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USDA World Agricultural Production


12 October 2012

USDA World Agricultural Production - October 2012USDA World Agricultural Production - October 2012


USDA World Agricultural Production

Australia Wheat: Variable Growing Conditions Lower Production

Australia wheat production for 2012/13 is forecast at 23.0 million tons, down 3.0 million or 12 percent from last month, and down 6.5 million or 22 percent from last year. The area forecast is 13.3 million hectares, down 0.2 million or 1 percent from last month and down 0.8 million or 5 percent from last year. The yield forecast is 1.73 tons per hectare, down 0.2 tons or 10 percent from last month and down 0.4 tons or 18 percent from last year.

Since major sowing operations commenced in May, periods of dryness have plagued the Australia wheat producing states at varying times. Yield is marginally forecast above the 5-year average. Nationwide, the wheat crop faces mixed prospects heading into spring, reflecting below-average September winter rainfall and soil moisture conditions. Overall, seasonal conditions have been variable across the major cropping regions of Australia; and wheat production is forecast to be lower than the record harvest of last season, reflecting dry conditions in Western Australia and parts of south-eastern Australia. (For more information, please contact Jim Crutchfield at 202-690-0139.)

Russia Wheat: Harvest Reports Suggest Remarkably Low Spring Wheat Harvest

Russia wheat production for 2012/13 is forecast at 38.0 million tons, down 1.0 million or 3 percent from last month and down 18.2 million or 32 percent from last year. The month-tomonth decrease attributed to an increase in the estimated amount of abandoned area in the country’s spring-wheat region. Harvested area is estimated at 21.8 million hectares, down 0.7 million from last month and down 3.1 million from last year. Total-wheat yield is forecast at 1.74 tons per hectare, nearly unchanged from last month but down 23 percent from last year, and 21 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.

Russia: Estimated Wheat Yield

The wheat harvest was nearing completion by late September although only slightly more than 80 percent of the planted area had been harvested by that time. A significant portion of the remaining area was likely destroyed by drought and could remain unharvested. Moreover, the drought contributed to a sharp year-to-year drop in reported yield and a likely high rate of abandonment. According to September 25 data from the Ministry of Agriculture, wheat yield is down 22 percent from last year in the Southern District, down 41 percent in the North Caucasus District, down 28 percent in the Volga District, down 48 percent in the Ural District and down 32 percent in the Siberian District. Only in the Central District has reported wheat yield increased from last year, by 8 percent. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690- 0143.)

United Kingdom Wheat: Production Estimate Down Due to Persistent Rainfall

The United Kingdom (UK) wheat production for 2012/13 is estimated at 14.0 million tons, down 0.8 million or 5 percent from last month, and down 1.3 million or 8 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 2.0 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 42,000 hectares or 2 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 6.97 tons per hectare (t/ha) compared to 7.36 t/ha last month and 7.75 t/ha last year.

A very wet season in the UK delayed and prolonged the wheat harvest, lowering both quality and yield. The excessive precipitation during late summer and early autumn saturated soils and prevented fieldwork. When a window of drier weather opened in early September, farmers initially had to choose between harvesting wheat or sowing the early-planted crop of rapeseed. During the first half of September the weather remained settle prompting harvest to proceed at a rapid pace. Farmers completed most of the 2012 wheat harvest before rains returned during the second half of September.

The frequent precipitation was conducive to disease, and the lack of sunshine during grainfill prevented proper maturation and drying of the crop. Sandy soils which drain quickly provided the best conditions for wheat this year, but much of the UK’s arable land consists of heavy soils. The UK is consistently the third largest European Union (EU) wheat producer behind France and Germany, contributing 14.9 million tons on a 5-year average or about 11 percent of the total EU crop. (For more information, please contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690- 0138.)

October 2012 EU Wheat Production

Canada Barley: Production Revised Downward

The USDA estimates 2012/13 Canada barley production at 8.60 million tons, down 9.5 percent from the last month but up nearly 11 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 2.73 million hectares, up 15 percent from last year and unchanged from last month. Yield is estimated to drop to 3.15 tons per hectare compared to 3.48 tons per hectare last month.

Vegetation Anomaly Over Barley-Growing Regions of Canada

Barley production was anticipated to increase due to a 15 percent increase in planted area compared to last year, along with favorable weather conditions. However, due to a mid-summer heat wave and disease problems it led to a 9.5 percent month-tomonth reduction, and also depreciated crop yields by 4.4 percent compared to last year. From June 17 through July 22, western prairies saw maximum temperatures of 3 to 6 degrees Celsius above normal. In addition, rainfall was scattered and localized in the region.

Analysis of vegetative conditions, based on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from NASA’s MODIS sensor, indicate that crop conditions are below normal for about 20 percent of the crop in east-central Saskatchewan. NDVI indicate below average conditions across the main barley growing areas of Manitoba, and variable conditions across Alberta. Barley harvest is complete across the western provinces. (For more information, contact Arnella Trent at 202- 720-0881.)

Australia Barley: Variable Growing Conditions Lower Production

Australia barley production for 2012/13 is forecast at 7.0 million tons, down 1.0 million or 13 percent from last month, and down 1.6 million or 18 percent from last year. The area forecast is 3.88 million hectares, up 75 thousand or 2 percent from last month and down 163 thousand or 4 percent from last year. The yield forecast is 1.81 tons per hectare, down 14 percent from last month, down 15 percent from last year and slightly above the 5-year average.

Since major sowing operations commenced in May, periods of dryness have plagued the Australia barley producing states at various times. Nationwide, the barley crop faces mixed prospects heading into spring, reflecting below-average September winter rainfall and soil moisture conditions. Overall, seasonal conditions have been variable across the major cropping regions of Australia; and barley production is forecast to decline, reflecting the dry conditions in the 2 major producing states of Western Australia and South Australia. (For more information, please contact Jim Crutchfield at 202-690-0139.)

Canada Rapeseed: Production Revised Downward

The USDA estimates 2012/13 Canada rapeseed production at 13.4 million tons, down 13 percent from the previous estimate and down 7.5 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 8.40 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 7.4 percent from last year. Yield is estimated to drop to 1.59 tons/hectare, nearly 15 percent below the 5-year average and down 13 percent from last year.

A report from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Crop Report indicates that yields are likely to drop by 24 percent due to excessive moisture at seeding time and high summer temperatures, which promoted disease in plants. Alberta provincial government also reported lower yields than anticipated in July and August due to heat, disease, and pests.

Officials in Manitoba, which produces 21 percent of output, estimate that yields would be average to below average, but production would increase because of an increase in planted area. From June 17 through July 22, the western prairies reported that maximum temperatures were 3 to 6 degrees Celsius above normal. Rainfall was scattered and localized in the region. Rapeseed harvest is nearly complete in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. (For more information, contact Arnella Trent at 202-720-0881.)

European Union Corn: Production Estimate Drops for the Third Consecutive Month

European Union (EU) corn production for 2012/13 is estimated at 55.6 million tons, down 3 percent or 1.5 million from last month, and down 15 percent or 9.7 million from last year. Area is estimated at 9.0 million hectares, down 1 percent or 0.1 million from last month, but up 3 percent or 0.2 million from last year. Yield is estimated at 6.18 tons per hectare, down 1 percent from last month and down 17 percent from last year.

EU Corn

EU corn production estimates fell for a third consecutive month. Summer crop expectations peaked at the beginning of July after increased corn area and favorable spring weather bolstered crop prospects for much of the area. Throughout the month of July, however, weather conditions in southeast Europe deteriorated. Prolonged heat and dryness prevented or shortened pollination and reduced grainfill. In addition, there was an increase in unharvested grain area as farmers abandoned fields or used them for silage. Harvest is well underway in southeastern Europe and in the earlier stages in France.

The largest October reduction was in Romania, were a large share of the corn is not irrigated. Output is estimated production down 0.8 million to 6.3 million tons (10.5 million last year), and with area down 0.1 million to 2.6 million hectares. Other summer-heat and dryness-related reductions include a 0.5 million reduction in Hungary to 4.5 million (8.1 million last year), 0.2 million reduction in Bulgaria to 4.0 million tons (5.5 million last year), and a 0.3 million ton reduction in the French crop to 15.2 million (15.6 million last year). Estimated production increases included Poland by 0.3 million tons to a record 3.2 million because of favorable summer weather and increased plantings. Corn production was also increased in Spain by 0.3 million, resulting in an estimated 3.8 million tons (4.2 million last year). (For more information, please contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)

China Cotton: Lower Area but Record Yield Expected in 2012/13

China’s 2012/13 cotton production is estimated at 31.5 million bales, up 0.5 million or about 2 percent from last month but down nearly 5 percent from last year’s revised estimate of 33.1 million bales (from 33.5 million). The estimated area of 5.0 million hectares is unchanged from last month but down 9 percent from last year. The 2012/13 yield is estimated at a record 1372 kilograms per hectare, up 5 percent from a year ago. Record yields in northwest China are expected to offset yield reductions in eastern China, which suffered from excessive rainfall and typhoon damage during the growing season. The weather in October has been generally favorable for cotton harvesting in most areas, and yield prospects have improved since last month. Harvesting is underway across the country and will continue through October.

According to preliminary industry and government reports, cotton area declined in nearly every province in 2012, particularly those in the Yellow and Yangtze River basins. China’s cotton area has been declining in recent years (down 1.2 million hectares since 2007/08) as farmers shift from cotton to grains (primarily corn) in response to high corn prices, government incentives to increase grain output, rising cotton production costs, and competition from lower-priced imports. (For more information, contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133.)

October 2012

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