CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Eric Snodgrass, the Chief Atmospheric Officer for fertilizer supplier Nutrien, says last winter’s La Nina has not departed, and that’s not good.
“I would be watching out for in the central Pacific but also the Gulf of Alaska,” Snodgrass said. “Those two areas historically when we tend to have cold water, we tend to have greater risk of excessive heat and drought conditions developing late. The key will be to see where the heat sets up in June. The farther west it goes, like into the mountains, the great basin, the less of a chance that we are going to struggle with heat and drought later. But should it stay on the front range of the Rockies, but even on the 100th meridian right there on Kansas and Texas and Oklahoma then I think there is concerns for the western Cornbelt.”
That would reduce the global corn supply because Snodgrass says drought has reduced the Brazilian corn crop.
“The fact that it ran out of moisture at the end, so what ended up occurring was the Safrinha corn went in fast, right on time, good rains to start, then about the equivalent of late June—for us—for them, though, right, the eastern growing areas were drier,” Snodgrass said. “That was about 25% of the Safrinha corn. Then in March and April, the whole Safrinha Cornbelt went over drier, and the net effect t of that is we think it is going to peel back some of the total production of that crop. Nothing like we saw a year ago, but it is not going to be as high as originally anticipated. So, when you think about the whole global balance sheet, we were expecting a big Brazilian crop and weather kind of took the top end off of that which is not getting all the focus back on the US, and what we just discussed was late planting here, plus there is risk of summer drought.”
But La Nina is not done, and Snodgrass says it will impact eastern Europe, as well.
“Not only are we concerned about what is going on around the Black Sea, but La Nina tends to give them drier summers as well, so should there be something that comes through and additionally pulls back on what we get out of Ukraine, this could really have a global impact that we are not just dealing with the next 3 months, but maybe 6 to 9 months,” Snodgrass said.
We’re talking about global food supply here now, That’s our report from the farm. I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA-3, your local news leader.