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USDA World Agricultural Production


10 March 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 March 2014USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 March 2014


USDA World Agricultural Production

Paraguay Soybeans: Crop Affected by High Summer Temperatures

Paraguay’s 2013/14 soybean production is estimated at 8.1 million metric tons, 13 percent less than last month and 2.4 percent less than last year’s drought-affected crop. Harvested area is estimated at 3.1 million hectares, 6.1 percent less than last month but 3.3 percent more than last year. Yield is expected to be 2.61 tons per hectare, 7.3 percent less than last month’s estimate and 5.6 percent less than last year’s drought-hit crop.

Above-average yields were reported at the beginning of harvest for early planted soybeans but as harvest progressed, yields dropped showing the damage from the extreme heat seen during the peak of growth and pod set. Some farmers planted in early September 2013 rather than late- Soybean plant conditions deteriorated due to high temperatures during December 2013 in Paraguay. Sporadic rain did not help the crop, especially later-planted and second-crop soybeans. Images show crop condition (NDVI-anomaly where greener is better plant health) for Dec.-Jan. World Agricultural Production Hot and Dry Mid-Summer Conditions Hurt Paraguay Soybean Yields Approved by the World Agricultural Outlook Board Note: Neither the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates nor the World Agricultural Production were published in October 2013 due to a government shutdown. September into October for the season. Hoping to avoid plant heat stress during flowering, this early planting was beneficial and allowed a portion of the crop to flower before three scorching weeks in December. Sporadic rains during December and January further hurt later-planted soybeans and affected the second-crop soybeans, or soja zafriña. The soja zafriña crop covers 0.5 million hectares this season, nearly 65 percent more than last year. By mid-February, nearly 75 percent of the soybean crop had been harvested and harvest will conclude in May. In the past two decades, area dedicated to this crop has tripled in size, growing at an average rate of three to six percent per year. More area expansion is expected in eastern and southeastern Paraguay and into San Pedro, Canindyú, Caaguazu, and Concepción over the next few years. In the past two years, crushing capacity has more than doubled in Paraguay with more than half of the soybeans produced now processed in-country, continuing to create demand for soybeans. (For more information, contact Denise McWilliams PhD., 202-720-0107).

Brazil Soybeans: Hot and Dry Weather Reduces Yield Potential in the South

USDA forecasts Brazil’s 2013/14 soybean production at 88.5 million tons, down 1.5 million or 1.7 percent from last month but up 6.5 million tons or 7.9 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at a record 29.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 1.8 million hectares or 6.4 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 3.0 tons per hectare, down 1.7 percent from last month due to the hot and dry conditions in southern Brazil.

About 40 percent of Brazil’s soybean production was subject to extremely hot and dry conditions. States affected were Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, and Minas Gerais, and soybean potential yield was reduced. Some soybean regions had temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius for 17 days. Rains arrived by mid-February, providing much needed relief.

 Parana soybeans were at late reproductive crop stages during the hot and dry period and were the most affected, with yield prospects down significantly. Preliminary assessments estimate the damage at over 1 million tons. In Rio Grande do Sul, soybeans were in flowering and early reproductive crop stages. Although aborted flowers and pods have been reported, rains may have aided in the recovery.

Meanwhile in Mato Grosso, soybean harvesting is continuing at an above-average pace – about 60 percent has been harvested. Short-cycle soybean varieties have had higher yields than expected. Record soybean yields are reported. The harvest for the longer-cycle soybeans was interrupted by heavy rains in late February, causing some quality damage.

Nationally, yields are estimated at 3.02 tons per hectare, down from 3.05 tons per hectare estimated from last month, but up from 2.96 tons per hectare estimated for last year. Despite concerns about Asiatic soybean rust and old world bollworm, farmers have been well-equipped to handle these pests, albeit at higher costs. (For more information, please contact Bob Tetrault at 202-720-1071).

Australia Sorghum: Heat and Dryness Reduce Production Prospects

Australia sorghum production for 2013/14 is forecast at 1.2 million tons, down 0.7 million or 37 percent from last month, and down 0.8 million or 40 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 0.5 million hectares, down 0.1 million from last month, and down 0.095 million or 16 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.4 tons per hectare, down 24 percent from last month and 29 percent below last year.

Sorghum area had been expected to increase significantly this year as prices favored sorghum relative to other summer crops. However, many sorghum producers did not fully realize their planting intentions because of unfavorable seasonal conditions during much of the planting window. A severe lack of summer rainfall delayed planting in many growing areas and reduced potential yield. In addition, record high temperatures further stressed the crop already struggling with a lack of soil 3 March 2014 moisture. Sorghum production is concentrated in two eastern states. Queensland produces the bulk of Australia’s sorghum, 66 percent (five-year average), with New South Wales accounting for the remaining 34 percent. (For more information, please contact James Crutchfield at 202- 690-0135.)

Australia Barley: Production Revised Higher

Australia barley production for 2013/14 is forecast at 9.6 million tons, up 1.0 million or 12 percent from last month and up 2.1 million or 29 percent from last year. The area forecast is 4.0 million hectares, up 0.2 million or 5.3 percent from last month and up 0.4 million or 10 percent from last year. Harvest results indicate better than previously anticipated yields. Crop conditions earlier in the season were significantly improved with timely rain in the two largest barley producing states of Western Australia and South Australia. Southern New South Wales and Victoria also experienced generally favorable growing conditions. (For more information, please contact Jim Crutchfield at 202-690-0135.)

China Peanut: Production Supported by Strong Demand

China’s 2013/14 peanut production is estimated at 17.0 million metric tons, up 0.4 million tons or 2.4 percent from last month and 1.8 percent from last year. The estimate is based on data from Chinese government sources. The estimated area of 4.71 million hectares is up slightly from last month and up 1.5 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 3.6 tons per hectare is slightly above last year’s yield. There is strong domestic demand for peanuts as a food crop (snacks, cooking oil). Favorable prices relative to other cash crops makes peanuts a popular crop among farmers on the North China Plain and Northeast China. However, further area expansion is limited by the overall shortage of arable land in these regions. (For more information, please contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

China Corn: Record Yield and Record Production

China’s 2013/14 corn production is estimated at 217.7 million metric tons, up 0.73 million tons from last month and up 5.9 percent from last year. The revision is based on official government data released in February by the National Bureau of Statistics. The estimated area of 36.1 million hectares is unchanged this month but up 3.1 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 6.03 tons per hectare, up slightly from last month and up 2.8 percent from a year ago. China’s corn area has increased significantly (up almost 5 million hectares since 2009/10) in response to its rising demand for feed grains and government policies that supported grain production. Profits for corn were higher than for competing crops such as soybeans and cotton, which lost area as farmers shifted to corn. The weather was generally favorable on the North China Plain and the main production areas of Northeast China during the 2013/14 growing season. High yields in these areas offset yield losses caused by severe flooding in Heilongjiang and summer drought in central and southern China. (For more information, please contact Paulette Sandene at 202-690-0133).

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