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What is Mother Nature doing around the world? - 02 January 2013

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Wednesday 2nd January 2013.
Sarah Mikesell - TheCropSite Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell
Senior Editor

What is Mother Nature doing around the world?

Happy 2013! During our holiday travels visiting family in Ohio, we were inundated with 6-10 inches of snow the day after Christmas - it got worse as we drove north. But on our way home to Chicago as we crossed over the Illinois state line, it was as if someone had flipped off the snow switch, and we were back to bare ground. It's cold, but the snowball makers the kids got for Christmas will do them no good here in northern Illinois.

Let's take a look at recent world agricultural weather highlights:

United States

Dry weather from South Dakota to Texas left US winter wheat conditions at their lowest levels on record for late November. Winter wheat struggled to emerge on the northern Plains due to the normal seasonal decline in soil and air temperatures. Farther east, most areas from the Mississippi Valley to the East Coast experienced cool, dry conditions. The northern Mid-Atlantic region saw dry weather. Farther south, mostly dry conditions caused renewed drought concerns in some southern Atlantic States.

South America

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.


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. In Spain and Italy, locally heavy rain supplied soil moisture for winter wheat and boosted irrigation supplies for warm-season crops.

Former Soviet Union - 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.

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 & Turkey

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: Summer crop harvesting in northern India was completed in November allowing winter crop planting to advance. Generally warm, sunny conditions favored planting and emergence of rapeseed and wheat in India's northern tier states. In southern India, unseasonably heavy rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Nilam provided a boost to moisture supplies for rabi crops but locally reduced cotton yields.

Eastern: 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. By month's end, colder weather began easing wheat into dormancy across northern crop.

Southeast: Despite inconsistent rainfall, moisture conditions were favorable for rice in Java, Indonesia. In the Philippines, generally dry weather favored summer crop harvesting as well as winter crop planting. In early December, the storm surge from Super Typhoon Bopha caused crop damage in low-lying fields in Mindanao.


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 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 rain-fed summer crops. Frequent, occasionally heavy rain maintained generally favorable conditions for sugarcane in KwaZulu-Natal.

As we ring in 2013, let's hope for better weather conditions than we saw in 2012.

Have a great week and a great 2013!

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Global Crop Industry News

   United States

CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Tuesday
Difficult to Anticipate 1 December Corn Stocks Estimate
NFU Board Opposes Farm Bill Extension
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Wednesday
No Storage Deficit Areas for 2012 Cotton Marketing Loan Program
Snow Can Provide Benefits to Wheat Crop
NOP Releases New Guides for Organic Certification
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Thursday
Weather's Impact on 2013 Crops Likely to Impact Hog Profitability
Amendment to Label GE Food Pre-Filed for Consideration
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Friday
GeoGrain: Basis Levels Inch Higher
Grain Hedge: Report Sends Wheat Spiraling Lower, Corn Finds Support
K-State to Host Agriculture Lease Workshops
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Wednesday
Projected Crop Farm Incomes: A Drought Reprieve
In 2013, Resolve to Improve Farming Practices
Weekly Roberts Market Report
CME: Corn Futures Closed Lower Thursday
Economist: US Crop, Livestock Price Prospects for 2013
GeoGrain: Grain Basis Quiet over Holiday
Grain Hedge: Fiscal Cliff, Macros Turn Grains Negative Last Week
CME: Corn Futures Closed Slightly Higher Friday
US EPA's Jackson Announces Resignation; Leaving After State of Union
CME: Corn Futures Closed Higher Monday
IFES 2012: The Impact of Biofuels Mandates on Grain, Oilseed
CME: Highlights of 2013 Price Predictions
Farm Bill Extension 'Ineffective'
Farmers Receive Meager Share of Retail Food Dollar

   United Kingdom

Survey Reveals Low Farmer Confidence
CAP to Take Priority in 2013
National Farmers Union Announce Emergency Fund
Make Money from Fracking on Your Farm
Spring-sown Herbage Seed Offers Attractive 2013 Cropping Option
Outdated Farm Labour Laws Abolished
AWB Abolition Necessary and Correct, says NFU
Conference on New Metrics for Sustainable Agriculture
Overage Clauses Should be Checked for Renewables Developments
2013 – A Year for Farm Tenancies to Shine
Farmers 'Losing Out' to Renewable Projects
Feeding Future Careers in Food, Farming
Fresh Thinking on Farm Policy is 'Crucial'


Farm Exports, Earnings Up in 2012
Rural Confidence Lower - Rabobank
Study Identifies the Drivers for Sustainable Land Management
Establishment of Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce Underway


French Farmers Demand Flexible CAP Aid


Harper Government Helps Grain Farmers Grow Stronger
Canadian Canola Promoted to India


CME Group Expands Currency Suite with Indian Rupee FX Futures Contracts


What's Driving Grain Markets, What to Watch in 2013
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   European Union

MEPs Make Sense of Record CAP Amendments
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Eurostat Publishes Annual Pocketbook
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Foodgrains from Central Pool at Below Poverty Line Prices
India Export Additional 25 Lakh Tonnes of Wheat


Army Worms Destroy Zambian Maize Fields


Chinese Farm Produce Prices Rise

   Viet Nam

Viet Nam Hits Record Export Rice Volume in 2012

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