WORLD AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
October 8, 1999
UNITED STATES: During September, drought-ending rains fell along the East Coast, but Hurricane Floyd caused extensive flooding in the eastern Mid-Atlantic region. In contrast, mostly dry weather resulted in intensification of the Ohio Valley's 14-month drought, and a depletion of topsoil moisture in the South. Dry conditions favored rapid Midwestern corn and soybean harvesting until a late-month storm system halted fieldwork. Meanwhile, drier weather aided final small grain harvesting on the northern Plains. Little or no rain fell in the interior Northwest, causing some producers to postpone winter wheat seeding. In California, warm weather promoted fieldwork and summer crop maturation. In contrast, late-month frosts and freezes ended the growing season a few days earlier than normal north and west of a line from the central High Plains to the northwestern Corn Belt. The cold weather did not significantly affect mature or nearly mature summer crops, but burned back emerging winter wheat. Above-normal monthly temperatures were confined to New England and the interior Far West, while readings averaged as much as 5 degrees F below normal on the Plains.
CANADA: The first killing freeze of autumn arrived in the Prairies roughly on schedule, causing some degree of damage to late-planted crops. In eastern Canada, locally heavy rain since late September has slowed corn and soybean harvesting but boosted moisture levels for winter wheat establishment.
SOUTH AMERICA: In central Argentina, September rainfall benefited winter wheat while increasing moisture reserves for planting of summer grains and oilseeds. Additional rain is needed in northern provinces for planting of cotton and other summer crops. In southern Brazil, soaking rain since mid-September has caused delays in winter wheat harvesting and summer crop planting. Heat stress on emerging summer crops occurred from Sao Paulo northward.
EUROPE: In September, frequent rains slowed summer crop harvesting in northwest Europe, but aided germinating winter grains. In the Iberian peninsula, heavy showers boosted topsoil moisture depleted by long-term drought, but were infrequent, allowing corn, sunflower, and cotton harvesting to progress. In northern and eastern Europe, unseasonably warm, dry weather promoted summer crop harvesting. More rainfall was needed, however, to help winter grain germination and establishment.
FSU-WESTERN: In September, drier weather in northern Russia improved conditions for spring grain harvesting and planting the 2000 winter grain crop. In eastern Ukraine and southern Russia, continued dry weather favored corn, sunflower, and sugar beet harvesting but limited topsoil moisture for winter wheat planting. September is the optimum month for planting winter wheat in Ukraine and southern Russia.
FSU-NEWLANDS: In Russia, unseasonably cool, wet weather in September delayed spring grain harvesting in the Urals, while farther east in Siberia, a period of dry weather from September 10-21 helped harvest activities. In Kazakstan, persistent dryness since September 5 favored rapid spring grain harvesting.
SOUTH ASIA: During September, the monsoon gradually intensified as it began its seasonal retreat. In central India, the rains came too late for summer coarse grains and oilseeds but benefited late cotton development. In southern India, the moisture aided summer crop development and increased irrigation for winter cropping. Across the north, locally heavy showers in early October were unfavorable for maturing rice and cotton but improved prospects of winter wheat and oilseeds.
EASTERN ASIA: During September, tropical storms brought locally heavy rain, flooding, and possible rice damage to South Korea, Japan, and sections of southern China coast. Drier-than-normal conditions prevailed elsewhere in southern China, with only intermittent disruptions in rice harvesting. In the North China Plain, unseasonably heavy rain late in the month was highly beneficial for winter wheat establishment but was unfavorable for cotton and other maturing summer crops. In Manchuria, a mid-month freeze may have caused localized damage to immature corn.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: In September, near- to below-normal rainfall across Thailand and Vietnam aided early rice harvesting. In the Philippines, near-normal September rainfall helped filling rice. In early October, Typhoon Dan brought heavy rains to Northern Luzon, possibly damaging rice. Near-normal rainfall maintained adequate moisture supplies for oil-palm in peninsular Malaysia. Relatively dry, sunny weather favored irrigated second-crop rice in Java, Indonesia.
AUSTRALIA: Winter grain prospects remained generally favorable in Western Australia and New South Wales. South Australia and Victoria received stabilizing rainfall in late September but more is needed to improve long-term moisture reserves. Sorghum and cotton planting was underway, aided by beneficial rain in western growing areas of Queensland and New South Wales.