You may have noticed winter's getting shorter and shorter, resulting in earlier arrivals of spring. For example, last month was the ninth warmest January on record and set multiple high-temperature records. Fruit trees that historically have done well in a region are seeing decreasing yields as favorable locations shift.
The weather was warm. Towards February 5, air temperatures peaked at 18-20°C with the average daily air temperature being 4-5°C above its normal level necessary for winter cereals to grow. Despite high temperatures in most regions, growth resumption in winter crops was curbed by a topsoil moisture shortage because of low precipitation rates in January.
On January 11-20, winter crops in the south and southeast of the country were exposed to air temperatures 1…4˚C above normal, while locally in sub mountainous southeastern areas they were 1˚C below the long-term average. Above-normal precipitation occurred in the southeast, improving the accumulation of soil moisture.
Growing winter wheat and playing blackjack are two activities with almost nothing in common. Except one thing: if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to lose money playing blackjack or growing winter wheat. “The example I like to use is: let’s figure out blackjack by going to Vegas (but) never playing the game before,” said Ken Greer, founder of the Western Ag Group of Companies.
Australia's national crop has come under siege, with a horror September in Western Australia in particular putting forecast yields in severe doubt. In its September crop report the Grains Industry Association of Western Australia (GIWA) has cut 10.2 per cent of its estimate of the WA crop from its August forecast.
Some winter barley growers are facing yield losses of 1.5t/ac due to severe problems with barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). The problems appear to be most prevalent in Leinster where growers report an increased disease pressure. However, all areas are experiencing greater challenges with BYDV infections this harvest.
Elevated air temperatures persisted in Romania last week (on average 2..4°С warmer than normal). The mean daytime air temperature varied within 0..+12°С. In the southeast, the thermometer showed +15°С on January 30. Precipitation occurred almost everywhere as rain and sleet (10-15 mm during the week), replenishing soil moisture and easing drought. Because of elevated temperatures, some winter crops in the south resumed growing.
Last week, air temperatures in Romania were mostly within long-term normal ranges, exceeding long-term normal values by 1..2°С in the south and northeast. The average daytime temperature varied within -2..+4°С, posing no risk of winterkill to crops. Precipitation in the form of rain and sleet occurred all over the country, but the highest rates were registered in the north and west (10-25 mm over the week) with at most 5-10 mm in the rest of Romania.
For most of the period of December 11-20, Ukraine was exposed to variable air temperatures and insignificant precipitation in the form of snow. So, the average daily air temperature was 1.1-2.40С above normal on December 11-13, but then fell to 2.8-4.50С below normal towards December 20, varying from +10С to -5.40С. Precipitation in the form of snow occurred on December 11-12 and December 18-20.
This past week, air temperatures in Romania were at long-term normal levels. The average daytime air temperature varied within the range of -6..+5°С. Precipitation in the form of snow occurred all over the country. However, its highest rates were registered in the southwest and west, where the ground is covered with 25-50 cm of snow, locally even with 100 cm.
Australia's winter crop looks worse than initially predicted after the driest September on record and significant frost damage. With harvests underway across most of the country, the latest forecast by the Australian government commodity forecaster ABARES puts crop production 20 per cent below the 20-year-average and the lowest since Australia's last drought in 2008-09.
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