Early Frost Creates Setback for US Crops as Chinese Import Demand Grows

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Corn and soybean crops across much of the US Midwest have matured faster than average, but a widespread early frost likely stunted growth in some fields. Gro’s yield models show declines in both corn and soybean yields in Minnesota and the Dakotas following a hard freeze on Sept. 8 and 9.   

This comes amid a robust export market. China’s demand for corn and soybean imports has been exceptionally strong this year, and corn production in China has been impacted by typhoons in recent weeks, driving cash prices and futures there to record highs

Temperatures got as low as 28 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2 Celsius) in North Dakota, 25 degrees in western South Dakota, and 29 degrees in Minnesota. A period below 28 degrees for several hours is known as a severe frost and can kill the plant. Such a killing freeze stops everything and growers are left with whatever yield has accumulated to that point.

While US crops had been on track for near record yields this year, floods resulting in prevent plant in the Dakotas, August’s derecho windstorm and this frost have driven expected production down. 

Weather forecasts don’t currently show additional freeze/frost events for the US Midwest. But this bears close monitoring, particularly with daily flash sales to China indicating that export demand remains high. 

These events together will have a significant impact on global corn and soybean balance sheets, and all eyes will be on the South American growing season as that gets into gear. 

This insight was powered by the Gro platform, which enables better and faster decisions about factors affecting the entire global agricultural ecosystem. Gro organizes over 40,000 datasets from sources around the world into a unified ontology, which allows users to derive valuable insights such as this one. You can explore the data available on Gro with a free account, or please get in touch if you would like to learn more about a specific crop, region, or business issue.


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