The March precipitation total in Iraq was mostly average to above average when compared to the long-term average (LTA) of the past 16 years. However, lower than LTA rainfall amounts were depicted in parts of crop-growing governorates in the north of the country, including Ninewa, Dohuk, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, as well as pockets of Anbar governorate. The remaining large areas of the same governorates received less rains compared to the same month last year.
The ASI for March indicates increased moisture stress in the major cereal-growing governorate of Ninewa as well as in crop-growing governorates of Anbar and western part of Dohuk. Conversely, increasing greenness (indicating crop growth) since February and throughout the three dekads of March could be depicted in central and eastern parts of Dohuk and other crop growing governorates such as Erbil and Salahmiyah. By the last dekad of March, severe moisture stress could only be observed in parts of crop-growing Ninewa and Anbar governorates. Harvesting of winter barley and wheat, which were planted in November and December, generally starts from late April to early May.
Please note that since the ASI is based on remotely sensed data only, there is no confirmation on what crops have been planted