Most folks won’t need to read the newspaper to learn that this past month of May was pretty wet. However, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan recently announced that statewide, May 2019 was the third wettest month on record in the Show-Me State, and the wettest May in the 125-year record keeping by the Missouri Climate Center.
“Preliminary data indicating a statewide average total of 10.82 inches, more than double the normal,” said Guinan.
Only September 1993 (11.31 inches average across the state) and June 1928 (10.93 inches) ranked higher.
“Amounts varied across the Show Me State, but most locations received more than six inches for the month,” reported Guinan. “Much of northern and southwestern Missouri received more than 10 inches with several counties receiving more than 15 inches according to radar estimates.”
The NOAA reported 23.41 inches in Milan and 19.47 inches in Kirksville during the month.
Guinan pointed out that Missouri was not alone. Kansas and Nebraska also posted record rain amounts in May as a result of a persistent southwesterly upper air pattern that brought the rain to the Midwest and kept it here much of the month.
Continued precipitation in June has led to declining production estimates for both soybeans and corn as wet fields have kept farmers at bay much of the planting season.
Of the 18-major soybean producing states, AccuWeather has Missouri pegged as the third worst off due to the heavy rains, with just 57% completion on soybean planting, ahead of just Michigan (53%) and Ohio (43%).
The five-year averages for the trio of soybean hotspots reveal just how much impact the rain has had as from 2014-18 Ohio and Michigan both averaged 94% completion while Missouri normally had 81% of its soybeans in the ground.
AccuWeather predicts 2019 U.S. corn and soybean production will be below 2017 and 2018, and even below the USDA 2019 estimates.
There were 14.61 and 14.41 billion bushels of corn produced in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The initial USDA estimate for 2019 was 15.03 billion bushels, but that number was revised June 11th to 13.68. AccuWeather initially predicted 13.60 billion bushels but revised that number to 13.26 on June 10th.
For soybeans, there were 4.412 and 4.5444 billion bushels produced in the U.S. in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The initial USDA estimate for 2019 was 4.15 billion bushels, which was unchanged when the USDA produced its June 11th estimate. AccuWeather initially estimated U.S. soybean production at 4.001 billion bushels, and revised the estimate to 3.952 billion bushels on June 10th.