Australia: Soaking Rains Greatly Improve Winter Crop Prospects
Prior to July 22, winter grains for 2001/02 were suffering from drought across growing regions in both western and eastern Australia. During the week of July 22 through 28, widespread, soaking rain covered the primary winter crop areas of southern Queensland and central and northern New South Wales, bringing much-needed drought relief to vegetative and semi-dormant grains and oilseeds. The rain most likely came too late, however, to encourage significant winter crop planting. Rainfall also began to ease the drought in westernmost wheat areas of Western Australia, followed by soaking rains the week of July 29 through August 4. Following months of unfavorable dryness, the moisture helped to recharge topsoil moisture levels and stabilize the condition of semi-dormant grains and oilseeds. Due to the extensive nature of the regions long-term drought, additional rainfall will be needed by the end of August when crops enter a more active growth phase. After the prior wet week, mostly dry weather dominated eastern Australia, with light, scattered showers the southeast. More rain is needed for normal crop development. Winter crops typically enter the reproductive phase of development from late-August to mid-September.
China: Tropical Showers Improve Summer Crop Prospects In Most Growing Areas
During early July, hot, dry weather returned to much of the North China Plain and southern Manchuria stressing developing summer crops. By mid-July, however, showers became more frequent and widespread across eastern China and improved summer crop conditions. During July 15 - 21, showers in the North China Plain brought relief to drought-stressed summer crops. In Manchuria, dry weather stressed corn and soybeans in Liaoning, while showers increased soil moisture in Jilin and Heilongjiang. In the Sichuan Basin and central Yangtze Valley, unseasonably dry weather reduced moisture supplies for summer crops, but favored early double-crop rice harvesting. During the week of July 22 - 28, widespread showers across the North China Plain and Heilongjiang boosted soil moisture for reproductive summer crops. In the rest of Manchuria, light to moderate showers brought some relief to Liaoning and Jilin, but pockets of dryness persisted in the west. In north-central China, widespread showers favored summer crops and spring wheat and boosted reservoir supplies. The Yangtze Valley was again mostly dry. From July 29 through August 4, remnants of a typhoon brought widespread showers across eastern China and boosted moisture supplies for reproductive summer crops. Southern Hebei, portions of southern Anhui, and eastern Hubei were the only parts of eastern China that did not receive significant rainfall. In Manchuria, mostly dry weather crossed western Jilin, southern Heilongjiang, and eastern Nei Mongol, reducing soil moisture for soybean, corn, and spring wheat. Elsewhere in Manchuria, moderate showers maintained soil moisture for reproductive summer crop development, while heavy rain fell in central and eastern Liaoning. In north-central China, showers continued to favor summer crops and spring wheat, but dry weather prevailed in southern Gansu. Widespread showers returned to the Yangtze Valley, increasing moisture supplies for various summer crops, but slowed late double-crop rice transplanting.
Mexico: Showers Benefit Summer Crops Across Corn Belt, More Rain Needed In East
Across most of the main corn belt of Mexico, light to moderate rain during the last week of July and the first week of August increased soil moisture for corn and eased short-term dryness. However, several dry pockets still existed in the eastern corn belt as of August 8, leaving soil moisture for corn low as it enters the moisture-critical reproductive stage. In the northeast, scattered showers brought relief, but more rain was needed to replenish soil moisture supplies. In northwest Mexico, monsoon showers continued to increase reservoir supplies and favor pastures.
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