Wet wheat weather watched worldwide

CNS Canada — Generous rainfall has benefited but also boosted the risk of disease on wheat crops in much of Canada and the U.S., and has also cut into grain quality in parts of Europe.

However, according to Drew Lerner of U.S. forecast agency World Weather Inc., conditions during the harvest season will be the key for whether this year’s wheat crops hit or miss their yield marks. The following is a weather outlook for key wheat-growing regions across the world.

North America –– “I think we’re doing pretty good at the moment for the stage that the crops are in,” said Lerner.

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Heavy rains have increased disease pressure in Canada and the U.S., he added, but haven’t been serious enough to impact production.

A large majority of Canadian and northern U.S. crops are poised for huge production, Lerner said.

“But the key will be the harvest season, which is obviously several weeks away now, but there is potential for a wet harvest season.”

North America’s crops are off to a better start than usual, boosted by an early start and a warm spring.

“There have been plenty of degree days accumulated through the season, and the moisture has been abundant,” Lerner said.

Heavy clay areas in southeastern Saskatchewan are sitting in standing water, which will cause some crop loss.

Europe — Growing areas in Europe — namely France, Germany and parts of northern Italy — have been too wet, which has affected grain quality, Lerner said.

“Europe has been too wet, but they are actually getting better,” he said.

Crop conditions have improved over the past three weeks due to drier conditions, but more rain is expected to fall in the next week to 10 days.

“Because of that, there is going to be some risk of further grain quality declines as they continue with the harvest,” Lerner said.

Crops in Ukraine and Russia have been doing well throughout the growing season, but wheat is in a key phase as the winter wheat and rye harvest nears.

Weather patterns in Ukraine and parts of Russia are expected to continue to generate precipitation on a regular basis, Lerner said.

“So there will be some risk to the crop as we go forward to the second half of July, which is the most important time period.”

China — China’s crop has mostly been harvested, Lerner said.

“There’s probably a little bit of harvesting that’s still going on; they had a wonderful crop, very large in size, good quality,” he said.

The country has seen some rain, which provided a net benefit to the crop.

India –– India’s growing season is finished, and the crop is harvested, but dryness during the season caused a smaller-than-expected crop.

“It was a combination of the below-average precipitation and heat that worked against the crop,” Lerner said.

However, India irrigates its crops, which means production losses were not as dramatic as they could have been, he added.

“Their crop is done, but the quality was probably fine,” Lerner said.

— Jade Markus writes for Commodity News Service Canada, a Winnipeg company specializing in grain and commodity market reporting.

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