Author: Rick Dunkelberger
WTI Business Applications Meteorologist

With larger than expected spring plantings after a cold and rainy start, July’s dry and mild weather has led to a bearish trend in corn prices. However, from July 1st to August 10th, temperatures in the Midwest have collectively been at least one degree cooler than any year in the past 17+ years. In addition, when summing July CDDs for 10 locations throughout the Corn Belt, weighting each location’s July CDDs based off of annual percentage yield, it was found that this July was deficient of extreme heat. But due mainly to a late planting start only 76% of the corn crop is in the silking stage, compared to last year’s below average amount of 79%.
Nevertheless, expectations point toward increases in corn acreage as the USDA gets ready to release its revised crop report on August 12th. In many ways we still have a crop which resembles 2004’s record yield in more ways then one might think. This year’s crop like 2004’s is enjoying cooler than average temperatures in the period of June-July, which was the leading driver to record yield amounts that year. Here’s why, cooler conditions minimized crop stress. The cooler weather also diminished risks associated with the absence of moisture, such as the drought concerns we’ve recently witnessed in the 2009 planting season. This being said, one should not expect the same yield as 2004’s due to a less accumulated growing degree days. However, with a forecasted warmer than last year September, and a heat wave building in the Midwest for at least the next two weeks, along with several chances of rain, corn crop conditions should continue to improve and yield increased amounts.