Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Poor South America Soybean Production Tied Directly To Drought

60 day precip Brazil
© StormX

Soybeans in Parana, Brazil, and Paraguay were irreversibly damaged by an intense drought in November-December. Hardly any rainfall was received for 60 days, stunting plants that failed to recover when rainfall improved January. The Rio Grande do Sul soybean planting was delayed by dryness, but there was no damage from spring-early summer drought.

Conditions improved for a time in January and February prompting Argentina growers to plant extra soybeans. But drought returned with a vengeance in March affecting all of Argentina, Paraguay and Rio Grande do Sul in South Brazil.

Bizarro Earth

Poor Spring Weather Lowers Canadian Canola Production Estimate

90 day precip
© StormX

The Canadian Wheat Board's annual crop outlook issued Thursday featured a significant reduction in expected canola production. Last year, 12.6 million metric tons of canola was harvested across the Canadian Prairies. This year, however, canola production is estimated to be just 10.2MMT, nearly 20% less than 2008. The yield is expected to be 29.3 bushels per acre.

For Alberta and Saskatchewan, the main culprit in the low canola production expectations is a combination of drought and below normal temperatures since March. In southern Manitoba, however, spring flooding has worked in concert with cool temperatures to negatively impact the canola crop.

Bruce Burnett of the Canadian Wheat Board states that most farmland in the Canadian Prairies has received just half of the heat needed to grow a crop this year. In fact, many canola farmers have reported that frost last week is forcing them to reseed a portion of the crop. In the drought-stricken regions, poor soil moisture is making the reseeding process very difficult leading farmers to consider abandoning their fields. In Manitoba, the flooding has also slowed the planting process. With planting extending into June, the canola crop runs the risk of a late harvest with similar frost and disease impacts to that of North Dakota spring wheat.

Bizarro Earth

Canada Canola Production Threatened By Western Prairie Drought

Canada Canola Production 06162009
© StormX

The USDA plugged in a low production estimate for the Canada 2009 canola crop on the June Supply-Demand report predicting the harvest would shrink 18% below last year -- a record setting season for both production and exports. The USDA estimate may not be low enough, considering how crop development has been delayed by severe cold and drought is threatening Alberta and western Saskatchewan.

The top canola province Alberta is experiencing the driest conditions since 2001. Subsoil moisture in the province had deteriorated to 38% poor, 42% fair, 19% good and 1% excellent, as of June 4th, according to the Alberta crop lettter. Key canola crop districts in central Alberta have not received any significant rainfall in the last 2-3 weeks.
Canada Canola Production 2001-2005
© StormX


Alberta fights 22 out-of-control wildfires

Edmonton -- Some 480 firefighters in the western Canadian province of Alberta were battling at least 22 out-of-control wildfires Tuesday, officials said.

Dry weather conditions, lightning strikes and sparks from campfires were among the causes of the fires, the largest of which was burning near Fort McMurray, 270 miles northeast of Edmonton, the Edmonton Journal reported.

That fire had consumed more than 5,600 acres by Tuesday morning, officials said.

Various highways were closed throughout the province as flames approached or smoke reduced visibility to zero, the report said.

Bizarro Earth

US: Not Enough Sunshine, Too Much Rain In Midwest Corn

7 day precip
© StormX

Corn ratings are expected to drift lower on the June 12 USDA report, due to worsening wetness in the Central Midwest and insufficient sunlight in the week.

The Midwest Corn Belt experienced another wet week due to recurring showers along a horizontal front. The wettest areas where at least 2 inches of rainfall occurred were in the southern half of the Corn Belt. At least .75 inch of rainfall occurred on 85% of Midwest farms. It was too wet for corn development with prevailing cool temperatures.

Bizarro Earth

US Winter Wheat Production Lower In Virtually Every State

United States winter wheat production would shrink 376 million bushels and 20% from 2008, according to USDA's June crop production estimates. Virtually every state is expected to produce less wheat.

The steepest production cut is predicted in soft red winter wheat, down 32% from 2008, due primarily to sharply reduced crop acreage. Soft red winter wheat is used for cakes, cookies, crackers and snack foods and is produced heavily in the Midwest and Mid South.

The major "breadbasket" states in the Great Plains will produce 16% less wheat than last season. Output is predicted sharply lower in Oklahoma and Texas, where a drought and freeze exacted a heavy toll on wheat. The top US wheat state Kansas is expecting average production similar to 2008. Likewise Nebraska's outlook is little changed from last year. Colorado is expecting a much larger harvest compared with a poor crop in 2008.


Southeastern Missouri farmers try to overcome wet spring, soggy crops

Bloomfield, Missouri - Southeastern Missouri's Mike Bell is among area farmers struggling to get crops planted after a wet spring.

Bell, of Bloomfield, usually has about 2,000 acres of corn planted by now. This year, he's has only 1,100 acres finished. Bell expects he'll face a harvesting date nearly a month late this fall. He was also behind on his soybean crop.


Canadian Wheat Output May Fall on Dry, Cool Weather

Canada's wheat production may fall 18 percent this year as dry, cool conditions in the western Prairies slow crop development and wet weather in Manitoba delays seeding, the Canadian Wheat Board said today in a report.

The harvest may include 16.4 million metric tons of non- durum wheat, down from 20 million tons a year earlier, and 4.4 million tons of durum varieties, down from 5.5 million tons, the CWB said in a preliminary forecast. The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday predicted a Canadian crop of 25 million tons.

Cooler temperatures for the past four to six months may curb yields to 33.4 bushels an acre, the lowest initial projection in seven years, Bruce Burnett, the director of weather and market analysis at the CWB, said today in a conference call.

"Cold weather across the Prairies this spring has had a detrimental effect on planting and early crop development in most growing regions," Burnett said. "Soil moisture levels are dangerously low in parts of Alberta and western Saskatchewan, where dry conditions have persisted since fall."

Cloud Lightning

US: Strong storms soak Plains states

Strong thunderstorms pounded the Kansas City, Mo., area, overnight, downing trees, filling waterways and leaving thousands powerless, officials said Tuesday.

The line of storms packed hurricane-force, straight-line winds that uprooted trees, damaged foundations and tossed cars across the road, KMBC-TV, Kansas City, reported. Utility companies along the storms' path reported thousands of customers were without electrical power.

In Tonganoxie, Mo., at least 6 inches of rain fell, while Olathe got 2 inches of rain in a 45-minute period, running off quickly into creeks, streams and rivers, KMBC said.


Ash plumes from Russian volcano prompt Air Canada travel advisory

Vancover, B.C. - A remote volcano on Russia's central Kuril Islands is affecting air travel between Vancouver and Asia.

Air Canada has issued an advisory warning that its flights between Vancouver and Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong could be disrupted by volcanic activity at Sarychev Peak.