India: Monsoon Takes Prolonged Break In West
A prolonged break in the monsoon brought unseasonable dryness to much of western, central, and southern India, the exception being a pocket of locally heavy rain falling over Indias southern tip. As of August 9, dry weather over the past three to four weeks has depleted soil moisture reserves from Gujarat to southern Andhra Pradesh, limiting moisture available to grains, oilseeds, cotton, and sugarcane. Hot weather, with highs in the upper 30's Celsius has exacerbated the situation and increased the potential for stress. The dryness in the major soybean growing area of western Madhya Pradesh and environs, however, was generally beneficial following recent weeks of wetness. In contrast, rainfall has been locally heavy in areas of eastern India and Bangladesh during this period, resulting in locally severe flooding.
China: Summer Crop Weather, Year-to-Date
Northeast China accounts for about 30 percent of total corn area and 45 percent of total soybean area, while the North China Plain accounts for about 35 percent of Chinas total corn area and 30 percent of total soybean area. Abundant precipitation during the winter of 1999/2000 supplied adequate soil moisture for planting in the Northeast, but spring drought on the North China Plain caused planting delays. Temperatures and rainfall were mostly favorable through mid-May, but unusually hot and dry weather in June spread across the Manchurian plain and extended south into the North China Plain, creating stressful conditions for vegetative crops, particularly corn, soybeans, spring wheat, and rice. Occasional showers in late June and early July provided limited relief, and soil moisture was further depleted by very high temperatures (3 to 5 C. above normal) which dominated the area. The drought reached its peak around mid-July, just as the corn crop was entering the silking stage, and local sources were very concerned about its possible impact on corn and soybean yields. These concerns have been eased slightly by the arrival of timely rainfall in late July and early August, which has reduced the moisture deficit and lowered temperatures in the Northeast. Heilongjiang has seen the greatest improvement in crop condition, Liaoning and Jilin received a few beneficial showers but soil moisture levels remained lower than normal. Parts of the North China Plain received unusually heavy rain in July, and serious local flooding and crop damage was reported in Henan and Shaanxi provinces. The northern part of the North China Plain remained affected by drought until early August, when soaking rains started to move into the region and provide needed moisture. Summer crops on the North China Plain normally enter reproduction in late July and early August. Most areas have adequate soil moisture and can expect additional rainfall, but stressful weather earlier in the summer may have had a lasting impact on yields.
Mexico: More Rain Needed Across Southern Plateau
During the week of July 30 through August 5, scattered showers favored corn across most of the southern Plateau Corn Belt. This rain was welcome, since rainfall has been only roughly about 50 percent of normal for the 2000 growing season. Portions of the central corn belt (Michoacan and Guanajuato) had missed the rain of the past few weeks. Corn typically advances through the moisture-critical reproductive stage from mid-July to mid-August across the central and southern growing areas. Scattered showers during late July and early August increased moisture supplies across northern Mexico, especially in the northeast (Tamaulipas). However, more rain is needed in Coahuila and Nuevo Leon. During the same period, the Yucatan Peninsula received light showers, while heavier showers fell across southeastern Mexico (Tabasco, eastern Oaxaca, and Veracruz). With the generally dry trend during the 2000 corn growing season, and the crop in the reproductive stage, more rain is needed to achieve and maintain favorable crop conditions.
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