USDA: Varied Soil Moisture in Black Sea Region

December 11, 2012 04:20 AM



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

  • UNITED STATES: Dry weather from South Dakota to Texas left U.S. winter wheat conditions at their lowest levels on record for late November. In contrast, beneficial November precipitation fell across northern California and from the Pacific Northwest to Montana and North Dakota. Still, winter wheat struggled to emerge on the northern Plains due to the normal seasonal decline in soil and air temperatures. Toward month’s end, precipitation intensity increased across northern California and the Northwest. However, mild weather accompanied the storminess, limiting high-elevation snow accumulations. Farther east, most areas from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast experienced a cool, dry November. In the northern Mid-Atlantic region, dry weather aided recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy. Farther south, mostly dry conditions promoted Southeastern fieldwork— including winter wheat planting and cotton and soybean harvesting—but caused renewed drought intensification in portions of Alabama and the southern Atlantic States.

  • SOUTH AMERICA: Throughout November, chronic wetness continued to plague farmers in central Argentina, hindering planting of summer grains and oilseeds and keeping maturing winter grains unfavorably wet. Seasonable rainfall in central Brazil benefited emerging soybeans and cotton, as well as sugarcane, coffee, and citrus. In southern Brazil, periodic dryness aided winter wheat harvesting and soybean planting, though inundating rain in early December was untimely for unharvested wheat in Rio Grande do Sul.

  • EUROPE: In November, wet conditions prevailed across much of Europe, slowing late winter crop planting in France and England but maintaining adequate to abundant soil moisture for winter grains and oilseeds. However, unfavorably dry conditions persisted in the Balkans, limiting soil moisture for winter wheat and rapeseed establishment. In Spain and Italy, locally heavy rain supplied soil moisture for winter wheat and boosted irrigation supplies for warm-season crops. At month’s end, winter crops were dormant in northeastern Europe but still adding vegetative growth elsewhere.

  • FSU-WESTERN: In November, persistent drought in the south contrasted with favorable rain and snow in the north. Soil moisture remained limited for winter wheat establishment in southern-most Ukraine and Russia’s Southern District, although an abnormally warm November and early December extended the growing season. Soil moisture was adequate for winter grains and oilseeds from Belarus and northern Ukraine into the Volga District. Most winter crops were devoid of a protective snow cover, which typically blankets the northern half of the region by early December.

  • NORTHWESTERN AFRICA: Above-normal November rainfall from Morocco into northern Tunisia boosted topsoil moisture for winter grain planting and establishment. However, locally heavy rain may have necessitated some replanting.

  • MIDDLE EAST AND TURKEY: During November, moderate to heavy rain boosted soil moisture for winter crop establishment from central Turkey into Iran. In contrast, drier-than-normal conditions in western Turkey reduced soil moisture for winter crops, although rain returned to these crop areas in early December. Warmer-than-normal weather prevented crops from going dormant.

  • SOUTH ASIA: Summer crop harvesting in northern India was completed in November allowing winter crop planting to advance, albeit somewhat behind last year’s pace. Generally warm, sunny conditions favored planting and emergence of rapeseed and wheat in the northern tier states of India. Cooler weather by month’s end favored vegetative development of the cool-season crops. Meanwhile in southern India, unseasonably heavy early-month rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Nilam provided a beneficial boost to moisture supplies for rabi crops but locally reduced yields of cotton.

  • EASTERN ASIA: In November, rainfall was generally near normal across the North China Plain and the Yangtze Valley, where moisture supplies remained adequate for vegetative winter wheat and rapeseed. In addition, seasonably cool weather aided vegetative development of the cool-season crops. By month’s end, colder weather began easing wheat into dormancy across northern crop areas as crops in other areas continued to add vegetation, albeit at a slow rate.

  • SOUTHEAST ASIA: Despite somewhat inconsistent rainfall during November, moisture conditions were favorable for rice in Java, Indonesia. More consistent rainfall would be welcomed to ensure adequate moisture for the crop, however. In the Philippines, generally dry weather favored summer crop harvesting as well as winter crop planting. However, in early December, the resultant storm surge from Super Typhoon Bopha caused crop damage in low-lying fields in Mindanao.

  • AUSTRALIA: During November, relatively cool, wet weather arrived too late in the growing season to benefit maturing winter grains and oilseeds in Western Australia. Unseasonably warm, dry weather in southern and eastern Australia hastened wheat, barley, and canola maturation and harvesting. Very hot weather toward month’s end increased irrigation requirements for vegetative summer crops and likely stressed some dryland crops.

  • SOUTH AFRICA: In November and early December, rainfall increased throughout the corn belt, providing timely moisture for germination and establishment of corn and other rainfed summer crops. Frequent, occasionally heavy rain maintained generally favorable conditions for sugarcane in KwaZulu-Natal.

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