sandy was a major storm. It was really big. We aren’t expecting that big, but something similar where you take a nontropical system in the Midwest and combine it with a tropical system in the Atlantic Ocean and striking somewhere along the east coast from North Carolina to Washington, D.C.
The other scenario has the two remaining independent systems. If this happens then Joaquin would run a parallel line to the east coast, but remain off shore. Either way heavy rains will fall, three to six inches, from South Carolina to New York City. Tannura says we won’t know until tomorrow, or maybe Saturday morning, if the storms will combine.
The Consequences of a Foot of Rain in June
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The rainfall in May and June has put the corn crop in a difficult position this growing season. Late in June the corn crop in eastern Illinois north of Interstate 74 was under water. It looked bad, really bad. Oh there was some of it that looked pretty good, but not much. Things across the border in Indiana aren’t much better, and neither, apparently, is a large part of Missouri and southern Illinois. The crop has just gotten way to much water says University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger.
Quote Summary - This is one of those times when the consequences of having a foot of rain in June is not something we would want to ever have and this year it is going to have a serious affect on the crop.
There are two primary concerns related to corn. The moisture is a great haven for the development of disease. The other concern, and this may be more important moving through July and August, is that the root system of the crop hasn’t had any need to develop…not just the roots of the corn under water, but of the whole corn crop from Missouri to Ohio.
The closer we get to pollination the slower this root regrowth is and the less potential there is to recover a healthy root system on this crop say Nafziger,
This could come back to hurt the crop later in the season because it won’t be very resilient during periods of dry weather. A crop in the first week of August cannot grow its root system deeper. It does not have that capability.
If the system has been damaged, even if there is nitrogen and water left deep in the soil, it may not be able to access it and produce higher yields. There in lies a new concern for the water logged corn crop. It looks now as if there may be a change in the weather pattern. Mike Tannura of tStorm Weather in Chicago has been talking about this on the radio.
Quote Summary - A hot area of upper level high pressure is going to drive the U.S. weather pattern over the next couple of weeks and probably beyond that. It’s location is key. Right now we think it will center somewhere near Nebraska / Kansas and on to the west, which would just keep things warm, but not too warm. Any deviation in that system would lead to dramatic changes in weather forecast over the next few weeks.
So, too much rain has stressed the corn crop from Missouri to Ohio. It’s about to pollinate, and then begin grain fill. Even if the weather only turns hot, it could be a compounding problem.
Cost of Diesel & the Farm
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U.S. farmers struggling to find ways to cut cost will find the price of diesel fuel somewhat comforting. It is one of their larger input costs for the production of a row crops like corn or soybeans. This year that fuel cost will be sharply lower says University of Illinois Ag Economist Gary Schnitkey.
Quote Summary - Since 2011 on through 2014 diesel fuel prices have average about $3.50 per gallon. Today’s cost is about a 36% decline. It is a significant decline in the cost of diesel fuel from the last four years.Here’s how that costs translates directly to the farm. Last year fuel cost Illinois farmers, on average, $24 per acre of corn production. A 36% drop puts that estimated cost this year at $15 per acre. It’s a nine dollar savings, but certainly not enough to really ease the coming income woes of the American corn farmer comments Schnitkey.
Quote Summary - The total cost to raise an acre of corn is about $600. So, the fuel savings is a relatively small portion of the total cost of producing corn, and for that matter soybeans in the state.Schnitkey thinks producers should certainly consider taking advantage of the diesel fuel prices today. The other two items of note related to energy costs concern drying corn in the fall and nitrogen fertilizer. The ag economist thinks drying costs should be much lower this fall. As for the cost of nitrogen fertilizer - and this would be for next year - well he says…
Quote Summary - Patients, relative to nitrogen fertilizer and buying it, might be a good thing. Because maybe someday that will come down.The cost of nitrogen fertilizer this year is actually higher than it was last year. Its primary creation cost is for natural gas.