KANSAS CITY – Global weather problems continue to emerge with the latest major grain producer to join the long list of areas with potential production problems in Europe. Europe has recently experienced lighter than usual rainfall over an extended period of time and now that seasonal warming has begun, soil moisture across the continent is rapidly dropping below optimum levels.
Europe is just one more global grain and oilseed producing area that is facing or will soon face potential production problems. However, for now, the situation in Europe is not chronic and is not necessarily doomed to disaster. Even with that comment, however, global grain and oilseed production remains of serious concern for this 2022 crop year in the Northern Hemisphere due to tight global supply.
The war in Ukraine certainly took a bad situation and made it worse. It is not uncommon for a few places around the world to have grain and oilseed production problems in any given year. Normally, these few production hotspots are offset by good weather in other parts of the world. However, difficulties in South America during the last growing season have already tightened the supply equation, and then came the war in Ukraine.
Weather in North America is still of great concern due to coincident weather anomalies associated with the 22-year solar cycle, an extended (multi-year) La Niña event, and the negative-phase Pacific Decadal Oscillation. (AOP) These three characteristics, when combined, usually present a real challenge for producers in at least part of North America and that challenge normally spans a few years. Drought has already plagued western North America since 2020. Changes have happened and will continue to happen, but not everyone is convinced that the changes will be good.
First and foremost, in the minds of growers, marketers and food companies, is the sudden problem of too much humidity in the far northern US plains and eastern Canadian prairies. A change was expected this year favoring wetter conditions, but the pattern has gone too far in the opposite extreme from last year’s drought, and now farmers cannot enter their fields to plant spring wheat , corn, oats, barley, canola or other early season crops. harvests. It’s not too late yet, but time is running out and planting delays that were originally expected to last until mid-May are now expected to last until late May, dramatically reducing the planting window for some crops. and raises concerns about production potentials as summer approaches.
Wet bias in the far northern U.S. Plains is primarily a problem in North Dakota and northern Minnesota, but in Canada the situation is more serious with far too wet southern Manitoba and eastern Saskatchewan catching up quickly the same excess humidity. Warmer temperatures over the next few weeks will help accelerate drying rates as it does not rain, but we are approaching that time of year when a high pressure ridge is expected to develop in the central United States. . Once this ridge evolves, the jet stream will be forced to stay at high latitudes, suggesting more rain in the eastern prairies of Canada and parts of the far northern plains of the United States rather than less rain. This leaves some concern about the fate of this year’s planting, although most likely a break in the pattern will occur soon.
In the meantime, the expected ridge of high pressure in the central United States is likely to become a festering feature that could starve the Great Plains and western Corn Belt of moisture and warm the western Midwest. . These trends may lead to crop water stress in the central United States and drought could eventually become a threat to summer grain and oilseed production potential in the western Midwest and Great Plains. This is largely speculation, but the combined impact of the 22-year solar cycle, La Niña and negative AOP generally creates at least a threat of lower grain and oilseed production due from the heat and dryness of mid to late summer.
Concerns about US hard red winter wheat production and summer grain and oilseed production in the central US have been on the agenda for many months. This expectation was already a big concern given the tight grain supply resulting from problems in South America earlier this year. However, the seeding delays threatening spring wheat, canola and corn plantings in eastern Canada and North Dakota were not expected to be as significant and if the wet bias persists for much longer, it will influence on the performance of world grain supplies.
Adding Europe’s drying trend to this mix of weather problems in North America potentially increases the degree of importance that adverse weather conditions could have on global grain supplies. World Weather, Inc. does not expect drought in Europe to be a persistent problem throughout the growing season, but close monitoring of this drought trend is warranted due to the potential implications that would come from a another major grain and oilseed region in the world to come. with reduced production.
To make things a little more interesting… east-central China is slipping into a short-term drying trend that matches a below-average precipitation bias that was heralded in our past weather models when the 22-year solar cycle was combined with persistent The Girl. China expects drier weather after two years of abnormally wet conditions. This near term outlook for below average precipitation has some potential resistance with a northward shift into the possible drier bias condition as summer arrives.
As in Europe, the weather in China should be closely watched in late spring and summer due to a potential regional drought problem. This doesn’t necessarily mean drought, but if the weather isn’t ideal enough to create normal yields in Europe and/or China, this food inflation situation could easily escalate into a more serious potential threat to the Mondial economy.