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USDA World Agricultural Production


10 December 2013

USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 December 2013USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 December 2013


USDA World Agricultural Production

The USDA is estimating record yields for Canada’s barley, rapeseed, and wheat, despite a late start to planting. Planting was delayed because of lingering snow cover, below normal temperatures, and water- logged fields throughout the western prairies. Sufficient precipitation coupled with normal temperatures advanced crop conditions in mid-July. Warmer temperatures in the latter part of June and July promoted flowering throughout the Western Prairies. Satellite-derived MODIS/NDVI data depicted crop vigor to be slightly higher than last year, also a good year, and above 2011 when record yields were achieved. In addition, a later than normal first freeze date allowed crops to continue to maturation. Harvest activities were completed in late October.

Statistics Canada’s Production of Principal Field Crops reported in its November 2013 issue that wheat yields are expected to reach 3.6 tons per hectare (T/Ha) up 25 percent from the previous year, rapeseed 2.4 T/Ha up 125 percent and barley 3.9 T/Ha up 33 percent. Areas seeded to the three main western prairie crops – wheat, rapeseed, and barley – shifted last season. Farmers shift rapeseed acreage to crops with lower input costs such as wheat and barley. The 2012/13 rapeseed yields were down because of drought, insects and disease problems caused by the lack of sufficient crop rotation. The 2013/14 rapeseed area planted was 8 million hectares, down 9 percent from the previous year. This was the first decrease in area seeded since 2006. Seeded area in both Saskatchewan and Alberta, which comprises roughly 85 percent of total production, is expected to drop 8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Rapeseed production is estimated to reach 18 million metric tons, up 30 percent from the previous year.

Wheat harvested area is estimated at 10.4 million hectares, up nearly 10 percent from the previous year due to farmers switching from rapeseed to wheat. Wheat harvested area was up 10 percent in Alberta, 11 percent in Manitoba, and 8 percent in Saskatchewan. Canada’s 2013/14 wheat production is estimated at 37.5 million tons, up 38 percent from the previous year. Barley harvested area reached 2.54 million hectares, down 3.7 percent from the previous year. Record yields boosted barley production to 10.3million tons, up 28 percent from the previous year. (For more information, please contact Arnella Trent at 202-720-0881.)

Canada Corn: Record Harvested Area Boosts Production

The USDA forecasts 2013/14 Canada corn production at 14.2 million metric tons, up 8.8 percent from the previous year. The production record can be attributed to a record harvested area. The 2013/14 area harvested reached record levels at 1.480 million hectares, up 4.4 percent from 2012 because of increased harvested area in Manitoba and Quebec. Area harvested in Ontario, which produces 60 percent of the total corn production, was unchanged from the previous year. Area harvested in Quebec, which accounts for roughly 30 percent of total harvest area, increased by 6 percent from the previous year. And Manitoba, which produces only 10 percent of total corn production, increased area harvested by 29 percent from the previous year.

Despite a late start in planting 2013/14 Canada corn yields reached near record levels. Corn yields were estimated at 9.59 tons per hectare, up 4.1 percent from the previous year, but down only 1.6 percent from the 2010 record. Satellite- derived vegetation analysis using normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI) show the crop vigor at above average. Crop conditions throughout this growing season had been variable as wet and cold conditions delayed planting. Below normal temperatures slowed crop development until the later part of August through September when warmer temperatures accelerated crop development. Harvest ended the later part of October. (For more information, please contact Arnella Trent at 202-720-0881.) 

Ukraine Corn: Harvest Surpasses Previous Record by 30 Percent

The USDA forecasts Ukraine corn production for 2013/14 at a record 30.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 3.4 percent from last month, up 9.1 million or 43 percent from last year, and 7.2 million above the previous record of 2011/12. Harvested area is estimated at a record 4.8 million hectares, up 0.4 million from last year. Generally favorable weather throughout the growing season combined with continued growth in the use of hybrid seed boosted yield to an estimated 6.25 tons per hectare, up 30 percent from last year and only 3 percent below the record level achieved two years ago. By the end of November, harvest was complete on 94 percent of the planted area with the pace of harvest winding down. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

Australia Wheat: Production Revised Higher

Australia wheat production for 2013/14 is forecast at 26.5 million tons, up 1.0 million or 3.9 percent from last month and up 4.0 million or 18 percent from last year. The area forecast is 13.5 million hectares, down 0.2 million hectares or 1.5 percent from last month but up 0.7 million or 5.7 percent from last year. Prospects for Australian wheat production have improved. Early harvest results indicate better than previously anticipated yields. Harvest is complete in Queensland, northern New South Wales and well underway in the remaining states. Approximately half of the crop has been harvested. The remaining harvest will occur in areas that experienced mostly positive growing conditions. The variable seasonal conditions during winter and spring mean regional outcomes are expected to vary considerably. Conditions were mixed earlier in the season but have significantly improved with abundant timely rain in the south and west. Extended periods of dryness have reduced crop prospects in the east. (For more information, please contact Jim Crutchfield at 202-690-0135.)

Argentina Sunflower: Plantings Limited Due to Early Dryness

Argentine farmers are forecast to harvest 2.7 million metric tons of sunflowers for the 2013/14 season, 11 percent less than estimated last month and 13 percent less than last year. Rains, particularly in the provinces of Cordoba and Buenos Aires, were late in refreshing soil moisture needs. This hampered sunflower sowings resulting in an area forecast at 1.48 million hectares down 10 percent as compared to the 1.65 million expected last month and down 8.8 percent year to year. Yield is also expected to drop to 1.82 tons per hectare, a 1.0 percent drop from last month and 4.5 percent less than last year. Early, cool temperatures and dry soils slowed planting, reducing planned sowing in parts of the country. (For additional information, please contact Denise McWilliams, PhD at 202-720-0107.)

Argentina Soybeans: Area Rises on Limited Planted Sunflower and Corn

Argentine farmers are forecast to harvest 54.5 million tons of soybeans for the 2013/14 season, 1.9 percent more than last month and 11 percent more than last year. Harvested area is estimated at 20.0 million hectares (MHa), 1.5 percent more than last month and 3.1 percent more than last year. Yield is forecast to be 2.73 tons per hectare, about the same as last month and 7.2 percent more than last year. Scattered rains have promoted crop emergence and establishment in some regions, but more rainfall is needed. Area for soy this season is raised based on limited sunflower and corn plantings due to dry weather during early plantings and lower returns expected this year for these crops. Sowing progress for soy has reached just over 50 percent at the end of November with about 10 MHa have been planted. Planting pace is brisk. Moisture received in the central portion of the core planting region has stimulated planting and good emergence, but other regions need additional rain. (For additional information, please contact Denise McWilliams, PhD, at 202-720-0107.)

India Rice: Production Prospects Continue to Decline

India's 2013/14 rice production is forecast at 103 million tons, down 2 million metric tons or 1.9 percent from USDA’s November 2013 forecast and down 1.3 percent from 2012/13 output. The area is forecast at 43.5 million hectares, up 2.6 percent from last year. Paddy yield is forecast at 3.55 tons per hectare, down 3.8 percent from last year.

The 2013 monsoon rainfall across India started earlier and was well distributed across the major rice growing regions. The early start and heavy rains slowed rice seedling nursery preparations, resulted in delayed transplanting, subsequently affected overall area planted especially in Utter Pradesh, Bihar, and western Haryana. USDA’s yield simulation models indicate lower productivity prospects compared to the earlier projections. In late September rice crop in the northern states of Utter Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam entered critical reproductive stages (panicle initiation, ear growth, and grain filling) under relatively less than favorable soil moisture profiles due to water deficits.

In October heavy torrential rains and tropical cyclones in the northern and northeast states continue to raise major concerns regarding the state of rice and overall India agricultural production. USDA’s preliminary assessment indicates that weather has significantly impacted rice productivity. According to USDA officials based in India, since early October, three consecutive cyclones (Phaillin, Helen, and Lehar) on the eastern coast have caused significant damage to the rice crop in the coastal belt of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The consequent heavy rains in the eastern states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and eastern Uttar Pradesh have caused some crop lodging. Harvesting in the rain-affected areas has been significantly delayed as the mechanical harvesters are unable to operate due to wet soil conditions. Planting of rabi (winter planted) rice, mostly confined to West Bengal and southern states, has started and will continue through December. A complete assessment and overall decisive impact on rice productivity is still work in progress. However, local information sources report crop loss in the affected areas of around 3 MMT.

Planting of rabi rice is likely to be higher than last year on improved soil moisture conditions, augmented water levels in irrigation reservoirs, and relatively firm domestic prices. Assuming normal weather conditions, higher rabi rice production may partially offset the kharif crop loss. 85 percent of India’s rice is grown during kharif season (southwest monsoon season, May-September) mainly in Punjab, Haryana, and Utter Pradesh. It is estimated that 50 percent of kharif rice is irrigated using canals and tube wells. The rest of the rice crop is grown under irrigation during the rabi season (winter season, November-March). The rabi crop is predominantly grown in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Assam, and Tamil Nadu. Kharif rice harvest operations are in progress and rabi season rice planting is about to peak. (For more information, please contact Dath Mita, PhD, at 202 720 7339)

Australia Barley: Production Revised Higher

Australia barley production for 2013/14 is forecast at 8.6 million tons, up 1.2 million or 16 percent from last month and up 1.1 million or 15 percent from last year. The area forecast is 3.8 million hectares, up 50,000 hectares or 1.3 percent from last month and up 0.2 million or 4.9 percent from last year. Prospects for Australian barley production have improved. Early harvest results indicate better than previously anticipated yields. Harvest is nearly complete in New South Wales and well underway in the remaining states. More than half of the crop has been harvested. The remaining harvest will occur in areas that experienced positive growing conditions. Mixed conditions earlier in the season were significantly improved with abundant timely rain in the two largest barley producing states of Western Australia and South Australia.

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