WORLD AGRICULTURAL WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
May 10, 2002
UNITED STATES: The dry pattern of previous months carried through April across the southeastern half of the West, threatening summer water supplies. Farther north, most of the interior Northwest continued to experience gradual recovery from the drought of 2000-01, but pockets of lingering dryness stressed rain-fed small grains. The High Plains remained extremely dry, but beneficial rain on the eastern Plains aided winter wheat and emerging summer crops. Meanwhile, beneficial showers boosted soil moisture reserves in the western Corn Belt, but wet weather slowed summer crop planting elsewhere in the Midwest. In addition, a very cool weather pattern developed across the northern half of the Nation in late April and early May, slowing winter wheat development and hampering summer crop emergence. Across the interior South, soil moisture diminished during April, but remained mostly favorable for crop growth. The Deep South, however, experienced dry and increasingly hot weather, boosting irrigation demands and stressing dryland crops. In the East, near- to above-normal precipitation from Virginia to Maine eased long-term drought.
SOUTH AMERICA: In Argentina, persistent rainfall in the north caused flooding and some damage to maturing cotton. Above-normal April rainfall slowed corn and soybean harvesting, but drier weather late in the month improved harvest conditions. In Brazil, above-normal rainfall slowed soybean harvesting in Rio Grande do Sul. Elsewhere, a developing drought in Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul, and western Sao Paulo stressed vegetative winter corn and limited moisture for winter wheat planting, although the dryness helped soybean harvesting.
EUROPE: In April, below-normal rainfall in England and France reduced topsoil moisture for spring grain and summer crop development, but subsoil moisture remained adequate for jointing winter grains. In central Europe, periodic showers and seasonable temperatures favored crop development. In eastern Europe, below-normal rainfall further reduced already low moisture reserves in the south, while rainfall in southern Italy stabilized yield prospects for drought-stressed durum wheat. Following abundant rainfall early in the month, warm, dry weather favored crop development in southern Spain.
FSU-WESTERN: In April, near- to below-normal precipitation was accompanied by near- to above-normal temperatures in most areas, promoting winter grain growth and allowing rapid spring grain and early summer crop planting. Spring grain planting progressed ahead of the normal pace in Ukraine and Russia. Rain is needed in southern Ukraine and southern Russia, where several weeks of dryness has lowered topsoil moisture.
NORTHWESTERN AFRICA: In April, continued above-normal rainfall in Morocco and western Algeria favored filling winter grains. In eastern Algeria and Tunisia, late-month rain stabilized conditions for drought-stressed crops.
MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY: During April, showers continued to improve winter crop prospects across Iran. Rain in Turkey maintained generally favorable conditions for immature winter wheat and summer crop planting. In early May, however, region-wide cool weather slowed crop development.
SOUTH ASIA: In April, conditions were mostly favorable for winter grain and oilseed harvesting. Pre-monsoon shower activity increased moisture levels for rice cultivation in Bangladesh and eastern India.
EASTERN ASIA: Across the North China Plain, timely late April to early May rainfall benefited reproductive winter wheat and summer crop planting. In Manchuria, above-normal April rain boosted topsoil moisture for summer crop planting. Much-above-normal rainfall in Hubei possibly reduced winter oilseed quality, but rainfall elsewhere in the Yangtze Valley was favorable for winter and spring crops. A developing drought in Guangdong and southern Fujian stressed sugarcane and early rice.
SOUTHEAST ASIA: In April, above-normal rainfall in southern Thailand slowed second-crop rice maturation. In Vietnam, dry weather favored rice maturation, but continued to reduce moisture supplies. Dry weather in the Philippines favored second-crop grain harvesting. In Java, Indonesia, drier weather aided main-season rice harvesting. Above-normal rainfall in peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra increased moisture supplies for oil palm.
AUSTRALIA: Since mid-April, rain in Western Australia improved winter crop planting prospects. In the east, mostly dry, warm weather favored maturing cotton and sorghum but reduced moisture for sugarcane development.
SOUTH AFRICA: Across the corn belt, early-April showers benefited immature summer crops and increased moisture reserves for wheat establishment. By May, conditions were mostly favorable for summer crop dry down and harvesting.