Climatologist: 2013 weather pattern doesn’t bode well for crop production
May 25th, 2013 by Ric Hanson
The month of May is winding down and weather-wise, it’s been marked by extremes. Elwynn Taylor is climatologist with Iowa State University Extension. He notes the state broke a record from 1947 for May snowfall and also set record high temperatures for the month. “When we get extremes like that, it is not considered a good omen for what will come with the season,” Taylor says. Taylor notes 2013 has mirrored the weather of 1947 – and that doesn’t bode well for corn and soybean production this year.
“1947 is in the category of being one of the six worst years for crop production and that includes the Dust Bowl,” Taylor says. Like this year, 1947 was marked by a very wet spring. “Then, it went hot and dry in the middle of July and August. That’s when the destruction to the corn came in,” Taylor said. With around 25-percent of Iowa’s corn yet to be planted as we approach Memorial Day, Taylor says corn yields will likely be below trend once again this year.