Argentina: Rain Increases Soil Moisture But Delays Summer Crop Planting
During October 2000, showers were much more frequent and widespread compared to earlier months across the major summer crop growing areas of central and northern Argentina. Weekly rainfall amounts ranged from 15 to over 100 millimeters. While this rainfall was at sometimes excessive, it greatly improved soil moisture levels benefitting winter wheat which was advancing from the reproductive to filling stages and also provided moisture for planting and emerging summer crops. By the first week of November 2000, excessive wetness was delaying summer crop planting and causing concern for increased wheat diseases. According to the Argentine Agricultural Secretariat, as of November 3, nationwide corn was 55 percent planted, compared with 65 percent at this time last year; sunflowers were 28 percent planted, compared with 55 percent last year, sorghum was 12 percent planted, compared with 39 percent last year; and soybean planting has just begun.
Brazil: Rains Relieve Dryness in North but Hampers Wheat Harvest in South
Moderate showers during the first week of November relieved dryness in the north but continued to delay field operations in the south. In east-central Brazil, showers (10-50mm) relieved dryness in Goias, Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, and Sao Paulo, but more rain is needed. Light rainfall ( less than 15 mm) favored corn and early soybean planting in Parana and Santa Catarina.
Moderate showers (25-100 mm) improved soil moisture for soybean planting in Mato Grosso. In Rio Grande do Sul, wet weather (10-50 mm) continued to hamper summer crop plantings and harvesting of winter wheat. Heavy rainfall during harvest can adversely impact the quality of wheat. Temperatures across Parana, Sao Paulo, and Mato Grosso do Sul were 2 to 4 degrees C above normal, increasing evapotranspiration of emerging summer crops. Therefore, more rain is needed to maintain both summer crops conditions and plantation crop yields.
South Africa: Recent Rain Favors Corn Establishment
Soaking rain in September 2000, combined with frequent moderate-to-heavy rainfall in October and the first week of November to create "practically ideal" soil moisture levels for planting and establishment of corn and other summer crops across the Maize Triangle of South Africa. The optimal planting period is from October to early November, although corn planting can last through December. The important white corn area in North West was fairly dry in mid-October since it missed out on much of the September and early October rainfall. However, moderate to heavy rainfall during the week of October 15 - 21 (25 - 50 mm, locally greater than 100 mm) and additional scattered showers from October 22 through November 4 improved soil moisture for planting. Temperatures were mostly below normal last week but have since returned to normal. High temperatures in the 20's and low 30's degrees C aided early crop growth and development across the Maize Triangle.
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