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Dry Weather Forecast For U.S. Winter Wheat, Argentine Soy

Date: 23-Nov-10
Country: SINGAPORE
Author: Naveen Thukral

Dry weather forecast across the U.S. Southern Plains this week with wide swings in temperature will hamper development of winter wheat crop, a forecaster said on Monday.

"With little or no precipitation in the forecast during the next 10 days, there will be additional stress on the winter wheat crop especially in the dry areas of western Kansas, eastern Colorado and southwest Nebraska," said Mike Palmerino, agricultural meteorologist with Telvent DTN.

"Further declines in crop ratings can be expected."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will update its weekly crop progress report at 2000 GMT.

The USDA last week said 46 percent of the winter wheat crop was good to excellent -- the lowest winter wheat rating for mid-November since 2001. Wheat watchers hope conditions improve before early December so the crop is in better shape to withstand the harsh U.S. winter.

In the southern Midwest and northern Delta, moderate-to-heavy rain will recharge soil moisture and some improvement in crop ratings is likely.

The soybean and corn producing areas of Argentina are also experiencing dry weather due to the La Nina weather pattern, although there are no immediate crop concerns.

"A turn to drier weather bears watching as La Nina conditions often produce some drought conditions in the major growing areas," said Palmerino. "At this point temperatures are not hot enough to indicate significant stress on crops."

Sparse rains in Argentina's agricultural belt slowed farmers' progress in planting 2010/11 soybeans over the last week, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Weather forecasters say rains were below average in many farming areas in October, in the first sign that the La Nina weather phenomenon is affecting the South American nation.

(Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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