AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
November 10, 1998
UNITED STATES: A very wet weather pattern unfolded across the Plains, eliminating topsoil moisture deficits, but slowing cotton harvesting and causing some mid- to late-month flooding. Warm weather accompanied the Plains' rainfall, however, fostering winter wheat establishment. Corn Belt harvesting advanced at an ahead-of-normal pace despite above-normal rainfall, as warm weather kept soils from becoming too wet. In the Southeast, dry weather reduced topsoil moisture, but promoted summer-crop harvesting and winter wheat planting. Unfavorably dry weather also developed in the Pacific Northwest. In contrast, unusually cool, occasionally showery conditions affected the remainder of the West, including California's Central Valley.
SOUTH AMERICA: Below-normal October rainfall stressed vegetative to reproductive winter wheat across central Argentina. Scattered rain increased soil moisture levels in late October, but widespread rain is needed to stabilize crop prospects. In southern Brazil, continued above-normal rainfall slowed winter wheat harvesting and reduced wheat quality.
EUROPE: In October, above-normal precipitation in England, northern France, and Germany hampered summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting. In Spain, a late start to the autumn rainy season slowed early winter grain planting. Wet weather in southern Romania and Bulgaria halted corn harvesting and delayed winter wheat planting beyond optimum dates. Since early November, showers continued to hamper fieldwork in northern Europe but increased topsoil moisture for winter grain planting in Spain. Dry weather improved conditions for fieldwork in southern Romania and Bulgaria.
FSU-WESTERN: Drought persisted in eastern Ukraine and southern Russia through mid-October, delaying winter wheat planting well beyond optimum dates. Although light to moderate showers since October 20 have improved topsoil moisture conditions in these areas, time is running out for adequate crop establishment since winter wheat typically enters dormancy by mid-November. Recently, colder weather prompted dormancy in winter grains in northern Russia and halted crop growth in most of Ukraine and southern Russia.
NORTHWESTERN AFRICA: The autumn rainy season is slow to begin in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Growers are likely awaiting the onset of consistent autumn rains before widespread planting can begin. The bulk of the winter grain crop is typically planted from mid-November to mid-December.
SOUTH AFRICA: Moisture reserves are generally favorable for the germination and establishment of corn and other newly-planted summer crops. In early November, unfavorably heavy rainfall may have caused local lodging of unharvested wheat in Western Cape.
SOUTH ASIA: Unusually late shower activity lingered over the northwest well into October, affecting the quality of rice and cotton. By mid-October, conditions had become more favorable for maturing grains, oilseeds, and cotton in central and northwestern growing areas. Since then, however, periods of very heavy rainfall have caused localized flooding in important rice areas of southern and eastern India and Bangladesh.
EASTERN ASIA: In North China Plain, below-normal October rainfall stressed germinating to vegetative rainfed winter wheat but favored summer crop harvesting. Near-normal October rainfall maintained moisture supplies for late rice across the Yangtze Valley. Near- to above-normal rainfall slowed summer crop harvesting in Manchuria, South Korea, and Japan.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Two typhoons (Zeb and Babs) hit the northern Philippines (Luzon Island) during mid-October, causing flooding and damage to mature crops. Above-normal October rainfall contributed to flooding and possible rice damage in central and southern Vietnam. Below-normal rainfall aided rice harvesting in Thailand. Near- to above-normal rainfall increased moisture supplies for oil palm across peninsular Malaysia. In Java, unseasonably heavy showers slowed main-season rice planting and caused some replanting to occur.
AUSTRALIA: Unseasonable wetness since mid-October has kept mature winter grains in Queensland and New South Wales unfavorably damp, threatening yield and quality prospects. Excess moisture has also resulted in delays in cotton and sorghum planting. Considerably drier conditions in the west and southeast favored wheat and barley development.
(More details are
available in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.
USDA/Joint Agricultural Weather Facility