WORLD AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
December 11, 2001
UNITED STATES: Mid- to late-November storm systems largely erased autumn dryness across the southern Plains and upper Midwest, but bypassed winter wheat areas in Montana and the east-central Plains. Mostly dry weather also persisted in the East, hampering winter wheat development. In contrast, heavy rain soaked areas from the western Gulf Coast region to the lower Ohio Valley, including the Delta, flooding fields and halting fieldwork. Meanwhile in the West, a series of storms boosted topsoil moisture for winter grains and blanketed high-elevation areas with heavy snow. Although the precipitation eased long-term drought in northern California, the Great Basin, and the Northwest, reservoir supplies remained limited due to previously dry conditions dating to the spring of 2000. November temperatures were above normal nearly nationwide.
SOUTH AMERICA: Across central Argentina, November rainfall was above normal but lighter than during October, generally favoring germinating summer crops and filling to maturing winter wheat. The exception was in southeastern Buenos Aires, where much-above-normal November rainfall raised concerns for filling winter wheat. Also, a drying trend in southern Cordoba slowed corn planting and reduced soil moisture supplies. By late November, winter wheat harvesting was underway in central wheat areas. Across southern Brazil, near- to above-normal November rainfall maintained adequate to abundant soil moisture for germinating soybeans, but slowed winter wheat harvesting.
EUROPE: In November, near- to below-normal rainfall in England, France, and northern Spain favored well-established winter grains. Widespread precipitation maintained abundant moisture supplies in north-central and northeastern Europe. Scattered precipitation in south-central and southeastern Europe came too late to help winter grain establishment in southern Romania and Bulgaria, but helped durum wheat development in southern Italy. Cold weather caused winter grains in north-central and eastern Europe to enter dormancy.
FSU-WESTERN: In November, winter grains remained dormant in northern Russia and entered dormancy in southern Russia and Ukraine, In Russia, winter grains in most areas entered dormancy well established. In Ukraine, a lack of planting moisture in south-central and southeastern areas likely caused spotty germination and limited plant establishment, making crops more susceptible to winterkill conditions.
NORTHWESTERN AFRICA: Dry weather in Morocco slowed winter grain planting, while near- to above-normal rainfall in Algeria and Tunisia favored planting and early emergence of winter grains. Planting typically continues through December..
MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY: Since early November, a wet weather pattern across Turkey has increased long-term moisture levels for winter wheat but caused flooding and possible crop damage in cotton areas of the southwest. More recently, beneficial rain brought some relief from long-term drought in Iran's winter wheat areas.
SOUTH ASIA: In November, shower activity gradually receded from eastern and southern rice areas, favoring seasonal fieldwork. Warm, dry weather elsewhere favored summer crop harvesting. Winter grain and oilseed planting was likely underway in Pakistan and northern India.
EASTERN ASIA: Variable November precipitation provided some moisture for winter wheat establishment across the North China Plain. Early-December precipitation boosted moisture supplies for winter wheat approaching dormancy. Across the Yangtze Valley and southern China, November rainfall was mostly below normal, reducing moisture supplies for winter crops, but favoring late rice harvesting.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Tropical storm Lingling brought above-normal rainfall to most of the Philippines, slowing harvest activities, but increasing moisture supplies for second season crops. Lingling made landfall in south-central Vietnam, bringing heavy rains and high winds and possibly causing damage to mature rice. Near- to above-normal rainfall in Java, Indonesia increased moisture supplies for main-season rice, while below-normal rainfall decreased moisture supplies for oil palm in peninsular Malaysia.
AUSTRALIA: Since early November, widespread shower activity has improved summer crop prospects and grazing conditions. However, the moisture has been untimely for maturing winter grains and oilseeds, and some delays in harvesting are likely.
SOUTH AFRICA: Conditions are currently favorable for corn, sunflower, and sugarcane establishment due to frequent shower activity and seasonable temperatures.
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