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USDA World Agricultural Production

12 August 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production - 12 August 2014USDA World Agricultural Production - 12 August 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production

Canada Rapeseed: Area Down from Late Planting and Floods

USDA estimates 2014/15 Canada rapeseed production at 15.25 million tons, down 2.9 percent from last month and down 15 percent from last year’s record level. Harvested area is estimated at 7.7 million hectares, down 3.9 percent from last year and down 3.8 percent from last month. The reduction in estimated area is due to unseeded acreage and late June flooding that impacted southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba. Yield is forecast at 1.98 tons per hectare, down 12 percent from last year’s record but up 0.9 percent from last month.

Rapeseed development in the Western Prairies is still behind normal because of wet and cool weather conditions coupled with late planting. However, warmer temperatures in late July and sufficient precipitation have advanced crop maturation. The majority of the crop is setting pods. Analysis of satellite-derived vegetation indices show that crop development across most of the western prairies is slightly above the 5-year average. However, crop vigor in southeast Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba, which account for approximately 5 percent of total rapeseed production, is likely to be slightly below the short-term mean. Recent provincial reports from the major producers, Saskatchewan and Alberta, have rated the rapeseed crop as 70 percent good to excellent.

Russia Wheat: Outstanding Winter-Wheat Yields Boost Estimated Output

USDA estimates Russia wheat production at 59.0 million tons, up 6.0 million or 11 percent from last month and up 6.9 million or 13 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 23.8 million hectares against 23.4 million last year. Yield is estimated at a record 2.48 tons per hectare, up 11 percent from last month, up 12 percent from last year, and 18 percent above the 5- year average. The month-to-month increase is based on harvest reports from the Ministry of Agriculture indicating record wheat yields in European Russia, where nearly all the country’s winter wheat is grown and where harvest is nearing completion. Winter wheat typically comprises about two-thirds of Russia’s total wheat output.

Analysis of weather data and satellite-derived vegetation indices show that conditions for spring wheat are better than last year in the Ural and Volga Districts (which account for approximately 20 and 30 percent of Russia’s spring-wheat output, respectively), but slightly worse than last year in the Siberian District, which produces nearly half of the country’s spring wheat. Springwheat harvest will begin in late August and continue until the end of October.

China Wheat: Record Yield and Production

USDA estimates China’s 2014/15 wheat crop at a record 126.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 1.6 percent from last month and up 4.1 million or 3.3 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 24.1 million hectares, down slightly from last month and last year. The estimated yield of 5.23 tons per hectare is up 2.0 percent from last month and up 3.4 percent from last year’s record yield.

Winter wheat accounts for about 95 percent of China’s total wheat output. China’s 2014/15 winter wheat crop was planted in October 2013 and harvested in June 2014. Overall, the weather during the growing season was favorable. Temperatures and soil moisture were suitable at planting, and the crop entered dormancy in good condition. The weather in December and January was seasonably dry, and temperatures were relatively mild. Drought conditions developed in a few wheat areas, which increased the need for supplemental irrigation. However, the arrival of cool, wet weather in February raised soil moisture levels as the crop came out of dormancy, and timely rainfall in April and May created favorable conditions for reproduction and grain fill. Insect and disease problems were well controlled this year. The crop matured ahead of schedule, and mostly dry weather in June allowed the harvest to be completed with few delays or post-harvest losses. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, wheat yield increased in each of China’s 11 main wheat growing provinces, and the quality of the crop was better than average.

China’s small spring wheat crop (less than 5 percent of total production) is grown in the northern and western parts of the country. Harvesting will be complete in August. 

Russia Sunseed: Year-to-Year Reduction in Sown Area

USDA estimates Russia sunseed production at 9.8 million tons, down 0.4 million or 3.9 percent from last month and down 0.8 million or 7.1 percent from last year. The month-to-month decrease is based on preliminary sown-area data released by Rosstat, the government statistical agency. Planted area was reported by Rosstat at 6.8 million hectares, against 7.3 million last year. USDA forecasts harvested area at 6.5 million hectares, down 0.3 million from last year. Conditions have been generally favorable for sunflowers in most key growing regions, and yield will also benefit from a 15-percent increase in the import of hybrid sunflower seed. Hybrid-seed imports have doubled in only four years, and the increased use of hybrid seed and other technical improvements have fueled a 50-percent increase in yield between 2004 and 2013. The forecast yield for 2014/15 is essentially unchanged at 1.51 tons per hectare, down 2.9 percent from last year but 20 percent above the 5-year average. Harvest will begin in September.

EU Corn: Production Increases in Response to Heavy July Rain

USDA estimates the 2014/15 European Union (EU) corn crop at 67.0 million tons, up 1.4 million or 2.1 percent from last month and up 3.1 million or 4.8 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 9.6 million hectares, up 0.1 million from last month but down 0.2 million or 2.4 percent from last year’s harvested area. Yield is estimated at 7.02 tons per hectare, above last month’s 6.88 tons, and last year’s 6.54 tons. The five-year average yield is 6.77 tons per hectare.

Heavy rainfall during the month of July beneficially increased soil moisture levels throughout Europe for summer crops. While the precipitation was optimally timed for corn development, the negative aspect was that it was detrimental to wheat quality and has made wheat harvesting difficult.

Drought conditions existed during winter and spring but ended in June when successive storms brought much needed relief to the corn crop. In Europe, corn typically pollinates in July, and then proceeds into grainfill during August. High soil moisture levels during these critical development periods should substantially bolster yields. Often, much of the EU’s corn belt is lacking soil moisture during the hot and dry late summer months, but not in 2014. Satellitederived vegetation indices graphically depict improved vegetation vigor and higher potential yield during the peak summer crop growth.

The largest individual EU monthly corn change was for Romania, up 0.45 million tons to 9.8 million tons. Other monthly increases include Hungary (up 0.2 million), Bulgaria (0.2 million), and Italy (0.2 million).

India Corn: Area Declines from Dry Weather during Planting Season

India's 2014/15 corn production is forecast at 21 million tons, down 4.1 percent from last month and down 3.19 million or 13 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 8.6 million hectares, down 4.4 percent from last month and down 9.5 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.44 tons per hectare, unchanged from last month, down 4.3 percent from last year, and 1.2 percent higher than the five-year-average.

Roughly 80 percent of India’s corn is produced during the kharif or monsoon season (June- October) and the rest is grown during the rabi season (September-April). According to the Government of India’s Meteorological Department, the advance of the 2014 southwest monsoon into the major cotton growing areas of north central and northwestern India improved during the month of July from 35 percent to approximately 25 percent below normal. This year’s monsoon was delayed by more than two weeks. At the end of July, regional monsoon rainfall deficits are reported at 49 percent of normal in northwest India, 47 percent in central India, 26 percent in the Southern Peninsula, and 22 percent in northeast India. Generally, the Indian monsoon is characterized as normal at 95 to 105 percent of the long-term-average (LTA), below normal at 90 to 95 percent, and drought at less than 90 percent.

Across the majority of corn growing states (Rajasthan, Karnataka, Utter Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat), the season started as one of the driest resulting in significant planting delays due to the late start and poor distribution of the rainfall. Estimated area is substantially decreased this month as the window of planting opportunity closes.

India Rice: Production Prospects Continue to Decline from Reduced Area

India 2014/15 rice production is forecast at 103.0 million tons, down 1.0 percent from last month and down 4.94 million or 3.1 percent from last year’s record. Area is forecast at 43.4 million hectares which is 0.54 million less than last year. Yield is forecast at 3.56 tons per hectare, down 1.9 percent from last year.

Rice transplanting is in progress although there were delays in some regions due to the late start, erratic beginning, and poor distribution of the monsoon rainfall. The recent boost in rainfall over eastern India (Bihar, Utter Pradesh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal) promoted a better environment for transplanting and early crop development. Overall the majority of key rice growing areas in the eastern states have experienced below normal to approximately normal rainfall. Above-average rainfall is needed during the next few weeks to promote further transplanting and improve the current crop yield expectations.

The southwest monsoon accounts for 70 percent of annual rainfall in India. This year’s monsoon was delayed by more than two weeks.

India’s rice is produced throughout the calendar year starting with kharif rice that accounts for 85 percent of total rice production and is grown in March – February, followed by rabi rice accounting for 15 percent and grown in November-June. Almost 50 percent of kharif rice is irrigated and mainly produced in the northwest (Punjab, Haryana, Utter Pradesh), northeast and in the Southern Peninsula. Rabi rice is 100 percent irrigated and is produced mainly in the east and northeast states (West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Assam, and Tamil Nadu). The majority of irrigation is by the use of canals, tube wells and diesel pumps.

India Soybeans: Area Declines from Dry Weather during Planting Season

USDA forecasts 2014/15 India soybean production at 11 million tons, down 5 percent from last month and unchanged from last year. Area is forecast at a record 11 million hectares, down almost 5 percent from last month, and down 9.8 percent from last year’s record level. Yield is forecast at 1.0 tons per hectare, up 11 percent from last year. In the past five years, India’s soybean area and yields have averaged 10.43 million hectares and 1.02 tons per hectare, respectively.

India’s soybeans are grown exclusively during the kharif (southwest monsoon) season under rainfed 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 season started as one of the driest resulting in significant planting delays. Optimum planting is the third week of June to the second week of July, but the window of opportunity for planting extends until early August. 

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