Argentina: Main Corn and Soybean Growing Areas Are Too Wet
Since September 15, 2001, rainfall has been well above normal across central Argentina, damaging wheat and delaying corn and sunflower planting. Normally, during the first half of November, corn planting is past the mid-point, while soybean planting progress is nearing the one-third complete mark. Excessive wetness will cause a shift away from corn and sunflower planting and an increase in soybean planted area. Also, the excessive wetness hampered reproductive wheat development and increased the risk of disease to heading wheat. Heavy rains, although not as frequent or as intense fell across northern Argentina, boosting soil moisture for cotton planting, but causing temporary delays in fieldwork. Temperatures for the most part across Argentina have been normal-to-above normal, somewhat helping to dry flooded fields.
Southern Brazil: Light Rain Maintains Favorable Early Planting Conditions
During September 2001, near- to above-normal rainfall across southern Brazil increased soil moisture for summer crop planting and for early development of coffee, sugarcane, and oranges. Heavier showers in Rio Grande do Sul slowed wheat harvesting and raised quality concerns. During the first two weeks of October, widespread light showers continued across southern Brazil, boosting moisture reserves for summer crop planting. Only Mato Grosso do Sul received somewhat drier weather during this period. Wet weather in Parana and Rio Grande do Sul continued to interfere with wheat harvest. From October 14 through November 7, drier weather weather ensued, promoting rapid summer crop planting across the primary center-west, southern, and southeast states. Dry conditions and warm daytime temperatures during these three weeks reduced available soil moisture supplies for coffee, oranges, and sugarcane. Light rainfall in Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso, and parts of Goias, however, maintained topsoil moisture for soybean planting and provided favorable growing conditions for plantation crops.
Australia: Showers Maintain Normal Crop Conditions In Most Areas
During October 2001, beneficial rain fell across Australia’s major crop districts at levels high enough to maintain current crop conditions. October was highlighted by rainfall in New South Wales and South Australia that ended a prolonged dry spell, benefitting grazing lands and late–maturing winter wheat. During the week of October 21 - 27, widespread, locally heavy rain overspread Queensland. In the southeastern parts of that state, moderate showers ended a period of persistent dryness and increased soil moisture levels for germinating sorghum, and upland cotton. In western Queensland, somewhat heavier rain improved grazing conditions for livestock. During the first week of November, dry and warm weather returned to eastern Australia, favoring winter grain harvesting and summer crop planting. By the beginning of November, winter grains and oil seeds ranged from filling to mature in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and southern New South Wales and benefitted from the drier weather.
South Asia: Showers Continue In Eastern Rice Belt
During early October 2001, a late-season surge of monsoon rainfall boosted moisture reserves for immature cotton and soybeans in previously dry sections of central India. Locally heavy rainfall also returned to rice and winter wheat areas of the eastern Gangetic Plain, increasing irrigation reserves for winter cropping but causing localized flooding. In contrast, unseasonably warm and dry weather continued in Gujarat, where immature groundnuts could have still benefitted from late-season rainfall, and in cotton and rice areas of north-central India and Pakistan, where conditions favored harvesting. Widespread, locally heavy showers in southern and eastern India and Bangladesh sustained moisture levels for immature summer crops and rice cultivation and helped to replenish irrigation reserves for winter-grown (rabi) agriculture. Mid-way into October, seasonable dryness dominated central India and the northwest, aiding late summer crop development and fostering dry down and harvesting of maturing crops, including cotton. Late-season showers increased irrigation reserves in rice areas of Bangladesh and along India’s eastern coast. During the last week of October, seasonably dry weather covered eastern India and Bangladesh as the monsoon retreated to India’s southern tip, it usual position for late October. This drier weather was timely for rice maturation and harvesting. The exception was southern India (Tamil Nadu and southeastern Andhra Pradesh), where monsoon rains increased moisture for immature cotton and, along the coast, rice cultivation. During the first week of November, scattered showers returned to the rice areas of eastern India and Bangladesh, providing irrigation reserves with a late-season boost. However, the unseasonable rain likely caused some disruptions in late-season fieldwork, including main-season rice harvesting and planting of dry-season rice. The southwest monsoon has usually withdrawn by the beginning of November from the eastern rice belt, with main-season rice harvesting and dry-season planting normally underway.
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