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USDA World Agricultural Production

09 April 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production - 9 April 2014USDA World Agricultural Production - 9 April 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production

South Africa Corn: Record Yield Expected

South Africa’s 2013/14 corn production is forecast at 14.0 million tons, up 1.0 million tons from last month and up 1.6 million from last year. Corn area is forecast at 3.20 million hectares, unchanged from last month but slightly less than last year’s area of 3.24 million hectares. The forecast yield of 4.38 tons per hectare is a record yield due to timely and well-above-average rainfall during February and March in the western and central Corn Belt when the crop was in the critical pollination and grain-filling stages.

Seasonal rains were favorable throughout most of the country for planting in November and December but January’s rainfall was below-average in the western and central part of the country, which stressed the crop during the vegetative stage. However, above-average rainfall from late January through March revived the crop and national yields are now expected to reach record-levels.

USDA/FAS personnel traveled within South Africa’s corn-belt during mid-March and observed good to excellent crop conditions, with interviewed farmers and traders reporting a bumper harvest expected for most regions. MODIS-NDVI satellite imagery with 250-meter spatial resolution indicates that corn yields should be near average in the east and well above-average in the central and western part of the country. (For more information, please contact Curt Reynolds, PhD, 202-690-0134.)

Russia Corn: Production Estimate Revised Higher

USDA estimates Russia corn production for 2013/14 at a record 11.6 million tons, up nearly 1.0 million or 8.9 percent from last month and up 3.4 million or 42 percent from last year. The revision is based on final data from Rosstat (the State Statistical Committee of Russia). Preliminary data released in January indicated a corn harvest of 10.7 million tons, but the final data released in March report production at 11.6 million. Harvested area is estimated at 2.3 million hectares against 1.9 million last year. Yield is estimated at a record 5.01 tons per hectare, up 18 percent from last year and 32 percent above the 5-year average. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman, 202-690-0143.)

Brazil Corn: Rains Improve Yield Potential for Second Crop

FAS forecasts Brazil corn production for 2013/14 at 72.0 million tons, up 2 million from last month or 2.9 percent, but down 9.5 million tons or 12 percent from last year’s revised record. Area is estimated at 14.7 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but down 1.1 million hectares or 7.0 percent from last year. Corn yield is forecast at 4.90 tons per hectare, up 2.9 percent from last month, but down 5.0 percent from the revised record level of 5.16 tons per hectare last year.

Production is raised due to better yield potential for safrinha (second-crop) corn. Planting of second-crop corn began in February 2014. Mato Gross is the largest producer, about 42 percent of the safrinha crop, and other key areas are Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias. All areas have been receiving beneficial, above-average precipitation. Planting in Mato Grosso was delayed due to heavy rains in late February.

Vegetation health, as measured by satellite-derived vegetation indices, indicates biomass similar to last year in Parana, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goias. So far, Mato Grosso is not developing as well as last year. The critical flowering and grain-fill stages for the second-crop corn will occur in late April to early May. Rainfall during these months will be a key factor to final yields.

Corn area is down 7 percent or 1.1 million hectares from last year. First-corn area is lower by 0.4 and second-corn area is down by 0.7 million hectares. Farmers reduced first-corn area because soybeans have more favorable price and profitability outlooks. For second-corn area in Mato Grosso, low internal corn prices and increased costs of production resulted in corn becoming unprofitable. Second-crop corn area is expected to be reduced by more than 20 percent in the state. Nationally, second-season corn production is typically exported and first-season corn is used for livestock. (For more information, please contact Bob Tetrault at 202-720-1071.)

Brazil Soybeans: Excessive Rain in Mato Grosso at Harvest Lowers Yield

USDA forecasts Brazil’s 2013/14 soybean production at 87.5 million tons, down 1.0 million or 1.1 percent from last month but up 5.5 million tons or 6.7 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at a record 29.9 million hectares, up 0.4 million hectares from last month and up 2.2 million hectares or 7.9 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.93 tons per hectare, down 3.9 percent from last month due to the hot and dry conditions in the south.

Brazil’s soybean harvest reached 73 percent as of the end of March, faster than the 5-year average of 64 percent. Soybean yield potential decreased due to dryness in the south and too much rain at harvest in Mato Grosso. About 40 percent of Brazil’s soybean production was subject to extremely hot and dry conditions in early February. States affected were Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, and Minas Gerais states. Rains arrived by mid- February and rain has continued in March providing much needed relief, especially in Rio Grande do Sul. In the other states, however, soybean yield potential did not recover.

Meanwhile in Mato Grosso, the harvest pace for the longer-cycle soybeans was interrupted by heavy rains in late February and continuing into March causing yield losses, some qualitydamage and delays to planting safrinha corn. Harvest is nearly complete and sources have backed off the previously forecasted record state yields, but yields remain above average.

Brazil’s soybean area increased to 29.9 million hectares due to second-crop soybeans. Mato Grosso is planting second-crop soybeans for the first time. Soybeans following soybeans directly in rotation are at higher risk for increasing pest pressures such as Asiatic rust, whiteflies, and Oldworld bollworm. Second-crop soybeans are planted in February and harvested 90 to 100 days later, well before the mid-June, soybean-free period starts. The period from June to mid- September is soybean-free to lower the inoculum sources for Asiatic rust. Yield potential for second-crop soybeans is considered low and estimates range between 2 and 2.5 tons per hectare.(For more information, please contact Bob Tetrault at 202-720-1071.)

Dominican Republic Rice: Production Rebounds from Last Year

USDA forecasts Dominican Republic milled rice production for 2013/14 at 536,000 metric tons, up nearly 8.9 percent from last year. The increase is attributed to favorable weather during the main growing season (May through August). The crop benefited from favorable rainfall coupled with the absence of tropical storm activity during the main growing season. Harvested area is estimated at 161,000 hectares, unchanged from last year. Yield is forecast at a near-record 4.99 metric tons per hectare, up 9.4 percent from last year (when yield was reduced by drought), and 5.9 percent above the 5-year average.

The Dominican Republic has two rice-growing cycles. The spring/summer crop, which accounts for 75 percent of total production, is harvested in the August. The second cycle is planted in the fall and winter and is harvested in May. Nearly all rice is grown under irrigated conditions. (For more information, please contact Arnella Trent at 202-720-0881.)

India Millet: Production Less Than Previously Projected

India's 2013/14 millet production is estimated at 10.6 million tons, down 7.8 percent from last month and down 1.5 percent from last year. The production has been revised down primarily due to decline in area harvested. The harvested area is estimated at 9.2 million hectares, down 8.0 percent from last month and down 1.1 percent from last year. The final yield estimate is slightly above the 5-year average at 1.15 tons per hectare.

India’s millet (including bajra, ragi, and small millets) is grown during the kharif (monsoon) season (June-September). In recent years millet production has been facing competition from other summer crops such as cotton, soybeans, and pulses, which that has led to a decline in area. The 2013 monsoon rainfall was characterized as normal and most major millet growing regionsreceived favorable rainfall. During the months of June-July, cumulative rainfall in these states was very favorable compared to last year, promoting good crop growth and development. Millet is mainly produced in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Utter Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana. (For more information, please contact Dath Mita, PhD at 202-720-7339)

China Barley: Production Revised Downward

China’s 2013/14 barley production is estimated at 1.5 million tons, down 0.8 million or 35 percent from last month and down 7.7 percent from last year’s crop of 1.63 million tons. Estimated area for 2013/14 was lowered to 450,000 hectares, down 29 percent from last month and down 8.2 percent from last year’s revised area. The estimated yield of 3.3 million tons per hectare is equal to last year’s revised yield but below the 5-year average. The changes are based on official data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. Farmers in Jiangsu and Gansu provinces reportedly have switched from barley to more profitable crops such as corn and winter wheat. Unlike corn and wheat, barley production is not supported by the government (through subsidies or purchasing programs) since it’s not considered important for food security. Barley in China is mainly used for beer production, which has been steadily increasing for the past decade. Barley imports for beer rose by 10 percent in 2013/14, mostly from Australia, Canada, and Argentina, due to lower domestic barley production. (For more information, please contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

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