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USDA World Agricultural Production


12 January 2012

USDA World Agricultural Production - January 2012USDA World Agricultural Production - January 2012

Drought in Southern Brazil Reduces 2011/12 Soybean Production Forecast.
USDA World Agricultural Production

USDA World Agricultural Production

Brazil’s 2011/12 soybean production is forecast at 74 million tons, down 1.0 million from last month and down 1.5 million or 2 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.96 tons per hectare, down 1 percent from last month due to below-average rainfall in the south during November and December. Area is forecast at a record 25 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 0.8 million or 3 percent from last year. 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.

Above-average rainfall during October gave nearly ideal planting conditions for most of Brazil. However, below-average rainfall in the south during December reduced potential yields, especially in regions that were planted early where crop stage was in the critical flowering and pod-filling stages during December’s drought.

Harvesting started this month in Parana, the second-largest soybean producing state, which reported below-average yields in the early-planted regions located in the western and southwestern portions of the state. DERAL, the state crop estimating agency for Parana, also reduced their soybean production forecast this month by 1.4 million tons (from 14.1 to 12.7 MT) due to December’s drought and low reported harvested yields in western Parana.

In contrast, seasonal rainfall was beneficial in central and northeastern parts of Brazil. Mato Grosso, the largest soybean producing state in the central west, is expecting a record soybean harvest of 22.2 million tons and above last year’s record crop of 20.4 million tons. (For more information, contact Curt Reynolds, PhD, at 202-690-0134.)

USDA World Agricultural Production

India Cotton: High Production Projected for the 2011/12 Crop

The USDA estimates 2011/12 India cotton production at a record 27.0 million bales (480-pound bales), down 2 percent from last month, but up 1.6 million or 6 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 12.2 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 10 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 482 kilograms per hectare, down 2 percent from last month and down 3 percent from last year.

The 2011 monsoon season started at a relatively slow rate in May, but conditions improved significantly in July and August. Despite a slow start to the season, favorable planting conditions in July and August extended the planting window and boosted plantings in all major growing areas. Rainfall throughout the season progressed well and provided favorable conditions for crop growth and development. The ideal planting conditions, high domestic prices, and anticipated export demand encouraged record cotton plantings in the major growing areas of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. But in some areas, especially Maharashtra, observers are concerned about possible yield reductions caused by below-normal rainfall at the beginning of the planting season and limited irrigation supplies in the areas that typically rely on supplemental irrigation.

Seed cotton arrivals from November through early January are averaging 25 percent lower than last year. The largest shortfalls, at approximately 40 percent less than the same time last year, are in Maharashtra, the state that contributes about 20 percent of national production. The delayed start to the harvest campaign and farmer holding (anticipating higher prices) are the primary suspects for the low arrivals, but lower yields may be a significant contributing factor as well. (For more information, contact Dath Mita, PhD, at 202-720-7339.

Argentina Corn: December Dryness Threatens Production Prospects

USDA World Agricultural Production

The USDA forecasts Argentine corn production for 2011/2012 at 26.0 million tons, down 3.0 million from last month but up 3.5 million from last year. Area is estimated at 3.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 0.2 million from last year. Yield is estimated at 6.84 tons per hectare (t/ha), up 9 percent from last year. During December, several locations in Argentina’s key corn-production region reported sporadic high temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius, (100 degrees Fahrenheit), resulting in moisture stress for some of the corn.

About half of the early corn was entering the silking and tasseling stages – the stages most susceptible to drought. The corn in the northwest region of Buenos Aires, the southeast region of Cordoba, and the far southern region of Santa Fe has taken the brunt of the damage.

Only scattered or very light rain (less than one-half inch) fell last week near the towns of Colonia, Almada, and Hernando in the province of Cordoba, while elsewhere in much of this southern region of the province no rain has been recorded. In Buenos Aires, the regions around the towns of Pergamino, Rojas and Salto have received less than 10 mm (less than one-half inch) with temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the regions of Junín, Villegas (Pergamino) in Buenos Aires province and around María Teresa and Labordeboy in the province of Sante Fe, the crop has been under heat stress for several weeks. Some specialist suggest from 4 to 7 inches of rain will be necessary to replenish soil moisture and relieve plant stress for continued crop progress. In some sandy fields with severe damage, farmers are harvesting hay or directly grazing the corn crop. (For additional information, contact Dr. Denise McWilliams at 202-720-0107.)

Argentina: After Dry December, Soybeans Likely to Benefit from Recent Rainfall

Argentine soybean production for 2011/12 is estimated at 50.5 million tons, down 1.5 million from last month, but up 1.5 million from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 18.7 million hectares, up 2 percent from last year’s 18.3 million. Yield is estimated at 2.70 tons per hectare, down 1 percent from last month and up almost 1 percent from last year.

Excessive December dryness resulted in poor emergence and establishment of first-crop soybeans in northwestern Buenos Aires, southern Cordoba and far-south Santa Fe provinces. Most soybeans in this region are not yet flowering and could pull out of severe stress if the crop receives rainfall in January and February. For instance, around Junín most soybeans only received about 6 mm (just over a third of an inch) of rain during December, which hampered crop establishment and growth.

In the areas hardest hit from lack of rain, leaves of the soybean plants are smaller and crop plant internodes are short which may limit future plant branching and flower and pod set. The rain that fell in early January will encourage the planting of second-crop soybeans. As of last week, only 40 percent of the second-crop soybeans were in the ground. (For additional information, contact Dr. Denise McWilliams at 202-720-0107.)

Russia Sunseed: Production Estimate Continues to Climb

The USDA estimates Russia sunflowerseed production for 2011/12 at a record 9.6 million tons, up 0.8 million or 9 percent from last month and up 4.3 million or 79 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at a record 7.3 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 1.7 million from last year, when severe drought resulted in an unusually high rate of abandonment. Yield is estimated at 1.32 tons per hectare, up 38 percent from last year and up 18 percent from the 5-year average. The estimated yield, while not actually a record for Russia, is the highest of the post-Soviet era. (Official data indicates sunseed yield at 1.48 tons per hectare in 1989/90.) The month-to-month increase is based on a December 28 report from the Ministry of Agriculture citing sunseed output at 9.6 million tons. (For more information, contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

Ukraine Sunseed: Area and Production Estimates Revised

The USDA has revised its estimates of Ukraine sunseed area and production for the marketing years 2005/06 through 2011/12 in an effort to more closely reflect actual output. The USDA revisions were based chiefly on exports of sunflower oil, meal, and seed, which are reported by the State Customs Service of Ukraine to the Global Trade Information Service and published in the Global Trade Atlas. Yield was estimated based on analysis of weather, yield models, and SSC data, and harvested area was derived from the production and yield estimates.

Ukrainian law requires agricultural enterprises to follow approved crop rotations in an effort to reduce the incidence of soil-borne fungal disease caused by too-frequent planting of sunflowers, a consistently and highly profitable crop.

These restrictions essentially restrict many farmers from planting as much sunseed as they would like, and has resulted in the likely under-reporting of sunseed area and production to the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine (SSC). Note that sunseed is the only commodity for which the USDA does not adopt the area and production data from the State Statistical Committee of Ukraine (SSC).

The USDA considers SSC data to be generally reliable and continues to use final SSC numbers as the basis for official area and production data for all other Ukrainian oilseeds and grains. (For additional information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

Ukraine Corn: Ministry Harvest Reports Indicate Enormous Crop

The USDA estimates Ukraine corn production for 2011/12 at a record 22.5 million tons, up 1.5 million or 7 percent from last month’s record forecast, and up 10.6 million or 89 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 6.43 tons per hectare, up 43 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 3.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 0.9 million from last year. Favorable weather enabled the corn harvest to continue into late December. Last year, by comparison, harvest was essentially finished by December 1.

Corn yield has doubled over the past ten years, and the estimated yield for 2011/12 surpasses the previous record (5.02 tons per hectare in 2009/10) by nearly 30 percent. The remarkable reported yield is consistent with the favorable weather that has prevailed throughout the growing season, but the major reason for the steady 10-year climb in yield is the continued expansion in the use of hybrid seed. Imported hybrids account for about 70 percent of Ukraine’s corn seed, and local commodity analysts indicate that hybrid use will continue to increase. Yields have also benefited from more efficient fertilization techniques and steady improvement in the quality of harvest machinery. (For more information, contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

USDA World Agricultural Production

Kazakhstan: Wheat Production Surpasses Record

The USDA estimates Kazakhstan 2011/12 wheat production at 22.5 million tons, up 1.5 million or 7 percent from last month, and up 12.8 million or 132 percent from last year. The harvest surpassed the previous record of 22.2 million tons, set in 1979 when sown area was nearly 25 percent higher. Area for 2011/12 is estimated at 13.8 million hectares against 14.5 million last year. Yield is estimated at a record 1.63 tons per hectare (t/ha) compared to 1.52 t/ha last month, 0.67 t/ha last year, and the 5-year average of 1.02 t/ha. The month-to-month revision is based on preliminary data from the State Statistical Agency. The main wheat-production region benefited from outstanding weather throughout the growing season. Wheat typically comprises about 80 to 85 percent of Kazakhstan’s total grain production. (For more information, contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

USDA World Agricultural Production

January 2012

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