USDA: Rains Spur Soybean Planting in Brazil

October 30, 2013 04:02 AM
 

 

 

USDA's Joint Ag Weather Facility has provided the following weekly weather/crop highlights:

 

  • EUROPE: Unseasonably warm weather overspread the entire continent, with showers in the west contrasting with generally dry conditions in eastern Europe. A northward shift of the jet stream allowed spring-like warmth (4-8°C above normal, with highs topping 20°C) to develop over most primary European growing areas. Consequently, winter grains and oilseeds added vegetative growth at an accelerated rate, and late-developing summer crops were spared any season-ending freezes. Showers (10-75 mm) continued to fall over western Europe, slowing corn harvesting in Spain, France, and Italy but providing additional soil moisture for winter wheat and rapeseed development. Showers were lighter (less than 5 mm) in Germany and Poland, allowing seasonal fieldwork to progress with little — if any — delay. Elsewhere, moderate to heavy showers (15-70 mm) from Scandinavia into the Baltic States benefited winter rapeseed, while sunny skies in the Balkans promoted wheat and rapeseed growth after a favorably wet September. During September, near- to above-normal rainfall in central and eastern Europe contrasted with drier-than-normal conditions in far northern Europe and along the central Mediterranean Coast. The dry weather was favorable for small grain harvesting in the United Kingdom and northwestern France as well as corn and sunflower harvesting in Italy and southern France. Occasional showers maintained favorable soil moisture for winter grains and oilseeds from northeastern France into Poland and the Baltic States. Farther south, locally heavy rain in the southern Balkans slowed fieldwork but provided adequate to abundant soil moisture for winter wheat and rapeseed. However, the rain mostly bypassed Bulgaria and Greece, accelerating summer crop harvesting but reducing soil moisture for winter crops.

  • FSU-WESTERN: Drier weather returned to the region, fostering late summer crop harvesting and other seasonal fieldwork. Early in the period, a weakening cold front triggered light to moderate showers in Belarus (10-35 mm), with increasingly lighter amounts (2-15 mm) observed farther southeast in northern Ukraine and west-central Russia. Consequently, fieldwork delays were most pronounced in Belarus, while producers in Moldova and southern portions of Ukraine and Russia were able to harvest corn and sunflowers with only minimal interruption. Weekly average temperatures remained above 5°C in western and southern growing areas, promoting additional vegetative growth of winter wheat. An abnormally cool, wet September hampered summer crop harvesting and delayed winter wheat planting and establishment. Rainfall approached or exceeded 100 mm over most major growing areas, which represented locally more than twice the monthly normal. Consequently, summer crop harvesting and winter crop planting were delayed. However, producers were spared a hard freeze, and warmer weather at month’s end allowed winter wheat to add much- needed vegetative growth in advance of the region’s harsh winter weather.

  • FSU-EASTERN: A drier-than-normal September promoted spring wheat harvesting in the north and cotton harvesting in the south. Showers were generally light (less than 25 mm) in primary spring wheat districts of Kazakhstan and Russia, which accelerated spring wheat drydown and harvesting efforts. In addition, there were no untimely snowfalls despite incursions of cold weather. Cotton harvesting also proceeded with little delay under sunny skies and above-normal temperatures from Turkmenistan into Kyrgyzstan.

  • MIDDLE EAST: Dry weather prevailed across much of the region, with rain confined to the Caspian Sea Coast. Sunny skies and near- to below-normal temperatures promoted winter wheat and barley planting from Turkey into central and northern Iran. Rain typically begins in southern and eastern crop districts (Iraq and Iran) in November, while western and northern crop districts (Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean) typically see increased rainfall in September and October. Despite the overall dry weather pattern, moderate to heavy showers (25-170 mm) along Iran’s Caspian Sea Coast continued to hamper citrus harvesting and likely caused localized flooding. During September, seasonably dry weather in the south and east contrasted with the arrival of seasonal showers in the north and west. Showers were heaviest (more than 100 mm) along the Black and Caspian Sea Coasts as well as portions of the eastern Mediterranean Coast. The rain slowed corn, cotton, and citrus harvesting but fell mostly outside of primary wheat and barley areas. Producers were able to plant winter grains with little delay, although rain will be needed soon in the typically colder growing areas of central Turkey and northwestern Iran for crop establishment prior to dormancy.

  • NORTHWEST AFRICA: During September, unusually active weather continued to provide supplemental moisture to summer crops. Rain totaled 10 to locally more than 50 mm in northern portions of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, which represented 100 to more than 400 percent of normal. Winter grain sowing typically commences in November, although the early autumn rainfall may have prompted some producers to plant winter grains in order to take advantage of the readily available, locally abundant soil moisture.

  • SOUTH ASIA: Seasonably dry post-monsoon weather prevailed across northern and western India promoting summer (kharif) crop harvesting (primarily cotton, soybeans, and groundnuts) as well as winter (rabi) crop planting (wheat and rapeseed). In contrast, heavy post-monsoon showers covered much of eastern and southern India. Embedded areas of low pressure within the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) spawned rainfall in excess of 700 mm in coastal portions of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Flooding and damage to mature rice and cotton were likely. While it is not unusual for monsoon rainfall to linger into the autumn or be followed by heavy post-monsoon rainfall (after September 30), the record October wetness in eastern India could significantly lower summer crop prospects. Meanwhile seasonably dry weather in Pakistan promoted rice and cotton harvesting as well as winter wheat planting. Similarly, mostly dry weather in Sri Lanka favored main-season (maha) rice transplanting. In contrast, wet weather slowed late-season (aman) rice maturation in Bangladesh. Soaking rains continued into September across India despite what is typically a withdrawal period. While the heavy rainfall was generally beneficial to late-season rice in the east, it was unfavorable for the majority of rice that was ripening in Orissa and surrounding areas. In addition, a spike in late-month rainfall (325 mm in less than 5 days) in Gujarat raised concerns over damage to cotton in the biggest producing region of India. The wetness was also unfavorable to other maturing summer crops including groundnuts. Elsewhere in the region, late-season wetness in northern Pakistan slowed maturation and harvesting of cotton and rice (mostly in the northern Punjab region), while wet weather benefited late-season (aman) rice in Bangladesh. In contrast, somewhat dry conditions in Sri Lanka promoted main- season (maha) rice transplanting.

  • EAST ASIA: The weather turned seasonably drier across most of China as fieldwork continued. Mid-week rain and snow (10-50 mm equivalent) in northeastern China slowed corn and soybean harvesting. By the end of the week, however, fieldwork was able to resume, particularly in Jilin and Liaoning where wetness and snow were less in contrast to portions of Heilongjiang where the highest amounts of rain and snow occurred. Farther south, cool, dry weather on the North China Plain facilitated winter wheat planting, while pockets of freezing temperatures (primarily in Hebei) ended the growing season for summer crops. In the Yangtze Valley, somewhat warmer conditions than farther north aided emergence of recently planted winter rapeseed and benefited harvesting of late-season rice. Elsewhere in the region, warmer- than-normal weather (1-2°C above normal) in Japan and on the Korean Peninsula lengthened the growing season for rice and other summer crops, although moisture has been limited in the Koreas since mid-month due to dry weather. In contrast, heavy showers (50-100 mm) across Japan from a pair of offshore tropical cyclones maintained favorable late-season moisture but slowed maturation of rice. In September, consistent showers through mid-month in northeastern China aided late-developing corn, but pockets of freezing temperatures by month’s end brought the growing season to a close for crops in northern Heilongjiang. On the North China Plain, occasional showers during the month maintained sufficient soil moisture for filling corn, while prolonged periods of drier weather aided cotton harvesting. Meanwhile, heavy showers late in the month across the Yangtze Valley (from the remnants of Typhoon Usagi) slowed summer crop harvesting but provided favorable moisture to some late-season rice. However, the rainfall came too late to significantly benefit rice already beginning to ripen. Generally dry weather throughout the month benefited mid-season rice harvesting in southern provinces of China, although rainfall from Typhoon Usagi caused brief delays. Elsewhere in the region, dry weather on the Korean Peninsula aided rice maturation, although a portion of the crop still in the late reproductive stages could benefit from more rainfall. In Japan, heavy showers during the first half of the month from a pair of land-falling tropical cyclones (Toraji, Man-Yi) and an offshore typhoon (Pabuk) caused some flooding and localized damage to rice in southern portions of Honshu.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA: Late-season monsoon showers (50-75 mm) slowed maturation of rice in key growing areas of northern Thailand. Typically, the dry-season begins in October and is fully established by November. In Vietnam, cool, dry weather aided winter rice harvesting, with winter-spring rice transplanting soon to begin. Similarly, cool, dry weather in the Philippines benefited summer rice and corn harvesting in the north as well as winter crop planting. Wet weather (50-150 mm) in the central and southern Philippines, however, slowed fieldwork but maintained abundant moisture supplies for the winter growing season. Meanwhile, the monsoon began in western portions of Java, Indonesia, slightly ahead of schedule and following prolonged wetness during the dry season. Rice transplanting was likely underway in western areas in response to the start of the rainy season. The monsoon had yet to become established in central and eastern Java, which typically occurs in mid- to late-November. Showers (50-125 mm) in surrounding portions of Indonesia and Malaysia boosted moisture supplies for oil palm as the crop begins its new growth cycle. Rainfall remained consistent in Thailand during September and added to already favorable moisture supplies. Rice prospects continued to be favorable from good monthly rainfall (250-400 mm) as the crop began to ripen by month’s end. Much of the rainfall was related to Typhoon Wutip, which made landfall at the tail end of the month in central Vietnam and spread rainfall across Indochina. The impact of Wutip in Vietnam was limited to minor growing areas in central portions of the country, with the key producing zones in the Red River Delta (north) and Mekong (south) relatively unscathed. In the Philippines, flooding continued in western Luzon from the passage of Super Typhoon Usagi through the northern straits, while Usagi produced more beneficially heavy showers (150 mm) elsewhere in the northern Philippines.

  • AUSTRALIA: In Western Australia, scattered showers (5-15 mm) benefited later maturing winter grains and oilseeds in eastern portions of the wheat belt, while drier weather in the west promoted drydown and harvesting. Similarly, rain (5-25 mm) throughout most of Victoria and pockets of South Australia and New South Wales aided immature winter crops, while mostly dry weather elsewhere favored wheat, barley, and canola maturation and harvesting. In northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, unseasonably hot, mostly dry weather supported rapid winter wheat harvesting and uninterrupted summer crop sowing but increased irrigation requirements for emerging cotton and sorghum. In eastern Australia, temperatures averaged 1 to 3°C above normal, with maximum temperatures in the 30s degrees C. Elsewhere, in the wheat belt, temperatures were generally seasonable. In September, frequent showers in Western Australia continued to favor winter grain and oilseed development, boosting yield potential as crops advanced through the reproductive to filling stages of development. Similarly, near-normal rainfall and warmer-than-normal weather in southeastern Australia maintained good to excellent wheat, barley, and canola prospects. In contrast, unseasonably warm, dry weather in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland hastened winter wheat maturation and spurred early harvesting.

  • SOUTH AFRICA: In September, mild, rainy weather benefited winter wheat in the main production areas of Western Cape. In contrast, unseasonably dry weather continued for winter grains in the central part of the country (notably North West and Free State); seasonal warming spurred crop growth rates at month’s end, necessitating a timely start to the rainy season to ensure normal crop development. Elsewhere, occasional rainfall — accumulating below normal for the month — likely had limited impact on the final stages of the sugarcane harvest in KwaZulu-Natal and eastern Mpumalanga.

  • ARGENTINA: Locally heavy showers boosted moisture for germination of summer crops in Argentina’s eastern farming areas, but drier weather returned to the west. Rainfall totaled 25 to 75 mm in most of the region extending from Buenos Aires to Formosa, with a few locations recording amounts in excess of 100 mm. Following last week’s beneficial rain, however, drier conditions prevailed in western production areas, with little to no rain falling from Cordoba to Salta. The rain ushered cooler weather into southern production areas, with weekly temperatures averaging 1 to 2°C below normal in La Pampa and Buenos Aires and nighttime lows dropping to 0°C in some locations. In contrast, weekly average temperatures were up to 2°C above normal farther north, with daytime highs briefly reaching the upper 30s (degrees C) as far south as northern Cordoba. Additional rain is needed in the drier, warmer western production areas to ensure uniform germination and proper establishment of corn and soybeans. According to Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture, corn and sunflowers were 28 and 25 percent planted, respectively, as of October 24, about 15 percentage points behind last season for both crops. In September, above-normal rainfall benefited winter grains in key production areas of Buenos Aires. Dry weather prevailed for much of the month in La Pampa, although later developing showers dampened topsoils for winter grains. Monthly average temperatures were 1 to 2°C below normal in the southern winter wheat belt, with freezes common in the traditionally cooler production areas. Farther north, most areas recorded below- normal rainfall, with virtually no rain recorded in the northwest (Santiago del Estero, Salta, and western sections of Chaco and Formosa). To the east, occasional rain was timely for germination of cotton and other early planted summer crops — including sunflowers — but monthly totals were below normal (25- 50 mm total accumulation in most areas).

  • BRAZIL: Beneficial rain covered much of the region, increasing moisture for soybeans, corn, and other summer crops. Rainfall intensified from the previous week in the south, with amounts reaching 25 mm as far north as Mato Grosso do Sul and Sao Paulo. Soaking rain (100 mm or greater) ended a dry spell in Rio Grande do Sul, providing timely moisture for soybean establishment. In contrast, showers tapered off across much of the Center-West and southeast regions (southern Mato Grosso to Minas Gerais), spurring fieldwork after several weeks of beneficial rain. Locally heavy rain (25-100 mm) fell from central and northern Mato Grosso to western Bahia, boosting moisture for establishment of soybeans and cotton; it was the heaviest rainfall thus far in the growing season in the northeastern interior, though dry pockets persisted in some areas. The rain extended eastward toward the southern coast of Bahia but seasonal dryness dominated the remainder of the northeastern coast. Weekly average temperatures were up to 4°C above normal in Brazil’s main summer crop areas, with daytime highs reaching the upper 30s (degrees C) in some of the traditionally warmer locations. In September, above-normal rainfall maintained abundant levels of moisture for newly sown summer crops in southern agricultural areas, while keeping unharvested winter wheat unfavorably wet. Monthly rainfall exceeded 100 mm throughout Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul, areas representing approximately 90 percent of Brazil’s total wheat crop and 30 percent of the country’s soybeans. In contrast, seasonal rains were slow to develop in the Center-West region (Mato Grosso, Goias, and Mato Grosso do Sul) with consistent rainfall finally arriving in the final days of the month; the northeastern interior (notably Tocantins and western Bahia) stayed dry the entire month of September. Although some irrigation is available, farmers in these more northerly growing areas — which account for most of Brazil’s soybeans and cotton — typically await the start of the rainy season before planting becomes widespread. Seasonal rain tapered off during the month along the northeastern coast, but sporadic showers gave a late-season boost to irrigation reserves for sugarcane and cocoa.

  • MEXICO: Heavy rain inundated sections of southern and eastern Mexico, but seasonal dryness continued across the north. Without making landfall, Hurricane Raymond generated locally heavy showers (exceeding 100 mm) along the southern Pacific Coast. The heavy rain was particularly unwelcome in southern Michoacan and Guerrero, which had already recently experienced flooding caused by tropical storms. More moderate amounts of rainfall (5-50 mm) were recorded on the southern plateau, giving a late-season boost to local reservoirs but likely having limited impact on corn or other maturing rain-fed summer crops. However, heavy rain (50 to almost 200 mm, locally) returned to the southern Gulf Coast, causing some flooding and renewing concerns for potential damage to sugarcane in key production areas of northern Veracruz. In contrast, seasonably drier weather returned to much of northern Mexico, following last week’s unusually late rainfall. During September, tropical storm systems affected both the Gulf and Pacific Coasts, causing flooding and local damage to crops but significantly increasing reservoir levels in several regions. Early in the month, the same area of the Gulf Coast impacted by Tropical Storm Fernand in late August received additional heavy rain in successive weeks from an unnamed tropical depression and Hurricane Ingrid. As a result, monthly rainfall totaled 300 to 700 mm from northern Tamaulipas to southern Veracruz, with amounts exceeding 100 mm extending well into the northern interior (notably western Coahuila). Farther west, Hurricane Manuel generated similar amounts of rainfall along the southern Pacific Coast, as it skirted the coastline before eventually making landfall in Sinaloa and bringing significant rain to northwestern watersheds. Some of the heavy rain reached the southern plateau, where frequent, occasionally heavy rain maintained mostly favorable conditions for corn and rain-fed summer crops. In contrast, monsoon showers gradually diminished during late September, ending a short but significant period of reservoir recharge from the remnants of the aforementioned tropical storm systems. According to the government of Mexico, total national reservoir capacity was at 63.5 percent as of September 30, compared with 53.9 percent last year, and 60.7 percent in 2011. In the northwest (Sinaloa and Sonora), total reservoir capacity was at 57.52, jumping ahead of both last year (50.8 percent) and 2011 (48.3 percent).

  • CANADIAN PRAIRIES: Conditions were overall favorable for drydown and early harvesting of spring grains and oilseeds in early September, although showers caused some delays in southern agricultural districts. In addition, wet weather (weekly totals in excess of 25 mm, locally more than 50 mm) slowed fieldwork during the latter half of the month in the eastern Prairies, although harvesting was reportedly well underway before the onset of the heaviest rain, helping to mitigate the impact of the wetness. Cooler weather gradually descended upon the region, with most areas recording their first autumn freeze during the latter half of the month. In spite of the freeze, which arrived up to 3 weeks later than average in some areas, monthly temperatures were 3 to 4°C above normal across the Prairies due to the early month warmth and otherwise mild conditions in late September.

  • SOUTHEASTERN CANADA: During September, mild, showery weather prevailed, although some locations experienced an early autumn freeze that reportedly caused some damage to corn in outlying production areas. Freezes were recorded on several mornings during the latter half of the month (as early as September 16- 17), more than a week ahead of schedule for some areas. However, major farming areas of southwestern Ontario were generally free from frost, sparing most corn and soybeans from potential damage. Monthly rainfall was near to above normal, with both Ontario and Quebec experiencing periods of heavy rain (weekly totals exceeding 50 mm) that disrupted fieldwork, including winter wheat planting.


 

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