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USDA: Excessive Rain and Cool Conditions Slow Canadian Crop Development

07:23AM Jun 13, 2013

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility has issued the following monthly global weather highlights:

  • UNITED STATES: During May, periods of heavy rain hampered fieldwork and renewed flooding across the northern Plains and the Midwest, except for a brief mid-month stretch when producers achieved a torrid corn planting pace. By the end of the month, substantial soybean acreage had not yet been planted in the western and central Corn Belt. Cool, wet conditions also hampered spring wheat planting, especially in North Dakota. May rain from South Dakota to Texas largely fell too late to assist the drought- and freeze-ravaged winter wheat crop. As drought entered a third year on the southern High Plains, serious concerns existed with respect to the health of rangeland, pastures, and emerging summer crops. Drought also led to unusually poor rangeland and pasture conditions in the Southwest. Parts of the West also continued to suffer from the combined effects of sub-par spring runoff and below-normal reservoir storage. Elsewhere, abundant rain fell across much of the South and East, although there were enough breaks in the weather for previously delayed planting activities to advance.

  • CANADA: In May, Prairie spring grain and oilseed planting made slow progress as showers maintained adequate to locally excessive levels of moisture. Conditions were mostly favorable for winter wheat, emerging summer crops, and pastures in Ontario, but cool weather, including an unseasonably late freeze, slowed vegetative growth and may have burned back tender vegetation.

  • SOUTH AMERICA: During May, a drying trend supported summer grain, oilseed, and cotton harvesting throughout Argentina’s main farming areas. In Brazil, periods of unseasonably heavy rain were untimely for sugarcane harvesting and maturation of coffee. However, the rain maintained mostly favorable levels of moisture for secondary (safrinha) corn and cotton.

  • EUROPE: Wetter-than-normal weather across much of Europe during May hampered fieldwork but boosted soil moisture for heading to filling winter crops and emerging to vegetative summer crops. Locally excessive rainfall caused flooding from Germany and Poland into northern Italy. In particular, corn planting in northern Italy and Croatia has been hampered by a very wet spring, with recent rain exacerbating fieldwork delays. Meanwhile, producers in England were able to sow spring grains and oilseeds in lieu of unplanted winter crops following a wet autumn.

  • FSU-WESTERN: Unseasonably warm, mostly drier-than-normal weather reduced prospects for winter wheat in southern portions of Russia and Ukraine. However, spotty, locally heavy showers and thunderstorms provided localized soil moisture, resulting in highly variable winter wheat crop conditions. Elsewhere, near- to above-normal rainfall maintained abundant soil moisture for grains and oilseeds and promoted summer crop establishment.

  • FSU-EASTERN: In May, heavy rain hampered spring grain planting in Russia’s Siberia District. In contrast, drier weather facilitated fieldwork in north-central Kazakhstan and neighboring environs. By month’s end, however, favorably drier weather overspread the entire region encouraging a fast pace of late spring wheat planting. Farther south, showers and thunderstorms boosted moisture for cotton establishment but hampered late planting.

  • MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY: During May, heavy rain across southern Iraq and southwestern Iran caused flooding and tempered crop prospects for mature winter wheat. Across the region’s northern tier, near- to above-normal rainfall was favorable for reproductive to filling winter wheat but slowed late cotton planting efforts from Turkey into northern Iran.

  • SOUTH ASIA: Pre-monsoon showers in May brought an early boost to moisture reserves in parts of southern and eastern India as farmers awaited the onset of the monsoon before beginning widespread planting activities. Meanwhile, rice and cotton planting in Pakistan was reportedly nearing completion by the end of May.

  • EASTERN ASIA: Wet May weather on the North China Plain raised concerns for wheat quality as the crop continued to mature through the month. The wet weather extended southward into the Yangtze Valley and throughout most southern provinces, slowing rapeseed harvesting, but maintaining excellent moisture supplies for rice and other summer crops. Meanwhile in northeastern China, consistent rainfall and warm weather aided emergence of corn and soybeans in Heilongjiang, while dry weather in Liaoning and parts of Jilin benefited corn planting but reduced soil moisture for establishment. Elsewhere in the region, above-normal rainfall on the Korean Peninsula aided rice establishment as below-normal rainfall for the month in Japan lowered moisture supplies for rice.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA: A weak start to the monsoon in Thailand resulted in limited moisture supplies for rice establishment in western growing areas, while seasonal rains benefited rice in the east. The Philippines also experienced a poor start to the summer monsoon, although moisture reserves for rice and corn were better off than in Thailand. Meanwhile, rainfall continued into Java, Indonesia’s dry season, raising concerns over rice yields and quality.

  • AUSTRALIA: In early May, mostly dry weather in eastern Australia delayed winter crop sowing but favored cotton and sorghum harvesting. During the remainder of the month, widespread showers and periods of sun in southeastern Australia triggered wheat, barley, and canola planting and aided germination and emergence. In South Australia and Western Australia, near-normal May rainfall and generally mild weather spurred planting and helped early winter grain and oilseed development.