The intensifying Grand Solar Minimum is causing concern for new-crop grains supply, and is fueling the current rally. Across the global grain markets, sizable gains have been registered, with Chicago maize prices rising 18 percent over the past week, and UK feed wheat futures gaining 17 percent in the last 12 days.
On Monday, the European Commission released its latest EU crop monitoring (MARS) report, detailing conditions to April 21. It reveals that the recent and long-lasting out-of-season freeze has delayed development of winter crops across the majority of the continent, while also delaying the sowing and emergence of spring drilled crops.
As a result, further cuts have been made by the Commission to its forecast yields.
The outlook doesn’t look good, with additional anomalously-cold weather expected in May:
Those pinks and purples in the above link represent temperature departures some 20C below the seasonal norm, and the harshest cold is forecast for the Ukraine, “the breadbasket of Europe”. It is little wonder Russia is so hellbent on reclaiming it: the Ukraine is one of the world’s top wheat exporters — its rich dark soils produced 28.4 million metric tonnes of the grain in 2019, putting it 7th on the list of global producers.
France is 5th on that list, narrowly behind the U.S., having produced 40.4 million metric tonnes of wheat in 2019. According to the EU’s MARS report, this year’s big freeze has actually hit France the hardest — and looking ahead, via the latest GFS run (shown below), French growers can expect more of the same as the calendar flips to May:
The USDA also released their latest crop condition report this week.
To date, 17 percent of maize had been planted, and while this is up on the week before, it is 7 percentage points (pp) behind last year and 3pp behind the 5-year average. Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois are states identified as being severely behind the average planting progress (collectively, these states represent 36.2 percent of the U.S. maize crop).
For winter wheat, crop conditions had fallen week-on-week: the percentage of crops rated ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ plummeted to 49 percent — this is a fall of 4 pp week-on-week, and 5pp down on the same point last year.
The largest reductions were seen in Ohio, Texas, Washington, Montana, and Oklahoma (collectively 32 percent of U..S winter wheat production)–some of the worst hit regions during the latest freeze events.
And as in Europe, the near-future looks decidedly chilly.
After two days of warmth at the start of the May, an Arctic air mass looks set to descend May 3 with a second, and more powerful front, due around May 8/9 bringing with it the threat of rare May frosts:
Today’s Other Articles:
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with the great conjunction, historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among other forcings).
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift