USDA Monthly World Weather Highlights: Varied Conditions in Australia

10:53AM Oct 11, 2012

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


  • UNITED STATES: UThe nation’s historic drought of 2012 continued its shift toward the northwest during September. Extremely dry conditions fostered a record-setting pace of corn and soybean harvesting in the upper Midwest, but delayed winter wheat planting and emergence across the northwestern half of the Plains and parts of the Northwest. In contrast, September rainfall continued to benefit some late-developing soybeans in the Mid-South and lower Midwest. In those regions, early-September rainfall was associated with the remnants of Hurricane Isaac. As the month progressed, additional rainfall in both the Mid-South and lower Midwest aided pastures and boosted soil moisture in preparation for soft red winter wheat planting. Meanwhile, wetter conditions also developed across the southern half of the Plains, reviving rangeland and pastures, and promoting the emergence of newly planted hard red winter wheat. Elsewhere, much of the West experienced a warm month, while portions of the Northwest received no measurable rainfall.

  • CANADA: In September, dry, occasionally warm weather fostered rapid harvesting of Prairie spring grains and oilseeds. However, the continuing summer dryness exacerbated yield declines in canola, and an unusual outbreak of high winds reportedly disrupted harvesting and led to additional losses. In Ontario, showers boosted soil moisture for germination and establishment of winter wheat.

  • SOUTH AMERICA: In late-September, the arrival of summer rainfall spurred soybean planting in key production areas of central Brazil. In southern Brazil, soaking rain during the first week in October increased moisture for corn and soybeans but was untimely for maturing winter wheat. The continuation of unseasonably heavy rain in Argentina maintained adequate to locally excessive levels of moisture for winter grains and early planted summer grains and oilseeds.

  • EUROPE: In September, wet weather continued to hamper the final stages of the U.K. small grain harvest, especially in northern portions of the country. Dry weather favored fieldwork across the remainder of northern Europe, although timely rain at month’s end ensured adequate soil moisture for wheat and rapeseed establishment. Meanwhile, much-needed rain arrived in Spain, boosting soil moisture and irrigation reserves for upcoming wheat and barley planting. In contrast, heat and drought continued to afflict the Balkans, where prospects for winter crop planting and establishment remained bleak.

  • FSU-WESTERN: A warmer- and drier-than-normal September facilitated summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting from Ukraine into southern Russia. However, soil moisture declined under the dry weather regime, with rain needed soon to ensure uniform winter crop establishment. In contrast, locally heavy showers in Belarus and northern portions of Russia’s Central and Volga Districts slowed summer crop harvesting and winter wheat planting, although the rain ensured adequate to abundant soil moisture for winter wheat and barley establishment.

  • FSU-EASTERN: In September, drier-than-normal weather across Kazakhstan and much of Russia favored spring grain maturation and harvesting. However, showers in the Siberia District caused minor harvesting delays.

  • MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY: In Turkey and Syria, late-month showers provided topsoil moisture for winter crop planting and establishment. Seasonably dry weather elsewhere favored fieldwork, including cotton harvesting and winter wheat planting.

  • SOUTH ASIA: Rainfall continued across India for much of September as the monsoon began withdrawing about 2 weeks late. The late-season rains in the north were particularly unwelcome for mature cotton and rice, although drier weather by month’s end aided harvesting. Above-normal rainfall in Gujarat boosted soil moisture and helped stabilize cotton and groundnut prospects but likely came too late to improve yields. Filling soybeans in Madhya Pradesh benefited from above-normal rainfall, while farther east, diminishing showers aided rice maturation and harvesting.

  • EASTERN ASIA: Wet weather prevailed across China in September. Above-normal rainfall in Manchuria slowed corn and soybean maturation as well as harvesting. Similarly, wet weather in the Yangtze Valley delayed the completion of summer crop harvesting, including single-season rice. In contrast, dry weather on the North China Plain aided corn maturation along with soybean and cotton harvesting. Two Super Typhoons occurred during the month (Sanba and Jelawat) but weakened significantly prior to making landfall in South Korea (Sanba) and Japan (Jelawat). The heavy rainfall associated with the storms, however, caused delays in rice harvesting.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA: Rainfall increased across Thailand during September, but remained below normal in key northeastern growing areas where concerns mounted regarding sufficient moisture for rice. In Vietnam, above-normal rainfall maintained favorable moisture supplies for winter rice. Meanwhile in the Philippines, below-normal rain in northern growing areas aided early harvesting of rice, with abundant soil moisture elsewhere for reproductive rice and corn.

  • AUSTRALIA: In Western Australia, near- to somewhat above-normal September rainfall helped stabilize crop prospects as winter grains and oilseeds advanced through the reproductive stages of development. Elsewhere in the wheat belt, below-normal rainfall in southern and eastern Australia was unfavorable for wheat, barley, and canola development. Untimely dryness increased crop water requirements and likely reduced local yield prospects.