World Crop Weather

15/11/12 -- My US weather buddy Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections provides us with her take on the latest crop weather conditions from around the globe:

Low Humidity, Worsening Dryness in South Brazil

While Mato Grosso, Brazil's top soybean state, has received daily showers, November weather has grown progressively drier in South Brazil. Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost farm state, has received virtually no rain in 2 weeks and unusual for this time of year. Parana weather was mixed, rather wet in the east but extremely dry in the west where most corn and soybeans are grown. The South Brazil forecast remains threatening for continued dry weather with a large, cool, ridge of high pressure.

Drying on Some Argentina Farms, Weather Still Unsettled

November weather has been relatively dry in Cordoba and southern Santa Fe, the northern half of Argentina's grain belt, allowing spring planting to advance. Buenos Aires weather has been rather unsettled and cooler than normal. There is no question that weather conditions are a big improvement from October, when twice-normal rainfall was received in the farm belt. Sunshine has been more abundant this month, also helpful for drying. Buenos Aires drying conditions have been less than ideal,with cool night temperatures in the lower 50s F, and occasional showers. The updated forecast is looking for weekend showers with locally heavy rain.

Australia Weather Stress in Maturing Wheat

A heat wave last week caused highs in the mid 90s F in South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales on several days. Most wheat was in the grain filling stage. There were strong showers in southern New South Wales last week, producing rains of 1-2 inches. Wheat conditions have stabilized in the wetter areas. The big picture in Eastern Australia is still one of drought and reduced wheat yields. Spring growing conditions were too dry for too long.

Russia Southern Drought Not Resolved

A dry weather pattern has prevailed this week in south Russia the main winter wheat region. Rainfall last week was limited to a small area in Krasnodar. The big picture is one of persistent drought. Just .40 inch of rainfall has occurred in the past 30 days in the Southern District and 32% of normal. Low humidity and dry field conditions contrast sharply with winter grain areas further to the north in the Black Earth and Volga Valley. There, fall showers have been frequent and heavy.

Ukraine Winter Grains Off to Favourable Start

Ukraine winter grains got a big boost from heavy rainfall the past 6-8 weeks, except for the far eastern grain belt bordering Russia. Kirovograd in central Ukraine has accrued a 4-inch moisture surplus completely curing drought. Donetsk is very dry in Eastern Ukraine (near Russia) with 28% of normal rainfall since October 1. Warm weather last week spurred growth where field moisture was favorable. Fall weather conditions last year were incredibly dry slowing growth of winter grains. It is just the opposite this year.

Modest Rains Aid North China Winter Wheat

Light to moderate showers in November improved growing conditions in winter wheat on the North China Plain. October had been perfectly dry with unusually warm temperatures. More rain is still needed. In Northeast China the weather continues cold and stormy. Growers still trying to harvest corn and soybeans have been delayed by frequent showers. Snow is predicted this week in Heilongjiang as the stormy and cold weather continues.

Active Mediterranean Storm Track in Southern Europe

Rainfall over the past month has been very ample in Spain, Italy and southeastern Europe, boosting field moisture for winter wheat. This is the opposite of last year when very serious drought developed, worsening from fall into winter. Mostly growing conditions have been favorable for winter wheat and rapeseed. The northern half of Germany is the notable exception, very dry in the past month. This is a key rapeseed area where less than 50% of normal rain has occurred.