Jan

7

 When will the drought vibe hit the grains if things continue weatherwise? Drought is a slow creep type of price impetus that suddenly pounces.

Ever since Jeff Watson asked about wheat and what to do with it a few months ago I have been poking around the river scraping bottom articles. With everything else up yesterday, I have to turn a head towards the left behinds and consider them as worthy orphans.

"Mississippi River Nears Historic Lows, Shipping at Risk"

Scott Brooks writes: 

One thing to watch for in a drought is the amount of snow that falls. Snow is very important in agricultural land. A good snow cover will slowly melt and drip into the soil, thus giving the soil water but in a way that allows it to soak deep into the ground without too much run off or evaporation (i.e. the snow cover keeps the water from evaporating thus allowing it to soak deeply into the soil.

Soaking the soil deeply followed by consistent and gentle spring rains helps end a drought.

The problem that these drought stricken area's have is that they are not only dry on the surface and in the rivers, but also deep within in the soil. And since water goes down (or evaporates up), we have to fill up the watershed from the bottom up, thus the need for snow. Otherwise, even gentle consistent spring rain won't help as much as you'd think…..as most of the water is going to go deep into the soil and not be of use to the plants.

Think about it this way. You have a cup that is 12 inches deep, but you only have a straw that is 8 inches long. You gotta fill the cup up 4 inches just to get a taste of the water. And to drink from it on a long term and consistently (i.e. throughout the whole growing season) you need the base amount of water to be closer to 5 inches and then have consistent rains to keep the water at a level where the roots can reach it.

a commenter replies: 

10 inches of snow is equal to 1" of rain. This article speaks to what you say: "Drought in 2013? Major Pains Ahead".

 


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  1. Jeff Watson on January 9, 2013 2:50 pm

    No matter how I put it, I am totally confounded by the grains. The cash grain market FOB New Orleans is acting like it’s business as usual. Basis might be a bit higher than usual, but that’s nothing unusual. Demand is consistent, but then there is always export demand for our crops. http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/sj_gr850.txt

    But the real action will be seen with Friday’s report which might set the tone for the entire growing season. There might be some real fireworks in the grains coming up. But then again, in my state of confusion, I might be overreacting. However, on Friday, everything comes out at noon and it might be the shoot out at the OK corral time, I’ve seen it before. http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=AGENCY_REPORTS

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