Australia: Rain Maintains Favorable Winter Grain Conditions, But More Will Be Needed
During the last week of August and the first week of September 2000, beneficial rains continued to sweep across the winter grain growing areas of Western Australia and southeast Australia. This moisture was especially welcomed in the west, where nearly all crop areas received at least 10 millimeters of rainfall per week. Temperatures averaged near normal, and the absence of damaging frost aided development of vegetative grains and oilseeds. More rainfall will be needed during September and early October as winter grains advance through their reproductive stage. In Queensland, the light rain that fell during the week of August 27 was not sufficient to meet crop moisture demands and brought only limited relief to the areas dryness. Queenslands growing areas experienced temperature highs in the low 30's degree Celsius. While Queensland isnt the major winter grains growing area, its winter grain production can account for up to 9 percent of the countys total production. Being further north, grains in Queensland in September advance through heading and filling earlier than the bulk of the countrys crop. More rain is needed in Queensland to preserve the already declining yield potential of winter grains.
China: Typhoons Increase Rainfall Distribution
While rainfall during August brought drought relief to summer crops in Manchuria and kept summer crops well watered in southern China, much of the North China Plain was drier than normal. Driest areas were Hebei, northern Shandong, and Henan. Summer crops, particularly corn and soybeans, advance through the "moisture critical" filling stage during August. On August 10, Typhoon Jelawat brought heavy showers to the eastern province of Zhejiang as well as northern Jiangxi and southern Anhui. That same week, widespread showers across the rest of central and southern China maintained favorable moisture supplies for rice. On August 22, Super Typhoon Bilis struck southeastern Taiwan, producing torrential rains and damaging the rice crop. Bilis then struck mainland China and spread heavy showers across Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang, causing some flooding and storm damage to late double-crop rice and sugar cane. During the week of August 27 through September 2, moderate to heavy showers fell across the mostly dry eastern North China Plain. As well as providing drought relief to filling summer crops, the rainfall increased soil moisture for upcoming winter wheat planting. These showers were associated with the passage of Typhoon Prapiroon in the nearby Yellow Sea. The heaviest rainfall (200 - 300 millimeters) occurred in northern Jiangsu, causing some local flooding and slowing single-crop-rice harvesting. Lighter amounts fell farther west in Henan and southern Hebei. In southern China that week, Tropical Storm Maria made landfall near Hong Kong. The storm and its remnants produced moderate to heavy showers from southern Guangdong northwestwards into Hunan.
Mexico: Rainfall Timely But Below Normal for Corn Crop
During August, corn in the major growing areas of Mexico advanced from the reproductive to the "moisture critical" filling stage. During September, the crop will progress through maturity with the harvest beginning in October. This seasons rainfall has been timely but generally lower than normal, with much of the growing area receiving only half of the normal seasonal rainfall. August started with scattered showers favoring corn across most of the southern plateau corn belt. However, portions of the central corn belt (Michoacan and Guanajuato) were dry. During the week of August 6 - 12, Michoacan and Nayarit remained dry, while widespread showers covered the rest of the central and eastern corn belt, boosting moisture supplies for corn. Heavier showers (up-to 200 millimeters) covered Veracruz, boosting moisture supplies, but did cause some local flooding. As tropical activity increased, moderate to heavy showers also fell across the Yucatan Peninsula. During the week of August 13 - 19, the central and western growing areas received the bulk of the rainfall, providing timely moisture for corn. Eastern- and southern-most growing areas, like Veracruz and the Yucatan Peninsula, were favorably drier after the prior weeks heavy rains. From August 20 - 26, scattered showers fell across the main corn belt, providing some moisture for corn. The heaviest rain fell in the states of Jalisco and Mexico. While rainfall returned to Veracruz, dryness prevailed across the Yucatan Peninsula and Guerrero and Oaxaca. During August 27 through September 2, showers provided moisture for corn across the eastern growing areas while dryness returned to the west.
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