Actionable Weather Forecast
November 17, 2022
Reality and winter have set in. The warm fall harvest has finally moved to a cold winter start. For the deer hunters, perfect weather to sit outside and enjoy nature. This is one of the few seasons where most of the corn has been harvested prior to opening day of gun season. We expect a warming trend into Thanksgiving before we revert to below normal temps.
As you can see below, the Central region continues to be dry. Storm tracks have been dumping lots of snow in the Rockies and North Dakota. Montana ski resorts are opening two weeks early. The recent snows and rainfall in the Mississippi Valley have helped the river levels and barge traffic.
La Nina is still with us, at least through February, but all the models predict weakening into spring. During the transition, expect increased variability in the weather patterns. The transition out of La Nina during the transition into spring is a weather forecaster’s nightmare. December should be relatively mild with periodic cold shots as the jet stream moves across the Canadian Prairie and through the Great Lakes. January should be cold and snowy. February temps should be typical with increased precipitation.
Hopefully the expected snowfall helps alleviate the dry soil conditions and sets us up for a good 2023.
For many reasons (high commodity prices, regional drought) alfalfa seedings have been down the past two years. This has resulted in another 7% decrease in stocks, not a record low, but close. The continued strong alfalfa prices and better soil conditions should result in more acres seeded.
South America has improved with timely rains enhancing planting conditions and early crop development in Brazil. Argentina has seen some timely rains, but dry soils still are a concern and will be monitored closely by the markets.
- For older alfalfa stands, consider rotating out if the stand is thinning. Take advantage of residual nitrogen from the alfalfa for the next corn crop. A fair alfalfa stand can provide 40 to 120 pounds of residual nitrogen.
- Consider adding grasses to a new alfalfa seeding. Improved tall fescue and meadow fescue varieties can increase the seeding year yields by over a ton per acre. These grasses are longer in maturity and will match well with L-457HD+ and L-451APH2+. Grasses increase the non-fibrous carbohydrate digestibility which can result in dropping straw from the ration. Straw, like hay, has been expensive. Grasses with alfalfa increase tolerance to manure and traffic and will fill in areas where alfalfa thins. This lessens weed pressure and erosion potential.
- Though Mississippi River levels are improving, continue to monitor barge traffic. Any additional delay of moving grain south will impact moving fertilizer north. For dairies using corn gluten, watch for temporary buying opportunities.