Argentina: Timely Showers Benefit Wheat Conditions and Favor Summer Crop Planting
During the first half of October 1999, rainfall was light, at best, in Argentinas primary wheat and summer crops growing areas. Soil moisture was on the low side of adequate across most areas. However, during the second half of October, rainfall was more widespread and frequent. During October 17 - 23, light rain fell in southern Buenos Aires, benefitting reproductive winter wheat. During October 24 - November 1, moderate showers fell across most of central and northern Argentinas major growing areas. This rainfall benefitted reproductive wheat and provided much needed moisture for germinating corn and sunflower. Heavier showers fell in Cordoba and northeastern La Pampa causing localized flooding, delays in sowing of summer crops, and possible damage to maturing wheat. In the more northern soybean and cotton growing areas rainfall was lighter, but beneficially increased topsoil moisture.
Australia: Well Placed Rains Benefit Winter Grains
During October 1999, well-timed showers and generally mild temperatures benefitted winter grains as they advanced from the vegetative to the reproductive stages. October rainfall was particularly beneficial to the winter grain growing areas of South Australia and western Victoria that have been drier than normal for most of the season. While rainfall amounts were too light to recharge low moisture sub-surface soils, frequency of rain and mild temperatures did much to improve crop conditions. To the east, heavier showers may have hampered winter crop harvesting in New South Wales and southern Queensland, but provided moisture for summer crops like sorghum and cotton. In Western Australia, early month rainfall provided beneficial moisture for immature winter grains. In this area, mild and even below-normal temperatures for October helped maintain favorable winter grain conditions, but may have also slowed crop development.
Southern Brazil: Frequent Rain Improves Early Summer Crop Prospects
At the beginning of October 1999, low soil moisture was a concern for summer crop establishment, wheat and coffee conditions in southern Brazil. However, rainfall during October improved crop prospects. During the first half of October, rainfall was frequent and heavy from Rio Grande do Sul, north to Parana. In contrast Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Sao Paulo were unfavorably dry. However, during October 17 - 30, frequent moderate showers boosted topsoil moisture for soybean planting and benefitted flowering coffee in these south-central states. Light-to-moderate showers continued to maintain favorable soil moisture levels in Rio Grande do Sul.
Western FSU: Ukraine Too Dry For Good Winter Grain Establishment
The Western FSU winter grains areas of southern Russia and the southern and eastern Ukraine were too dry at the beginning of October 1999 for favorable crop establishment. Rainfall during that month remained meager in the Ukraine, but was frequent and favorable in southern Russia (North Caucasus, the lower Volga Valley, and the southern Central Black Soils Region). Frequent rainfall from October 10 - 25 was particularly beneficial for winter grain in southern Russia. In the Ukraine, some rain fell during the week of October 10 -16, providing temporary improvement, but soil moisture remains too low for good winter grain establishment in south-central Ukraine. Winter grains typically enter dormancy by mid-November in the southern growing areas.