WORLD AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
September 11, 1998
UNITED STATES: Tropical Storm Charley eased drought in South Texas, but caused locally severe flash flooding. Elsewhere across the South-Central States, drought continued into a sixth month. In addition, pockets of short-term dryness began to develop as far north as Kansas, reducing topsoil moisture for early winter wheat planting. Frequent rains and moderate temperatures aided filling corn and soybeans across the Midwest, but unfavorably dry weather persisted in parts of the Mid-Atlantic region for a second consecutive month. Hot, dry weather prevailed in the West, promoting fieldwork and crop development.
CANADA: Prairie spring grain and oilseed harvests, recently aided by timely warmth and dryness, are advancing at near-record rates. The relative quality of harvested crops is reportedly very good. In Ontario and Quebec, corn and soybeans are nearing maturity.
SOUTH AMERICA: Below-normal August rainfall reduced topsoil moisture for winter wheat establishment across central Argentina, especially in southern Buenos Aires. In southern Brazil, above-normal rainfall favored reproductive winter wheat in Rio Grande do Sul, but slowed early harvesting elsewhere.
EUROPE: In August, below-normal precipitation prevailed over most of the continent, helping small grain harvesting but limiting moisture for summer crop development. Adverse heat and dryness in southern Romania and Bulgaria reduced prospects for summer crops. Recently, frequent showers in northern Europe favored immature summer crops and emerging winter oilseeds. Rain interrupted corn and sunflower harvesting from France eastward into northern Italy.
FSU-WESTERN: Frequent showers and unseasonably cool weather in northern Russia hampered small grain harvesting and winter grain planting. Unfavorably hot, dry weather in Ukraine and southern Russia in August worsened conditions for corn and sunflower development. Recent showers in Ukraine and southern Russia arrived too late to significantly improve prospects for summer crops but increased topsoil moisture for winter wheat planting.
FSU-NEWLANDS: Below-normal precipitation and periodic heat in Kazakstan and Russia in August hastened maturity in spring grains, causing further reductions in yield prospects.
SOUTHERN ASIA: Flooding has steadily worsened in primary rice areas of Bangladesh and eastern India due to incessant heavy rains and river runoff. In contrast, the rainy season is winding down in Pakistan and northwestern India, favoring maturing rice and cotton. During August, timely showers maintained generally favorable conditions for cotton and oilseeds in western and central India.
EASTERN ASIA: Above-normal August rainfall aggravated flooding across the northern Yangtze Valley. Drier weather favored late rice farther south. Above-normal August rainfall favored filling corn and soybeans in the North China Plain, but slowed cotton maturation. Heavy showers also aided summer crops in Manchuria, but river flooding caused local crop damage. Excessive rain caused flooding and possible rice damage in northern South Korea and northern Japan.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Above-normal August rainfall favored rainfed grains in Thailand, but drier weather was needed by late August for filling to maturing rice. Below-normal rainfall continued to stress rainfed grains in northern Vietnam. In the Philippines, near- to above-normal August rainfall eased dryness for grains and sugarcane.
AUSTRALIA: Since late August, widespread, locally heavy rain has occurred in primary agricultural districts of Queensland and northern New South Wales. As a result, long-term moisture reserves are abundant for winter grain and sugarcane development, but excessive rainfall has increased the risk of flooding, crop damage, and outbreaks of pests and disease. Conditions are mostly favorable in the western and southeastern winter grain belts, although dry pockets have developed recently in Victoria.