Speaking at his 34th annual Cattle Fax outlook seminar at the Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville Wednesday, Creighton University professor Art Douglass, PhD, said a developing El Nino pattern spells good news for North American weather conditions and crop production.

Ocean temperature monitoring systems show an upwelling of warm water developing along the equator in the Pacific Ocean. Based on historical data, Douglass says those conditions should result in higher-than-normal temperatures across most of the Corn Belt through early spring, to the benefit of farmers’ planting activities. Through the summer, adequate rainfall and cooler temperatures should help assure good pollination and growth for crops across the Nation’s mid section.

The development of an El Nino pattern also should improve moisture conditions along the drought-stricken pacific coast, Douglass says.

Cooler water temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean meanwhile, likely will result in a slow hurricane season during the summer of 2014.

Based on a positive weather outlook and the trend line in corn yields, Cattle Fax analyst Mike Murphy said the 2014 U.S. corn crop could reach 14 billion bushels in spite of an anticipated 2-million-acre reduction in planted acreage.