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USDA World Agricultural Production


13 January 2015

USDA World Agricultural Production - January 2015USDA World Agricultural Production - January 2015


USDA World Agricultural Production

Brazil Soybeans: Production at a Record 95.5 Million Tons; Higher Yield

USDA forecasts Brazil’s 2014/15 soybean production at a record 95.5 million tons, up 1.5 million from last month and up 8.8 million tons from last year. Harvested area is forecast at a record 31.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 1.4 million hectares from last year. Yield is forecast at 3.03 tons per hectare, up 1.6 percent from last month and up 5.2 percent from last year.

The increase in estimated yield is attributed to beneficial weather in Brazil’s largest soybean areas—Mato Grosso and Paraná. These two states account for 44 percent of Brazil’s soybean area. The overall rainfall pattern has been consistently favorable following the delayed onset of the rainy season, with clear skies between rainfall events. This has limited the prevalence of soybean rust. In some areas, however, rainfall has been limited and there are concerns for yield prospects in Goiás and Piauí. These two states account for 13 percent of Brazil’s soybean area. In Rio Grande do Sul, excessive rain caused flooding in low-lying areas. Damage to soybean fields, however, is limited according to local reports.

Soybean farmers in Mato Grosso typically plant early maturing soybean varieties; last year about 60 percent of the 8.4 million hectares in Mato Grosso was planted using early-maturing varieties. The goal is to plant early and harvest in January so that a second crop can be planted. Cotton, corn, sunflower and sorghum can be planted as second crops. Soybean harvest has begun for the earliest planted soybeans but the bulk of the harvest will occur in February. (For more information, please contact Bob Tetrault at Robert.Tetrault@fas.usda.gov.)

India Soybeans: Yields Forecasted Below 5-Year Average

USDA forecasts 2014/15 India soybean production at 10.5 million tons, down 0.5 million tons from last month but up 1.0 million from last year. Area is forecast at 11.0 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 1.2 million hectares from last year’s record. Yield is forecast at 0.95 tons per hectare, up 23 percent from last year, but 6.8 percent below the 5-year average.

India’s soybeans are grown exclusively during the kharif (southwest monsoon) season, under rain-fed conditions. Most of the soybean crop is grown in northwest and central India where the main producing states are Madhya Pradesh (53 percent), Maharashtra (34 percent), and Rajasthan (8 percent). The 2014 season started as one of the driest, resulting in significant planting delays. According to the Government of India’s Meteorological Department, the advance of the 2014 southwest monsoon into the major soybean growing areas of north-central and northwestern India was delayed by more than two weeks. Although the monsoon rains improved during July, rainfall totals for the monsoon remained below normal at the end of the month. At the end of July, estimated regional monsoon rainfall was 49 percent below normal in northwest India, 47 percent below normal in central India, 26 percent below normal in the southern peninsula, and 22 percent below normal in north-east India. Generally, the Indian monsoon is characterized as normal at 95 to 105 percent of the long-term-average (LTA), and drought is declared when the monsoon is less than 90 percent of LTA. The late start and poor distribution of the monsoon rainfall significantly affected planted area and yield potential. Timely planting is critical because most farmers use short-day soybean varieties. Short-day soybean varieties tend to trip the reproductive trigger (flowering) as the day length shortens, which occurs much quicker with delayed plantings. In India the optimum soybean planting window is the third week of June to the second week of July. (For more information contact Dath Mita, PhD, at Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov)

India Corn: Increase in Rabi Season Corn Area Raises Production Forecast

India's 2014/15 corn production is forecast at 22.0 million tons, up 1.0 million tons from last month but down 2.2 million from last year. Area is forecast at 9.0 million hectares, up 0.4 million hectares from last month, but down 0.5 million from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.44 ton per hectare, unchanged from last month, down 4.1 percent from last year, and up 1 percent from the 5-year average.

India produces two corn crops, the first during the kharif or monsoon season (June through October) and the second rabi season (September through April). Roughly 80 percent of India’s corn is grown during the kharif season. Across the majority of corn growing states (Rajasthan, Karnataka, Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat), unusually dry weather during the 2beginning of the planting season for 2014 kharif corn resulted in significant planting delays and a significant year-to-year decrease in final sown area. Kharif corn area was reported at 7.84 million hectares compared to 8.22 during the corresponding period last year. Kharif corn harvesting is complete. Rabi corn planting is in the final stages and reported to be progressing well. According to planting progress data from the Ministry of Agriculture, rabi season corn was planted at 1.15 million hectares at the end of December compared to 1.16 by the same time last year. The major factor driving the month-to-month increase in estimated production is the increase in rabi corn area. (For more information contact Dath Mita, PhD at Dath.Mita@fas.usda.gov)

Ethiopia Wheat: Record Production Estimated

Ethiopia wheat production for 2014/15 is forecast to reach a record 4.4 million tons, up 0.15 million tons from last year’s record crop. Harvested area is estimated at a record 1.8 million hectares, up 0.15 million from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 2.4 tons per hectare, due to favorable rainfall throughout the growing season in the wheat highland regions. Wheat yield has been increasing since 2002 due to favorable government initiatives that adopted improved seed varieties, increased fertilizer distribution, and expanded agriculture extension in rural areas.

Ethiopia wheat is a cool-weather grain crop that is primarily grown at elevations from 1,500 to 3,000 meters above sea level. The crop is grown mostly during the main (meher) rainy season from June to September and harvested from October through January. Rainfall quantity and distribution during the 2014 meher season was favorable, as indicated by the cropland NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) time series graphs for Oromia and Amhara regions. Those two regions account for approximately 60 and 30 percent of Ethiopia’s total wheat output, respectively. The NDVI time series graphs also indicate that the meher growing season had a late start with delayed onset rains in June, but the 2014 rainy season extended beyond average into the month of October.

Relative crop conditions for Ethiopia’s 2014 meher growing season are summarized by the cumulative Evapotranspiration Anomaly (ETa) product, which indicates that 2014 crop conditions were above average for most major wheat growing regions in Ethiopia. Seasonal NDVI time series graphs and cumulative ETa Anomaly data have proven to be reliable tools for monitoring seasonal crop conditions in Ethiopia, and both products indicate that Ethiopia should have a bumper 2014/15 wheat harvest. (For more information, please contact Curt Reynolds at Curt.Reynolds@fas.usda.gov.)

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