China: Mostly Dry Weather, Early Frost in Northeast
The growing season in Northeast China ended suddenly on September 21, as a hard freeze (temperatures from -1 to -4 degrees C.) occurred in most of Heilongjiang and parts of Jilin. The early frost (7 to 10 days ahead of schedule) reduced yield potential for the corn crop, which was planted later than normal due to Spring drought. However, soybeans were largely unaffected by the frost because they were reportedly planted on time and were mostly mature by the frost date. In Liaoning and southern Jilin, minimum temperatures dipped below 0 degrees C in early October, close to the normal freeze date. Rainfall was light and insignificant in the Northeast during September.
Mostly warm and dry weather in September was generally favorable for summer crop maturation and harvesting on the North China Plain and in the Yangtze River valley, especially cotton. The dry weather also facilitated fieldwork for winter crops, but topsoil moisture was severely limited for planting. Hebei and Shandong provinces received light to moderate rain in September, but most of the North China Plain remained drier than normal throughout the month. Additional rain will be needed for winter crop planting, germination and establishment. In contrast to the North China Plain, unseasonably heavy rain (25 to 100 mm) fell across the upper and central Yellow River basin in September, boosting soil moisture for winter wheat and rapeseed planting and increasing irrigation supplies for the lower Yellow River basin. Widespread rain (10-40 mm) also fell across the Yangtze River valley, the Sichuan Basin, and southwest China (Guizhou and Guangxi) late in the month, improving soil moisture for winter crop planting. Rainfall in southern China was close to normal in September. A typhoon hit Guangdong on September 20, producing strong winds and heavy showers in coastal Fujian and Guangdong. Current conditions are favorably dry and warm in southern China for filling to maturing late season crops.
Australia: Showers Aid Winter Crops in Grainfill Stage
The first two weeks of October brought near normal precipitation to the winter grain belt of Australia. As of October 15, the grain producing states of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia have received 60 to 80 percent of their monthly normal rainfall amount boosting yield prospects. The Western Australia wheat belt has had mixed conditions the last two weeks, but overall conditions are fair to good with rainfall percentages ranging from 20 to 60 percent of normal. Most Australian winter crops are currently in the grainfill stage. However, early harvest activities currently underway in Queensland will benefit from the mostly dry weather in this drought affected area.
Eastern Europe: Intermittent Rainfall Welcomed
Summer harvesting of corn and sunflower should be finishing in
the Balkans and winter grain planting should be well underway
throughout eastern Europe. The beginning of October has seen
intermittent showers in northeast Europe while drier weather has
prevailed in the southeast. Abundant soil moisture has been
maintained in the northeast (benefitting germination) from
frequent rain events throughout early fall. In addition, above
average temperatures during October likely spurred early winter
grain development in northeastern Europe and aided early-planted
winter grains in the Balkans. The majority of eastern Europe
received well above average precipitation in September; however,
Bulgaria and southern Romania experienced just their normal
levels. All of the rainfall that was received in September was
welcomed, as drought has persisted in Romania and Bulgaria for
almost two years. The precipitation, interspersed with dry, warm
periods in the Balkans has aided farm operations there. During
the month of September, eastern Europe as a whole, was at or
slightly below normal temperatures. The only exception was the
country of Bulgaria and areas of southern Romania which recorded
slightly above normal (1 - 3 degrees C) temperatures.
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