Actionable Weather Forecast

October 26, 2022

Legacy Seeds Weather Update 10.2022

Our world revolves around weather for production as well as quality of life. We have adapted “actionable” short-term weather forecasts” for years. When rain is forecast, we don’t cut hay and we send the kids off to school with a raincoat. Recently, long-term forecasting has improved to the point where we can now build business plans around forecasts extending out several months. Legacy Seeds contracts with Planalytics, a leader in long range forecasting and a valuable source of “actionable forecasts” for agriculture. Now that harvest in full swing, it’s time to look ahead to what Legacy Seeds customers will face in 2023.

The dominant weather feature, La Nina, is expected to stay strong into February 2023. We expect the trend of continued warm and dry in the West, cool and moist in the East. North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin will be in the path of the storm tracks as they run north of the Western US and then dip into the Great Lakes and the East. This should help alleviate the current drought conditions we are experiencing. Models are forecasting a change to neutral this winter / spring with February the transition month. Last year La Nina weakened at this time only to gain strength in the spring, which made it a rare three-peat. Three years of La Nina has resulted in a record 81.8% of the continental United States being abnormally dry or worst.Current Draught Monitor

The excessive dry conditions have lowered the Mississippi River to where barge traffic moving grain to the gulf has been affected. Basis levels have widened, and on-farm grain storage is paying well in many areas. This will impact fertilizer moving up the river, especially urea, causing supply issues. Moving barge loads to rail will increase freight costs by as much as 5X. Though some short-term relief is expected in the next few weeks, La Nina needs to weaken to allow a pattern change. North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are at the end of a long supply route and if the drought persists, getting fertilizer warehouses filled prior to spring will be a challenge. Below is the expected drought outlook through December. Much of our growing area will see relief, and hopefully impact river levels.

NOAA Draught Outlook

Meanwhile, South America is in planting mode. The dry conditions in Brazil have seen improvement with recent rains. Argentina continues to suffer from drought. Markets will be watching these areas closely through the winter. The world is planning on large crops coming out of South America to replenish tight supplies.

Based Root Zone Soil Moisture Draught

Actionable Weather Activities

  • Livestock producers – Watch for purchase opportunities if you feed DDGs and corn. If barge shipments continue to be an issue, you could see great deals if warehouses get backed up.
  • Crop producers – Forecast spring fertilizer needs and work closely with your supplier on supply issues.
  • Watch South America weather. If drought conditions continue or are alleviated in Argentina, grain prices will react.

If other actionable activities come to mind, please share with us.

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