WORLD AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
October 9, 1998
UNITED STATES: In September, warm, dry weather in the Corn Belt allowed corn and soybean harvesting to proceed at an ahead-of-normal pace. Mostly dry weather also prevailed on the Plains, slowing winter wheat planting as growers waited for rain. In western Florida and the southern portions of Georgia and Alabama, high winds, heavy rain, and resultant flooding from Hurricane Georges halted cotton and peanut harvesting, and caused some damage to pecans and open-boll cotton. In early October, widespread rain fell in parched winter wheat areas of the central and southern Plains, improving emergence prospects.
SOUTH AMERICA: Timely late-September rainfall eased stress on vegetative winter wheat in southern Buenos Aires. However, dryness continued to stress wheat farther north. In southern Brazil, above-normal rainfall slowed winter wheat harvesting and reduced wheat quality. The rain, however, increased soil moisture for Brazilian summer crop planting.
EUROPE: Above-normal precipitation in September, especially in southeastern areas, delayed fieldwork but provided abundant topsoil moisture for newly emerging winter grains. In early October, wet weather interrupted summer crop harvesting in southern France and Italy, while drier weather helped fieldwork in the southeast.
FSU-WESTERN: Although persistent dryness in eastern Ukraine and southern Russia helped summer crop harvesting, winter wheat planting likely progressed slowly as growers waited for rain to improve emergence prospects. Near- to above-normal precipitation in northern Russia maintained adequate to excessive moisture for winter grain establishment.
FSU-NEWLANDS: Cool, showery weather in September hampered spring grain harvesting in Russia. Warm weather and below-normal precipitation in Kazakstan favored rapid harvest progress. Recently, rain and snow showers halted harvest activities in Russia.
SOUTHERN ASIA: During September, late surges in monsoon rainfall soaked maturing cotton and oilseeds in northern and western India. Farther east, rainfall decreased gradually over important rice areas of eastern India and Bangladesh, allowing floodwaters to slowly recede. Above-normal rainfall in the southern interior provided abundant to excessive moisture for summer grains, oilseeds, and cotton and also for the upcoming autumn (rabi) cropping season.
EASTERN ASIA: Below-normal September rainfall favored summer crop maturation and harvesting in the North China Plain, but limited topsoil moisture for winter wheat planting. Above-normal rainfall slowed summer crop harvesting in Manchuria, while near- to below-normal rainfall favored summer crop harvesting and late-rice development in southern China. Excessive rains caused flooding and local rice damage in South Korea and Japan.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Drier weather late in September favored rice maturation and harvesting in Thailand and northern Vietnam. Above-normal September rainfall slowed rice harvesting in central and southern Vietnam. Near-normal September rainfall eased long-term dryness in the Philippines. Below-normal rainfall reduced moisture for oil palm in peninsular Malaysia. In Java, above-normal September rainfall increased moisture supplies for filling second-crop rice.
AUSTRALIA: An unusually wet weather pattern persisted in the east until late September, keeping maturing winter grains unfavorably wet. The rainfall also slowed sorghum and cotton planting, but moisture reserves for the upcoming season are reportedly at record levels. In Western Australia, an unseasonable freeze reportedly caused some damage to flowering wheat.