Argentina: More Rain Needed in Most Summer Crop Areas
From November 28 - December 4, 1999, rainfall was light to moderate in northern Argentina, bringing relief to long-term dryness. Rain also maintained favorable soil moisture levels in, Cordoba, and La Pampa. Northern Buenos Aires and Santa Fe were mostly dry. During December 5 - 11, light to moderate rain continued across northern Argentinas cotton region, Chaco and Formosa. Elsewhere, Argentina was unfavorably dry. During December 12 - 18, early week rainfall continued to benefit the cotton growing areas of northern Argentina, but heat returned by weeks end. The main summer crop areas of central Argentina were trending dry, but received widespread showers, providing much needed soil moisture and promoted crop development. During December 19 - 25, brief periods of heat were halted by summer showers in northern Argentina. As a result, stress on cotton and soybeans in Chaco and Formosa, were likely short-lived. In contrast, cool, showery weather lingered over the main summer crop areas of central Argentina. While rainfall was light, temperatures were lower than normal, reducing crop moisture demands. During December 26 through January 1, 2000, showers eased dryness for germinating cotton in northern Argentina. Farther south, moderate to heavy showers boosted soil moisture for summer crops in Cordoba. Dry, hot weather began stressing summer crops in southern Santa Fe and northern Buenos Aires. According to reports, as of January 7, Argentine soybeans were 94 percent planted, compared with 97 percent on this date last year, and corn was 92 percent planted, compared with 95 percent planted last year. Cotton was 89 percent planted. Wheat was 96 percent harvested nationwide, compared with 97 percent last year.
Southern Brazil: Dryness Stresses Summer Crops in Key Producing Areas
Below-normal November 1999 rainfall stressed germinating summer crops in southern Brazil, particularly western Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. During the first week of December, this area received 25 - 50 millimeters of rainfall, bringing some relief to developing corn and soybeans. During December 5 - 11, moderate showers again brought relief to summer crops across all of southern Brazil, except southern Rio Grande do Sul. Rainfall amounts were 10 - 25 millimeters across northern Rio Grande do Sul, covering most of the major soybean growing areas but southern Rio Grande do Sul remained dry. Temperatures, during December 5 - 18 were above-normal, increasing crop water use and depleting available soil moisture. During December 12 - 18, 25 millimeters of rain, or more, fell across southern Brazil, including most of Rio Grande do Sul. Dry and warm weather returned to southern Brazil during December 19 - 25. Fortunately showers of 25 millimeters or more, continued to benefit coffee in northern Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais. Showers missed most of Rio Grande do Sul and western Santa Catarina during December 26 through January 1, 2000. Heat combining with dryness, compounded stressful conditions for reproductive corn and vegetative soybeans. During January 10 - 12, showers were reported across Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Parana, stabilizing summer crop conditions which were rapidly declining.
South Africa: Mild, Showery Weather Aids Vegetative Corn
In late November 1999, rain benefitted emerging corn across the eastern South Africa maize growing region. The western portion of the corn belt was unfavorably dry until early December, when highly beneficial rainfall spread across the western and central growing areas. The rain also maintained favorable soil moisture for the young corn and oilseed crops in the eastern corn belt.
Showers tapered off in mid-December but returned the following week. Widespread moderate rainfall covered all growing areas by the end of December, boosting moisture reserves for vegetative summer crops, especially in the east and far west. The majority of the corn crop normally advances through reproduction from mid-January through mid-February, and could be vulnerable to outbreaks of excessive heat and dryness at that time.
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