World Crop Weather Highlights

28/02/12 -- World agri-weather highlights from the excellent Martell Crop Projections who say that La Nina has rapidly weakened since late January, evidenced by strong warming in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

This seems to have caused a sudden reversal in weather patterns for many countries.

"Argentina soybean growing areas have suddenly become very wet following prolonged and intense drought. In the United States, hard red winter wheat has received beneficial rain and snow easing a previous severe drought.

"In Western Europe growing conditions have reversed course turning much drier in recent weeks after a stormy period mid winter in France, Spain and United Kingdom. At the other end of the see-saw, Ukraine recently has received very generous winter precipitation, easing drought.

"Russia winter wheat in the Volga was very wet, but now has gone dry," they add.

In the US they say that "hard red winter wheat conditions have improved sharply since late January, reflecting generous precipitation in the Great Plains. Wheat potential is way better than last year, when winter growing conditions were very dry. It is not likely wheat would recover fully from dry planting conditions last fall. It is more hopeful outlook nonetheless, especially with higher plantings boosting production."

Meanwhile "Stormy weather has developed in the Northern Midwest over the past 24 hours with heavy rain and sleet in spring wheat- and northern corn states Minnesota and Iowa. One big storm would not cure severe drought in the northern United States but at least improves topsoil moisture for spring planting, due to begin in late April-early May," they conclude.