WORLD AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
December 12, 2000
UNITED STATES: In November, heavy rain in the South eased or eradicated long-term drought and benefited pastures and winter grains, but slowed fieldwork. On the southern Plains, cool weather and soaking early-month rains hampered winter wheat planting and emergence, and cotton and soybean harvesting. However, most of Florida's peninsula remained unfavorably dry, increasing irrigation requirements. Farther north, light precipitation provided only limited relief from a 2-month dry spell from the Mid-Atlantic region westward into the middle Ohio Valley. Overall, the nation experienced a very cold November. However, a series of storms provided extensive snow cover to the northern half of the Plains, insulating winter wheat from extreme cold. Although near- to below-freezing temperatures edged into areas as far south as southern California and from Louisiana to northern Florida, readings remained well above the freezing mark in Florida's citrus belt.
SOUTH AMERICA: In southern Brazil, periodic November showers provided adequate soil moisture for soybean and corn germination and allowed soybean planting to advance slightly ahead of schedule. Heavy showers in western Minas Gerais raised concerns for coffee development. Drier weather favored late winter wheat harvesting across Rio Grande do Sul. In central Argentina, much-above-normal November rainfall boosted soil moisture from southern Santa Fe northward, but hampered summer crop planting and raised concerns about potential reductions in wheat quality. Drier weather favored wheat maturation across Buenos Aires, although topsoil moisture was becoming limited for summer crops in the south.
EUROPE: Wet weather continued to plague western and south- central Europe during November, further delaying winter grain planting and summer crop harvesting. Seasonably mild weather, however, spurred winter crop development. In northeastern Europe, near-normal precipitation and mild weather favored vegetative winter grains. In contrast, unseasonably warm, dry weather maintained drought in southeastern Europe, hampering winter grain emergence and establishment.
FSU-WESTERN: In November, winter grains in most areas entered dormancy about 3 weeks later than usual. Winter wheat in major producing areas of Ukraine and southern Russia likely entered dormancy in better condition than the previous 2 years. In late November, a cold snap in Russia was preceded by snow, minimizing the threat for winterkill.
NORTHWESTERN AFRICA: Winter grain planting was well underway in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. In November, sufficient planting rains favored winter grain germination and establishment in northern Morocco and most of Algeria. A slow start to the rainy season in southern Morocco and most of Tunisia limited planting moisture. Planting typically continues through December.
MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY: Beneficial showers covered most winter grain areas in late November, increasing moisture reserves for establishment. In early December, winter wheat was entering dormancy in sections of Iran and Turkey.
SOUTH ASIA: During November, seasonable dryness favored summer crop harvests and winter crop planting over much of the region. The exception was southern India, where a tropical cyclone brought locally heavy rain to southeastern rice areas, increasing dry-season irrigation reserves.
EASTERN ASIA: Across eastern China, near- to above-normal November rainfall provided adequate to abundant moisture supplies for winter crop development. During late November and early December, seasonably cold weather caused winter wheat to begin entering dormancy. In Japan, above-normal monthly rainfall slowed late rice harvesting.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Tropical systems brought above-normal November rainfall to southern Luzon, Philippines causing flooding. Seasonably drier weather favored rice harvesting in Thailand and northern Vietnam. Above-normal rainfall increased moisture supplies for main-season rice in Java, Indonesia and oil palm in peninsular Malaysia.
AUSTRALIA: During November, heavy rain and flooding plagued a significant portion of New South Wales' winter grain belt, causing localized crop damage and downgrades in quality. Winter crop harvest weather was generally favorable in Western Australia and the southeast.
SOUTH AFRICA: Conditions remained favorable for germination and establishment of corn and other summer crops. However, northern sections of KwaZulu-Natal experienced flooding and possible damage to sugarcane.