The markets hinge on weather. Depending on rain, drought, temperatures, sunshine and more, farmers could grow another record crop in 2016 or yields could be dismal. Which will it be?
To get a hint of what is to come, Ted Seifried of Zaner Ag Hedge suggests turning the calendar back a few months and then a few years.
“Although we don’t trust long-term forecasts very well,” he said on AgDay with host Clinton Griffiths. “There’s a lot we can take from the fall and compare to previous years.”
For example, near-record levels of precipitation fell between Nov. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015. Memorable crop years such 1988 and 2012 had similarly heavy amounts of moisture--with unfortunate effects on production. “Of the nine wettest Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 (periods), six of (those years had crop production that) fell below trendline yield,” Seifried says.
This December's record-warm temperatures also recall the weather of fall 2011 and winter 2012, according to Seifried. He says the pushes of warm air represent the end of an El Nino and warns there’s possibility of a strong La Nina this summer.
Seifried admits it’s early to speculate on the weather, but he thinks it’s also too soon to assume farmers will have a near-perfect growing season and record yields.
“I think the market should start to factor in some risk for this growing season,” he says.