The U.S. Climate Prediction Center (CPC) forecasts that there are 80 percent odds El Niño conditions will continue through spring and a 60 percent chance that the pattern will linger through summer.
CPC’s Emily Becker says the tropical Pacific has “eerie similarities to early 2015” when a strong El Niño developed, but she says it’s “far too early” to tell if that will happen this year.
Weather stories tend to have a negative crop focus, but on many occasions the outcome is a pleasant surprise. In 2015, a wet spring delayed planting across large areas of the Midwest, but better weather later in the year helped crops to finish strong. In fact, soybean yields notched a record at that time. A strong El Nino will change weather patterns, but that does not necessarily mean a poor yield.
Director of Research and Consulting
Higby Barrett LLC
Alan Barrett is the Director of Research and Consulting for HIgby Barrett LLC. He is an accomplished commodity economist with more than 25 years of experience in futures and cash markets with a focus on cotton, commodity projects, non-traditional agricultural products, transportation and supply chain studies. Alan spent six years as a commodity futures broker. His expertise encompasses feasibility studies of oilseed crushing plants (soybean canola, and cottonseed), grain elevators, export elevators, shuttle elevators, grain container operations, flourmills and other processing facilities. Alan also has conducted transportation supply chain studies for grains, oilseeds, fertilizer, coal, natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products. Alan has considerable experience in non-traditional agricultural products such as coal, coke, natural gas, chemicals, hydraulic fracturing fluid, hydraulic fracturing proppants, glycerin, fertilizer, micronutrients, salt, limestone, cement, iron ore, pig iron, and steel, especially feed ingredients. Mr. Barrett has a BS and MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee.