South Africa: Moisture Levels Favor
Summer Crop Establishment
November is the optimal sowing period for corn and many other summer crops in South Africa, although the planting window extends through December. Spring showers developed in mid-October across the corn belt, providing timely pre-planting moisture for summer crops. In early November, mild temperatures and widespread, locally heavy rain continued across the corn belt, causing minor planting delays but boosting soil moisture supplies. Heavy rain along the coast from eastern sections of Eastern Cape through KwaZulu-Natal caused localized flooding but kept crops well-watered. Drier weather (less than 10 millimeters) and sunny skies developed across northern and eastern sections of the corn belt in mid-November, spurring planting and favoring early summer crop establishment. In the west and south, moderate to heavy rain provided abundant moisture for corn and other summer crops in North West and Free State but hampered fieldwork in a few areas. Toward the end of the month, additional widespread showers in the northern and eastern part of the corn belt slowed fieldwork but helped to build long-term moisture reserves. Favorably drier weather returned in early December, while abundant rain and mild temperatures supported summer crop establishment across North West, Free State, Lesotho, and Eastern Cape.
Argentina: Summer Crop Planting and
Wheat Quality Are Affected By Wet Weather
From mid-September through November 2001, rainfall was much above normal across central Argentina. Excessive wetness and flooded fields have delayed corn and sunflower planting and greatly increased wheat disease. In mid- November, somewhat drier weather eased excessive wetness for winter crops development and summer crop planting. However, by late November, moderate to heavy showers maintained adequate to excessive soil moisture for summer crop planting and reproductive and filling winter wheat across Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, and Santa Fe. The abundant moisture continued to slow corn and sunflower planting and prolonged concerns for wheat quality, especially in Buenos Aires. That week, La Pampa and Cordoba received less than 10 millimeters, favoring corn and sunflower planting and winter wheat development. During the week of November 25 through December 1, mostly dry weather in central Argentina favored filling to maturing winter wheat and summer crop planting, except in western Cordoba, where a drying trend created a lack of topsoil moisture for germination. The only significant rain occurred in southeastern Buenos Aires, favoring reproductive to filling winter wheat. According to the Argentine Agricultural Secretariat as of November 30, nationwide corn, sorghum, sunflowers, and soybeans were 72, 65, 73, and 48 percent planted, respectively, compared with 79, 58, 87, and 50 percent last year. In Buenos Aires, corn was 74 percent planted compared with 96 percent last year.
Brazil: Widespread Rainfall Provides
Optimum Growing Conditions
During November 2001, near- to above-normal rainfall across the majority of Brazils summer crop regions increased soil moisture and encouraged rapid early growth of corn and soybean crops. The primary cropping regions of Mato Grosso, Goias, Minas Gerias, Mato Grosso do Sul, Sao Paulo, Parana, and Rio Grande do Sul all received timely and bountiful showers. As a result, planting progress is well advanced with the majority of the summer crops successfully sown by early December. Near-ideal growing conditions exist for early establishment of 2001/02 summer crops of soybeans, corn, rice, black beans, coffee, sugar, and oranges.
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