WORLD AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
January 12, 1999
UNITED STATES: Arctic air enveloped much of the U.S. following early- to mid-month record warmth, severely damaging citrus in California's San Joaquin Valley and threatening soft white winter wheat in the Northwest. Cold weather burned back wheat in the Ohio Valley and portions of the Plains, but snow cover insulated the potentially vulnerable portion of the crop. Lowest temperatures ranged from -10 to -30 degrees F as far south as eastern Colorado and west-central Kansas. Across the Pacific Northwest, heavy preciptiation continued for a second consecutive month, contributing to late-month flooding west of the Cascades. Precipitation in parts of the Southeast eased long-term drought, but a late-month ice storm from central Texas to the Mid-Atlantic region disrupted transportation and caused power outages.
SOUTH AMERICA: Timely mid- to late-December rainfall maintained average yield prospects for corn and soybeans in east-central Argentina. Below-normal rainfall in southern Buenos Aires favored wheat maturation and harvesting but stressed corn. Slightly below-normal rainfall caused some stress to soybeans in Rio Grande do Sul and Parana, Brazil. Elsewhere in southern Brazil, near normal rainfall maintained adequate soil moisture for soybean development.
EUROPE: Below-normal precipitation in December in Spain limited moisture for winter grain germination and establishment. A sufficient snow cover in eastern Europe protected winter grains from periods of extremely cold weather. Since early January, unusually mild weather provided favorable overwintering conditions for winter grains but diminished protective snow cover. Unfavorably dry weather continued in southern Spain.
FSU-WESTERN: Overwintering conditions in December were mostly favorable for dormant winter grains. Since early January, unusually mild weather continued to favor winter grains but melted protective snow cover.
NORTHWESTERN AFRICA: In Morocco, rain in late December eased prolonged dryness, improving prospects for winter grain emergence and early growth. In Algeria and Tunisia, although periodic showers provided generally adequate moisture for winter grains in northern growing areas, moisture was limited for crop establishment in southern areas.
SOUTH AFRICA: Conditions are mostly favorable for corn, sugarcane, and other summer crop due this season's nearly ideal rainfall and temperatures. Grains and oilseeds are in or nearing reproductive phases of development, and would benefit from a continuation of seasonable conditions through February.
EASTERN ASIA: In the North China Plain, mostly dry weather continued the below-normal precipitation trend since autumn (less than 25 percent of normal from September to December). Adequate irrigation supplies, however, existed for irrigated winter wheat. Winter wheat remained dormant across most of the region, despite above-normal December temperatures. Near- to above-normal precipitation favored vegetative winter grains and oilseeds across the lower Yangtze Valley.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: An active monsoon pattern during December produced above-normal rainfall and flooding across the Philippines, Vietnam, and peninsular Malaysia. Seasonably dry weather helped rice fieldwork in Thailand. Near- to above-normal rainfall maintained adequate moisture for main-season grains in Java.
AUSTRALIA: Scattered, locally heavy showers over southern Queensland have sustained favorable early prospects for sorghum and cotton. A trend of drier, warmer weather that developed in December over northern New South Wales favored summer crop development. Rain in the coastal sugarcane areas reduced sugar content of harvested stalks but increased moisture reserves for future development. Winter grain harvests in the west and southeast advanced toward completion.