As temperatures climb across the Southwest, researchers have found some species will win, but others stand to lose.
The U.S. Geological Survey and researchers from the Universities of New Mexico and Northern Arizona released a report this week examining the effects of climate change on species such as the desert tortoise and the pinyon jay.
According to the research, the jay stands to lose nearly one-third of its breeding range, while the tortoise is the only reptile studied that isn't projected to see a decrease in suitable habitat.
But the prolonged drought is also having a major impact on certain species of plants. And now in a scene reminiscent of a John Wayne movie, a bunch of unwanted desperados are riding into.
The report was welcomed by corn producers. Noting already strong export numbers, USDA increased its corn export estimates by 125-million-bushels over last month’s guess. Global corn production estimates also were raised 6.4 million tons with about a third of the gain attributed to Brazil.
After weighing all the data, government analysts predicted a season-average corn price of $4.60 per bushel... up 2 percent from last month’s guesstimate.
The latest estimates also were friendly to soybeans. Despite relatively high domestic prices and record harvests in South America, U.S. exports have remained strong -- especially to China, where shipments have already exceeded the previous all-time high.
Based on record year-to-date shipments, total U.S. soybean exports were increased 3 percent to 1.6 billion bushels. Global soybean production is pegged at 284 million tons. That’s down slightly from last month’s estimate, but if realized, it would still be a record-high. Nevertheless, USDA raised the season-average soybean price modestly to $13.00 per bushel.
USDA’s latest supply and demand estimates were not as bullish for wheat prices. The agency’s outlook for wheat revealed a 30 million bushel decline in feed usage and lower global consumption by 2.4 million tons. Despite a modest reduction in world production, global wheat supplies are expected to be half-a-million tons higher. Still, the projected season-average farm price for all wheat was unchanged at $6.85 per bushel.
Based on the Agricultural Department’s Cotton Ginnings report released late last month, U.S. cotton production estimates were reduced about 2.5 percent to 12.9 million bales. Domestic ending stocks were reduced to 2.5 million bales, which is the smallest supply since 1951. Despite slumping production and tight supplies USDA increased its marketing-year average price by one penny to $77.50 per hundredweight.
And milk production is forecast to rise this year as record prices prompt dairy producers to expand their herds. Nevertheless, USDA increased its season- average price for all milk to $22.80 per hundredweight.