5.6 Are we Headed for Crop Shortages Due to Cooling Sea Surface Temperatures?

Tuesday, 21 June 2016: 12:00 AM
Arches (Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel)
Thomas R. Walsh, Thomson Reuters, Chicago, IL

As part of Thomson Reuters, the Agriculture & Weather Research and Forecasting group has developed methodologies to provide our customers with the most up-to-date impacts on production of field crops due to weather and climate extremes, in order to best manage risk. This is visualized significantly on our Agriculture Weather Dashboard, where diagnostics and predictions of extremes are linked back directly to risk management in the commodities market. Using data assessment and forecasts by meteorologists and climatologists with a supported background in agriculture, we aim to provide customers with as much knowledge of the forecast, involved uncertainties, and potential impacts and risks to crop production as quickly as possible. Various events (such as drought, tropical systems, etc.) have been observed in recent decades, which have not only impacted yield and production of field crops, but can also impact amount of a crop harvested and alter decisions made for the next year's crop cycle. Examples of such events will be identified and illustrated during this presentation. Furthermore, an update to Thomson Reuters' own ENSO outlook and latest insight will link past events to the current scenario. As of February 2016 a strong El Niño event was still occurring, with expected ENSO-neutral or even La Niña conditions by summer. A surplus in global crop production has developed due to favorable weather in recent years, leading to suppressed commodities prices. A change to La Niña conditions is likely to produce adverse weather (such as drought and/or excessive heat) across portions of the globe, along with the potential for price impacts. Understanding and communicating the variety of potential outcomes is critical as ENSO transitions.
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