The February precipitation total for Iraq was below the long-term average (LTA) of the past 16 years in crop-growing governorates in the north of Iraq, including Dohuk, Kirkuk, Ninewa and parts of Erbil. However, average to above average rains fell in most of Sulaymaniyah and parts of Erbil governorates. Compared to a year ago, precipitation levels were lower across most of the country with the exception of Anbar governorate and parts of Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Dohuk, where rains performed relatively better.
The ASI for February indicates improving vegetation cover throughout the three dekads of the month in parts of northern crop-growing governorates of Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk as well as in central parts of the country namely, Baghdad and Babil governorates. However, the ASI for the last dekad of February indicates that 25-40 percent of cropland in southern parts of Sulaymaniyah were affected by moisture stress. In contrast, improved vegetation cover was depicted in the last dekad of the month in cereal growing governorates of Ninewa and Salahadin. Harvesting of winter barley and wheat is expected to start from April 2017. However, due to late planting in Ninewa and Salahadin, harvest in these governorates is likely to be delayed as a result of ongoing large military operations.
Please note that since the ASI is based on remotely sensed data only, there is no confirmation on what crops have been planted.