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USDA World Agricultural Production


13 August 2012

USDA World Agricultural Production - August 2012USDA World Agricultural Production - August 2012


USDA World Agricultural Production

EU Corn: Drought in South-Central Europe Reduced Yield Prospects

Satellite Derived Surface Temperature Anomalies Europe July 2012
Base Period 1988-2010

The USDA forecasts corn production in the European Union (EU) for 2012/13 at 61.5 million tons, down 3.9 million or 6 percent from last month, and down 3.9 million or 6 percent from last year. Romania, Italy, and Hungary account for about two-thirds of the month-to-month drop in estimated production. Harvested area is estimated at 9.4 million hectares, down 0.1 million or 1 percent from last month, but up 0.6 million or 7 percent from last year. Yield prospects have fallen sharply due to an extremely hot and dry summer in Europe’s southern corn area. Yield is forecast at 6.58 tons per hectare (t/ha), compared to last month’s 6.90 t/ha, and last year’s 7.46 t/ha. Abundant May rainfall and increased planted area (due to high winter-crop losses) led to early expectations of a bumper crop, but rainfall essentially ended in early June, and corn areas in central-south Europe received only minimal amounts of rainfall during July and into early August. In addition to drought, excessive heat during July severely hampered pollination. FAS personnel currently conducting crop-assessment travel in Romania have observed aborted ears, very short ears, ears with only a few scattered kernels, and ears with unpollinated tips. The crop is maturing two to three weeks ahead of schedule, and harvest will begin in late August. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202- 690-0138.)

Russia Wheat: Prospects Continue to Deteriorate

Russia wheat production for 2012/13 is forecast at 43.0 million tons, down 6.0 million or 12 percent from last month and down 13.2 million or 24 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 23.0 million hectares, down 1.5 million from last month and down 1.9 million from last year. Total-wheat yield is forecast at 1.87 tons per hectare, down 7 percent from last month, down 17 percent from last year, and 15 percent below the 5-year average. Winter wheat accounts for about one-half of the total wheat area but about two-thirds of production due to inherently higher yield.

Excessive heat and persistent dryness prevailed throughout most of Russia’s spring-wheat zone during July following similarly unfavorable weather in June. Satellite-derived vegetative indices indicate extremely poor conditions for spring grains in the Siberian, Ural, and Volga Districts, which together account for nearly all of the country’s spring wheat. The internal USDA springwheat production estimate of 14.5 million tons would mark the fourth-lowest output in over forty years. Harvest will begin in August.

Winter wheat harvest was approximately 80 percent complete as of July 31, with reported yield down nearly 30 percent from last year. Only in the Central District (which typically accounts for about 25 percent of Russia’s winter wheat), are yields up from last year. In the Southern District (42 percent of winter wheat), yield is down 23 percent with harvest 90 percent complete; in the North Caucasus District (20 percent), yield is down 43 percent with harvest 87 percent complete; and in the Volga District (15 percent), yield is down 17 percent with harvest 29 percent complete. (For more information, contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

Kazakhstan Wheat: Harvest Forecast to Drop to Half of Last Year’s Level

The USDA forecasts Kazakhstan 2011/12 wheat production at 11.0 million tons, down 2.0 million or 15 percent from last month and down 11.7 million or 52 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 13.5 million hectares against 13.8 million last year, and yield is estimated at 0.81 tons per hectare (t/ha) compared to 0.96 t/ha last month, 1.64 t/ha last year, and the 5-year average of 1.14 t/ha. The month-to-month revision is based on persistently excessive heat and dryness in two of the country’s three main wheat-producing territories. Spring wheat comprises about 95 percent of Kazakhstan’s total wheat output.

Satellite-derived vegetative indices (NDVI) indicate that current spring-grain conditions are only slightly better than in 2010, when yield plunged to a 12-year low. Temperatures in the main spring-wheat zone were excessively high throughout the first three weeks of July, when grains were advancing through the flowering stage. Moreover, precipitation has been substantially below normal throughout the growing season in Kostanai and Akmola oblasts. Only in North Kazakhstan oblast has wheat benefited from timely rainfall, and NDVI indicate higher yield prospects in North Kazakhstan than in Kostanai or Akmola. A crop assessment team from the U.S. embassy in Astana is currently traveling throughout north-central Kazakhstan, where most of the country’s wheat is produced. The team’s observations are consistent with the weather and NDVI data: yield prospects in North Kazakhstan oblast are substantially higher than in Kostanai oblast, and farmers attribute this to timely rainfall. Overall wheat conditions, however, are generally poor, with fields marked by short plants and thin stands. (For more information, contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

China Corn: Favorable Weather Raises Production Prospects

China’s 2012/13 corn production is forecast at a record 200.0 million tons, up 5.0 million or 2.6 percent from last month and up 3.7 percent from last year’s record crop. Corn production in China has doubled in the past 20 years (from 95.4 million tons in 1992/93) due to both increased planted area and rising yields. The estimated area of 34.3 million hectares is unchanged this month but up 0.9 million from last year. According to reports from industry and government analysts, satellite imagery, and crop yield models, it appears that China’s corn yields in 2012/13 may exceed earlier expectations. The revised yield forecast of 5.83 tons per hectare is up 1 percent from last year and slightly above the 10-year trend.

China Vegetative Growth is Above Average

The overall weather pattern has been favorable for corn growth this summer. Above-normal rainfall in July covered most of the Northeast, one of China’s most important corn production areas. This was especially beneficial for Inner Mongolia, which is often affected by drought. Weather conditions were mixed in the North China Plain, another important corn-growing region. Much of the region was drier than normal during planting in June, and temperatures were unusually warm (1-5 C above normal) at the end of July in some areas, particularly in Shandong. However, most of the region had moderate to heavy rain during July, and soil moisture levels are fair to good as the crop enters the tassel/filling stage in August. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

Argentina Corn: Improved Forecast over Last Year

USDA forecasts Argentine corn production for 2012/13 at 28.0 million tons, up 3.0 million or 12 percent from last month and up 33 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 3.8 million hectares, up 0.4 million from last month. Excellent corn pricing has suggested potentially good returns. Yield is forecast at 7.37 tons per hectare, nearly unchanged from last month but up 26 percent from 2011/12 when a drought devastated the crop. The forecast yield, if achieved, will be above the 5-year average. Newly developed adapted hybrids, including recently registered quad-stacked biotech corn, will be favorable for corn yields. Seeding of the 2012/13 corn crop will begin next month

Harvesting of the last of the 2011/12 corn crop was still occurring during July and into August. Poor weather created problems in the province of Buenos Aires where recent rains slowed completion of the corn harvest and field preparation for seeding of small grains. (For more information, contact Dr. Denise McWilliams at 202-720-0107.)

Harvesting and Field Preparation North of Pehuen-co, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Brazil Soybeans and Corn: Record Area Expected for Brazil’s Upcoming Season

The USDA forecasts Brazil’s total soybean production for 2012/13 at a record 81.0 million tons, up 3.0 million from last month and up 15.5 million tons or 24 percent greater than last year’s drought reduced crop. Total harvested soybean area is forecast at 27.5 million hectares, up 1.0 million from last month and up 2.5 million or 10 percent from last year.

Brazil’s total corn production for 2012/13 is forecast at 70.0 million tons, up 3.0 million from last month but down 2.8 million tons from last year’s bumper harvest. Total harvested area is forecast at 16.0 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last month and up 0.8 million from last year.

The recent U.S. drought resulted in record prices for soybean and corn during July and August 2012. Brazilian farmers in the southern hemisphere are expected to respond to the high prices by planting record soybean and corn area during the next several months. The favorable soybeancorn price ratios should motivate Brazilian farmers to plant more soybeans during SeptemberDecember, with first-season corn area expected to be less than last year. However, a record second-season corn area is expected to be planted from January-February to compensate for the reduced first-season corn area. The trend for corn area in Brazil is to plant more second-season corn, with next year’s second-season corn area expected to exceed the first-corn season corn area for the first time. In addition, Brazilian farmers in the Midwest and Northeast are adding more irrigation systems which reduce drought risks, increase yields, and increase crop area with double and triple cropping potential. (For more information, contact Dr. Curt Reynolds at 202- 690-0134.)

Second-Season Corn Area as Percent of Total Corn Area

EU Sunflowerseed: Forecast Production Drops 8 Percent Due to Drought in Spain and South-Central Europe

The USDA forecasts sunseed production in the European Union (EU) for 2012/13 at 7.6 million tons, down 0.7 million or 8 percent from last month and down 9 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 4.2 million hectares, down 0.2 million or 5 percent from last month, and down 1 percent from last year. Yield prospects have fallen sharply due to an extremely hot and dry summer in Europe’s central-southern region, which is the primary sunseed area. Yield is forecast at 1.80 tons per hectare (t/ha), compared to last month’s 1.88 t/ha, and last year’s record 1.95 t/ha. Abundant May rainfall and increased planted area (due to high winter-crop losses) led to early expectations of a large harvest, but rainfall essentially ended in early June, and sunflower areas in central-south Europe received only minimal amounts of rainfall during July and into early August. In addition to drought, excessive heat during July severely hampered pollination. FAS personnel currently conducting cropassessment travel in Romania have observed poor sunflower conditions, including small seed heads and empty hulls. South-central Europe accounts for 0.4 million of the 0.7-million-ton month-to-month reduction in estimated production. Output is forecast to drop by 7 percent from last month in Romania, 7 percent in Hungary, 7 percent in Bulgaria, and 17 percent in Italy. Severe dryness has prevailed in Spain as well, and estimated sunseed output is reduced by 0.3 million tons. (For more information, contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

Ukraine Sunseed: Forecast Yield Reduced Following Excessive July Heat

The USDA forecasts Ukraine sunflowerseed production for 20121/13 at 9.2 million tons, down 0.3 million or 3 percent from both last month and last year. Harvested area is estimated at 6.0 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last year. Yield is forecast at 1.53 tons per hectare (t/ha), against 1.58 t/ha last month, 1.64 t/ha last year, and the 5-year average of 1.61 t/ha. June and July weather was unusually hot in Ukraine’s main sunseed region, with below-normal precipitation. The revised USDA estimated yield is slightly below the final estimated yield for 2010/11, when excessive early-August heat damaged the sunflower crop as it advanced through the flowering stage. The use of hybrid sunflower seed continues to increase in Ukraine. The expanding use of hybrid seed is the main reason for the overall increase in sunseed yield over the past ten years. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

India Peanuts: Declining Prospects for the Kharif Peanut Crop

The USDA forecasts India's 2012/13 peanut production at 4.95 million tons, down 0.85 million or 14.7 percent from last month and down 10 percent from last year. The area is forecast at 5.0 million hectares, down 0.6 million from last month or 11 percent, and down 0.3 million or 6 percent from last year. The yield is forecast at 0.99 tons per hectare, down 5 percent from last month and from last year.

India is experiencing poor southwest monsoon rainfall for this 2012 kharif season. The monsoon rainfall accounts for 70 percent of India's annual rainfall and is crucial for 75 percent of peanut production. Cumulative rainfall for the season since June is 22 percent below normal for the country as a whole. Regional deficits are 39 percent in the North West, 22 percent in the Central region, 24 percent in South Peninsula, and 9 percent in East and North East. The dry soil moisture conditions coupled with hot temperatures in most peanut producing regions in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are raising concerns about the 2012/13 area and yield prospects.

An estimated 75 percent of India’s peanut crop is grown during kharif season (monsoonsummer) and 25 percent is produced during the rabi (winter) season. The current kharif sowing progress reports indicate a 22 percent decrease from the corresponding period last year, that is, 2.55 million hectares compared to 3.31 last year. The average area for kharif peanut crop is 3.7 million hectares and the average rabi crop is 1.25. The major production states are Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. (For more information, contact Dr. Dath Mita at 202 720 7339.)

China Cotton: Higher Yield Expected in 2012/13

The USDA estimates China’s cotton production for 2012/13 at 31.0 million bales (6.75 million tons), up 0.5 million or about 2 percent from last month but down 2.5 million or 7.5 percent from last year. The estimated area of 5.0 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down 9 percent from a year ago. The forecast yield of 1350 kilograms per hectare is up nearly 2 percent from last year and above the 5-year average. The weather was generally favorable for cotton development during July. Soil moisture levels were adequate and temperatures were seasonably warm to hot, which was conducive to normal growth. Cumulative rainfall was near normal in the major cotton-growing regions during July, although locally heavy rain in parts of the North China Plain (particularly Hebei, Tianjin, and northern Shandong) may have damaged a small amount of cotton. A recent report by the China Cotton Association indicated that the crop (in the flowering/bud formation stage) was growing well and the condition of the crop was better than average. No significant insect or disease outbreaks have been reported this year. Several tropical storms have brought heavy rain to coastal cotton areas (Jiangsu, Shandong) in early August, but there have been few reports of crop damage as a result. However, cotton yields could be affected if the stormy weather continues into August, when cotton bolls start opening. Harvesting normally starts in early September and continues through October. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

India Cotton: Poor Monsoon Rainfall Lowers Prospects

The USDA/FAS forecasts the 2012/13 India cotton production at 23.5 million bales (480-pound bales), down 2.1 percent from last month, and down 3.0 million or 11.3 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecasted at 10.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but down 11 percent from last year. The yield is forecasted at 474 kg/ha, down 2 percent from last month but nearly unchanged from last year.

The majority of cotton growing areas have experienced poor 2012 monsoon rainfall. At the end of July country-wide seasonal rainfall is at 22 percent below the long-term-average. Regional deficits are 39 percent in the North West, 22 percent in the Central region, 24 percent in South Peninsula, and 9 percent in East and North East. These rainfall deficits are raising serious concerns about planted area and yield prospects across the country.

Cotton planting is in progress and is expected to continue through August. July is typically the most critical planting period across the country and the monsoon rains remained a major concern. According to the latest provisional planting estimate from the Ministry of Agriculture in India, total cotton planting at the end of July is 7 percent less than the corresponding period last year, that is, 9.7 million hectares compared to 10.45 million hectares last year. Planting progress is especially poor in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat that produce 21 and 28 percent of total India cotton respectively.

The majority of the early planted crop is at squaring and first blooming stages. The inadequate rainfall, delayed planting and periodic moisture stress is projected to result in significant yield penalties. (For more information contact Dr. Dath Mita at 202 720 7339.)

India Rice: Poor Monsoon Rainfall Lowers Prospects

The USDA forecasts India's 2012/13 rice production at 98.0 million tons, down 2 million tons or 2 percent from last month and down 6.3 million or 6.1 percent from last year. The 2012/13 production level is a significant decrease from last year’s record production of 104.32 million tons. This is primarily due to projected significant reduction in planted area and lower yield potential as a result of late, deficient, and poorly distributed monsoon rainfall. Area is forecast at 43.0 million hectares which is 1.4 million below last year. Yield is forecast at 3.42 tons per hectare, down 4 percent from last year.

India is experiencing poor southwest monsoon rainfall for this season. Cumulative seasonal rainfall since June is 22 percent below normal for the country as a whole. Regional deficits are 39 percent in the North West, 22 percent in the Central region, 24 percent in South Peninsula, and 9 percent in East and North East. The hot weather and low soil moisture in the major rice producing regions (northwest and northeast India) are raising serious concerns about the 2012/13 crop prospects.

Rice sowing progress reports show a 9 percent shortfall compared to the area sown last year for the same period. The largest decline in planted area is mainly from key rice regions in the states of Bihar, Utter Pradesh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. Transplanting operations are continuing in the eastern states of West Bengal, Orissa, and Andhra Pradesh. In the northwest and northeastern states, the crop is at advanced growth stages (tillering, booting, and flowering). Above average rainfall is needed during the next few weeks to promote further transplanting and improve the current crop yield expectations. (For more information, contact Dr. Dath Mita at 202-720-7339.)

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