La Niña’s Impact on Soil and Crops Depends on Location

Weather experts are predicting that La Niña will influence this year’s growing season. Dr. Jamie Patton is a soil scientist with the University of Wisconsin Extension Service. She talks about what impact La Niña could have on soils and crops in the Upper Midwest region.

“This should be a very interesting year. So, if we look at our NOAA three-month forecast, so, the forecast for May, June, and July, for our region, they’re forecasting what we would call average. So, we have a 50-50 chance of being above- or below-normal temperatures, and a 50-50 chance of being above- or below-normal precipitation. So, they’re forecasting what we would consider average for our growing season. Starting the year with good subsoil moisture, I don’t believe La Niña is going to have much of an impact, according to their predictions, on our crop production system.”

However, it looks like things will stay dry outside of the Upper Midwest.

“As soon as we start going west or south of here, we’re looking at above-average temperature and below-average moisture. So, they’re predicting drought conditions in the ‘I’ states, as well as out west, are going to continue this year, which are going to quickly cause problems with not only grain supplies but forage supplies if those conditions persist another year.”

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