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USDA World Agricultural Production

09 February 2012

USDA World Agricultural Production - February 2012USDA World Agricultural Production - February 2012

Brazil’s 2011/12 soybean production is forecast at 72 million tons, down 2 million tons from last month and down 3.5 million or 5 percent from last year.
USDA World Agricultural Production

Drought in Southern Brazil Reduces 2011/12 Soybean Production Forecast

Brazil’s 2011/12 soybean production is forecast at 72 million tons, down 2 million tons from last month and down 3.5 million or 5 percent from last year. Area is forecast at a record 25 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 0.8 million or 3 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.88 tons per hectare, down 3 percent from last month due to below-average rainfall in the south from November through January.

Above-average rainfall during October gave nearly ideal planting conditions for most of Brazil. The planting pace was ahead of the 5-year average throughout the planting season, with most of the crop planted by the end of December. However, below-average rainfall in the south from November through January reduced potential yields and state crop estimating agencies for Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul reduced state production forecasts by nearly 5 million tons. Crop losses from the drought in the south will be partially compensated by above-average yields in the states of Mato Grosso, Goáis, Minas Gerais, and the northeastern states of Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí, and Bahia (or the MATOPIBA region), but overall the southern drought will reduce national output by several million tons. (For more information, contact Curt Reynolds at 202-690-0314.)

Vegetation Conditions or "Greenness" Compared to the 10-year Average
MODIS-NDVI Anomaly - Feb 1 , 2012

Argentina: Continued Timely Rains Supply Soybean Needs

Argentina is forecasted to produce 48 million tons of soybeans, 5 percent less than last month and 2 percent less than last year, for the 2011/12 season. The production expected will be harvested from an estimated 18.6 million hectares (ha), only 1.6 percent more area than last year and 0.5 percent less area than last month. Expected yield will fall to 2.58 tons per hectare, 4 percent lower than last month and last year. Some regions affected earlier by drought have imperiled soybean yield and production. The regions hit hard; northwestern Buenos Aires, southern Cordoba and far-south Santa Fe, have suffered. Around Junín, a delegation in the province of Buenos Aires, most early-planted soy only received about 5.6 millimeters (mm), 0.34 inches, of rain from the end of November through December 20. In such areas hit by drought and heat, leaves on the soybean plants are smaller and the plant internodes are short which may limit plant branching and flower/pod set. Recent rains, however, have helped across many fields. Many fields may pull out of some of the earlier plant stress if rains continue to be timely and replenishing as the bulk of the crop goes into and finishes pollination. Late-planted soybeans will be able to take full advantage of recent good soil moisture and warm temperatures as they emerge and proceed through the vegetative stage of development. (For more information, contact Dr. Denise McWilliams, at 202-720-0107.)

Argentina: Corn Suffered from Hot Weather and Limited, Late Rains

Argentina Soybeans:
Estimated Area, Yield, and Production
Argentina Corn:
Estimated Area, Yield, and Production
Argentina Corn:
Planted Area and Percent Abandonment
Too little, too late rain on Argentine corn will result in limited production during this season. USDA forecasts Argentine corn production for 2011/12 at 22.0 million tons. Harvested area is estimated at 3.6 million hectares (ha), down 2.0 million hectares. Additional moisture is necessary for the crop, which is in grain fill and approaching full maturity. The yield for the crop is now estimated at 6.11 tons per ha. In their Jan. 18 monthly report, the Argentine Ministry of Agriculture estimated that possibly 20 to 50 percent of the planted corn area may be lost due to earlier dry conditions. They further estimated that only about 1 percent of the fields were in very good condition, 32 percent good, 42 percent normal and 25 percent in bad condition. Cordoba, Argentina’s second largest corn and soybean producing province declared a drought emergency January 17, 2012.

A handful of other districts in surrounding provinces have also made the declaration. Some corn fields have been cut for silage or have cattle grazing due to poor grain fill. Some stalks in areas with sandier drought prone soils have not developed ears. The early-planted corn in Argentina appears to be the most affected as high temperatures and moisture deficits hit during pollination, resulting in lower yield potential. Late-planted corn across the core area generally appears in better form but is in danger of not reaching maturity before a killing frost. (For more information, contact Dr. Denise McWilliams, at 202-720-0107.)

Argentina: Barley Production gets Boost from Area Increase

Argentine barley farmers planted additional area this season that will boost supplies. The area estimated at 1.05 million hectares is more than originally suggested by Argentine officials. This increase of 11 percent over last month’s estimation of 0.95 million hectares will supply more grain for the country. Production is now forecast at 4.0 million tons as compared to last month’s estimation of 3.3 million tons, a 21 percent increase. Yield is expected to nationally average 3.81 tons per hectare as compared to the earlier estimate at 3.47 tons, a 10 percent increase. On again off again rains during the fall establishment of barley and some dry periods during the winter result in farmers deciding to plant more barley than originally estimated. Rains during grain fill provided more assimilate to grain from barley plants that increased yield and production. (For more information, contact Dr. Denise McWilliams, at 202-720-0107.)

India's Rice Production Projected at Record Levels

India's 2011/12 rice production is forecast at 102 million tons, up 2 percent from last month, and up 6 million or 6.3 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 45.2 million hectares, up 0.4 percent from last month, and up 5.9 percent from last year. Paddy yield is forecast at a record 3.39 tons per hectare, up 1.5 percent from last month and 0.4 percent from last year.

The major factors shaping the current crop outlook include the better-than-expected Kharif rice production. Favorable 2011 monsoon rains coupled with overall weather conditions in the major rice growing areas supported higher kharif rice acreage (3.0 million hectare above last year) and productivity leading to a record rice production as reflected by strong market arrivals of kharif paddy. According to the recent Government of India’s estimate report the Kharif rice production is now estimated at 87 million tons, a significantly larger crop than previously forecasted. In addition, the Rabi rice crop is now forecast at approximately 15 million tons based on encouraging Rabi rice sowing progress reports.

The Kharif rice harvesting is almost complete in most regions especially in the north and south peninsular regions. The Kharif rice crop represents approximately 85% the total India rice production, and early planting is normally in March-May and is harvested in June-October. Late Kharif planting is in June-October and the crop is harvested in November-February. The major Kharif rice producing states are Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.

The Rabi rice crop accounts for 15 percent of total India rice production. The crop is planted in November-February and harvested in March-June. The major Rabi rice producing states are West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Assam, and Tamil Nadu. (For more information, contact Dath Mita at 202-720-7339.)

High Prospects Projected for the Pakistan Cotton

Pakistan: Cotton Cumulative Arrivals
The USDA estimates Pakistan’s 2011/12 cotton production at 10.4 million bales (480- pound bales), a 4 percent increase from last month and up 18 percent from last year. If achieved this will be the second largest harvest on record. Area harvested is estimated at 3.2 million hectares, the same as last month, and up 10 percent from last year. The yield is estimated at 708 kg/ha, up 4 percent from last month, and up 7 percent from last year.

Cotton harvest in Pakistan is almost complete. According to the Pakistan Cotton Ginner’s Association (PCGA) cumulative seed cotton arrivals at factories show significant improvement compared to the same time in the last two years. At the end of January consolidated cotton arrivals at ginning factories were estimated at approximately 10 million bales, 23 percent higher than the same period last year. There is wide consensus that a significant quantity of cotton is still left with growers, raising prospects that the season’s output will be in excess of the previous estimate of 10 million bales. Historic averages of seed cotton arrivals for the remainder of season (February- May) tend to be around 400,000 bales, which is the basis of the current projection of the final estimate.

The major cotton regions of Punjab and upper Sindh experienced favorable conditions during peak vegetative and maturity stages. Favorable monsoon rainfall was reported throughout the season in Punjab province. Sindh province received heavier-than-normal and persistent rains from mid-August to mid-September. General observations and analysis indicated that flooding occurred in a few provincial districts in southeast Sindh including Sanghar, Mirpurkhas, Umarkot, and Badin. The northern Sindh districts were least affected. In contrast, the torrential rains did not cause significant flooding in Punjab province, and in most areas was actually beneficial to maturing cotton and rice crops resulting in above-average crop performance and yields. (For more information, contact Dath Mita, PhD, at 202720-7339.)

February 2012

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