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USDA Monthly World Weather Highlights

07:56AM Jun 12, 2012

As part of the monthly USDA S&D Report, USDA Joint Ag Weather Facility has issued the following weather highlights:

  • UNITED STATES: During May, warmer- and drier-than-normal conditions reduced topsoil moisture from the central and southern Plains into the Mid-South and lower Midwest. The warm, dry conditions hastened winter wheat maturation at the expense of some yield potential, but promoted an early start to the harvest season. In addition, diminishing moisture reserves led to an increase in stress on pastures and rain-fed summer crops. In contrast, beneficial showers eased or eradicated dry conditions across portions of the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and Atlantic Coast States. Some of the heaviest rain fell late in the month, when a series of cold fronts crossed the nation’s northern tier and Tropical Storm Beryl soaked the southern Atlantic region. Meanwhile, a period of warm, dry weather in California and the Northwest allowed for an acceleration of planting and crop development, following a slow start to the growing season. Elsewhere, hot, dry weather in the Southwest maintained severe stress on rangeland and pastures, triggered an early end to the snow-melt season, and fostered the spread of wildfires.

  • CANADA: In early May, spring grain and oilseed planting progressed rapidly across the Prairies. Locally heavy rain disrupted fieldwork late in the month but provided ample moisture for germination and crop establishment. In late May and early June, Ontario received much-needed rain for emerging summer crops and for winter wheat approaching reproduction.

  • SOUTH AMERICA: May wetness slowed corn and soybean harvesting in major production areas of central Argentina. In Brazil, unseasonably wet conditions provided a rare lateseason boost in moisture for safrinha corn, continuing the trend of improving crop prospects that began in April. Unseasonably cool weather grazed the southern edge of the winter corn belt in early June, likely having minor, if any, impact on immature crops.

  • EUROPE: A warmer- and drier-than-normal May reduced soil moisture for reproductive to filling wheat and rapeseed in northeastern Europe, with a mid-month cold snap also causing localized pockets of freeze damage. However, much-needed rain arrived by month’s end in eastern Germany and Poland. Abundant rainfall boosted summer crop prospects in the Balkans, while persistent, timely showers favored winter grains and oilseeds in France and England. Showers benefited filling wheat in Italy, while Spain’s winter crop harvesting proceeded without delay.

  • FSU-WESTERN: Much-needed rainfall stabilized winter wheat prospects in southern portions of Ukraine and Russia’s Southern District. The rain also boosted soil moisture reserves for corn and sunflower planting and establishment. Showers maintained favorable soil moisture for winter grains and oilseeds in Belarus and northern Russia. Drier- and warmer-than-normal conditions increased stress on reproductive winter crops across central and eastern portions of the winter wheat belt.

  • FSU-EASTERN: In May, rain maintained favorable soil moisture for spring wheat establishment in northern Kazakhstan and western portions of Russia’s Siberia District. In contrast, dryness maintained drought concerns in southern portions of the Siberia District, although early June rainfall was offering some relief. May was also drier-than-normal in the Urals District, with above-normal temperatures increasing evaporative losses and crop-water demands. Farther south, showers and thunderstorms boosted moisture for cotton establishment but hampered late planting.

  • MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY: During May, above-normal rainfall improved prospects for wheat and barley across much of Turkey. However, locally heavy downpours hampered late cotton planting, particularly in western Turkey. In contrast, an early end to the rainy season trimmed yield prospects for wheat in Syria. Dry, seasonably warm weather elsewhere promoted a rapid pace of drydown and harvesting.

  • SOUTH ASIA: Rainfall was generally sparse during May across India, as growers awaited the onset of the monsoon. The precipitation that did occur was confined to far southern India and parts of the eastern coast. The majority of rain fell in Assam and neighboring Bangladesh, benefiting rice. Otherwise, hot weather dominated the region with daytime temperatures near 50°C in interior India.

  • EASTERN ASIA: In May, rainfall was above normal across much of southern China and the Yangtze Valley, benefiting vegetative summer crops. Winter rapeseed harvesting was underway by the latter half of the month, slowed by the above-normal precipitation. Warm, dry conditions on the North China Plain favored winter wheat maturation and harvesting, which began late in the month. Meanwhile, rainfall was below normal in northeastern China, although soil moisture conditions were sufficient for germination of corn and soybeans. By the end of the month, however, an increase in precipitation improved moisture conditions for emerging crops.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA: A favorable start to the monsoon brought abovenormal rainfall to Indochina and the Philippines, increasing moisture supplies for rice and corn. With the arrival of the rainy season, rice transplanting began across Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Summer rice transplanting was also underway in southern Vietnam, while an increase in showers improved moisture conditions for spring rice in northern Vietnam.

  • AUSTRALIA: In early May, widespread rain in Western Australia spurred winter crop planting and development, but dry weather during the remainder of the month reduced soil moisture. In the southeast, below-normal rainfall throughout most of May delayed winter crop planting, until soaking rain toward month’s end encouraged widespread sowing. Elsewhere in eastern Australia, intermittent rain and sun favored cotton and sorghum harvesting and winter wheat planting and early development.