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USDA World Agricultural Production


10 October 2014

USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 October 2014USDA World Agricultural Production - 10 October 2014


USDA World Agricultural Production

Australia Wheat: Variable Growing Conditions Lower Production

Australia wheat production for 2014/15 is forecast at 25.0 million tons, down 0.5 million tons or 2.0 percent from last month, and down 2.0 million tons or 7.4 percent from last year. The area forecast is 13.8 million hectares, unchanged from last month but up 0.3 million or 2.2 percent from last year. Since major sowing operations commenced in May, periods of dryness have plagued the Australian wheat producing states at varying times. Yield is forecast at 1.81 tons per hectare, which is below the 5-year average of 1.90 tons per hectare. September precipitation is the most influential factor for determining Australia’s wheat yield. Nationwide, the wheat crop faces mixed prospects heading into spring, reflecting below-average September rainfall in the eastern wheat belt while Western Australia, the largest producing state, received beneficial rains.

European Union Wheat: Rains Improve Crop Potential to Record, but Reduce Quality

Wheat production for 2014/15 in the European Union (EU) is estimated at a record 154.0 million tons, up 3.0 million tons or 2.0 percent from last month, up 10.8 million tons or 7.6 percent from last year, and up 11 percent from the 5-year average of 138.3 million tons. Area is estimated at 26.6 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 3.1 percent or 0.8 million hectares from last year. Yield is estimated at a record 5.79 tons per hectare, up 1.9 percent from last month, up 4.3 percent from last year and up 8.5 percent from the average.

Harvesting is now finished in the EU and production is being revised upward. Rain during the wheat’s grainfill stage in June and July greatly boosted yields, turning a crop that had been moisture deficient into a bin-buster, albeit with quality issues. The quality issues, derived from rains that persisted into August and September, are delaying harvest and lowering baking properties. The biggest revision this month is for Germany where production is up 1.35 million tons or 5 percent from last month. Summer rains improved the crop to a record 27.5 million tons and to a record 8.54 tons per hectare yield. The story is the same in other Central European countries such as the Czech Republic, where the output is estimated to be at a record 5.2 million tons and yield is a record 6.24 tons per hectare. Polish production is up 0.35 million tons to a record 10.6 million tons and yield is at a record 4.82 tons per hectare. In addition, wheat is also up in the United Kingdom by 0.35 million, 0.34 million in Hungary, and 0.15 million tons in Sweden.

Russia Corn: Record Area Contributes to Near-Record Crop

Russia corn production for 2014/15 is estimated by USDA at 12.0 million tons, down 0.5 million tons or 4.0 percent from last month, but up 0.4 million or 3.1 percent from last year’s record crop. Estimated harvested area is increased by 0.1 million hectares, to a record 2.6 million, based on preliminary harvest data from the Ministry of Agriculture. Yield is estimated at 4.62 tons per hectare, down 7.7 percent from both last month and last year but 14.6 percent above the 5-year average.

The corn harvest was 52 percent complete as of October 8, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, with cumulative yield down 9 percent from last year. In the Southern District (the country’s top corn-producing region, with about 40 percent of total output), harvest was 78 percent complete with yield down 2 percent. In the Central District (30 percent), harvest was 43 percent complete with yield down 30 percent due chiefly to excessive heat during the growing season. Despite the year-to-year drop in yield, this year’s estimated corn harvest will stand as the second-highest on record. This is the result mainly of record area, but corn yield in Russia has benefited from a steady 10-year increase in the use of imported hybrid seed.

Ukraine Corn: Harvest Reports Indicate Average Yield

USDA forecasts Ukraine corn production for 2014/15 at 25.0 million tons, down 1.0 million or 3.8 percent from last month and down 5.9 million or 19 percent from last year’s record output. Harvested area remains unchanged at 4.6 million hectares against 4.8 million last year. Yield is estimated at 5.43 tons per hectare, down 15 percent from last year’s near-record level and matching the 5-year average. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, the corn harvest was one-third complete as of October 3, with cumulative yield standing at 4.72 tons per hectare compared to 5.64 tons per hectare by the same date last year. Cumulative yield typically increases throughout October and November as the harvest campaign advances into the higheryielding north-central territories.

Despite a 20-percent increase in the use of imported hybrid seed, this year’s reported yield to date is down about 15 percent from last year’s record. The yield reduction is likely due to two factors. Although the overall weather during the growing season was not remarkably unfavorable, satellite imagery indicates crop stress in several key corn territories in central and south-central Ukraine during late July and early August. In addition, prices for mineral fertilizer and imported agricultural chemicals (including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) increased by an estimated 25 percent this season following a significant drop in the value of the hyrvna (UAH).

European Union Corn: Abundant, Late Summer Rainfall Yields Record Crop

Corn production in the European Union (EU) is estimated at a record 71.0 million tons, up 3.9 percent or 2.7 million tons from last month, up 11 percent from last year, and up 15 percent from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 9.6 million hectares, up 0.05 million hectares from last month, but down 0.2 million hectares from last year. Yield is estimated at 7.43 tons per hectare, up 3.4 percent from last month, 13 percent above last year, and 9.5 percent above the 5-year average.

Corn has benefitted from very heavy rainfall that occurred throughout most of Europe for the latter half of the summer. Though harvesting is underway, delays are occurring through areas in southeast Europe where rainfall has continued during the campaign. The rain is not expected to damage the crop.

Within the EU, corn production was raised in many of its biggest corn-producing nations. Production was raised 0.6 million tons in France, the single largest corn producer, to a record 17.0 million tons, 16 percent higher than last year. France’s 2014/15 yield is estimated at 9.71 tons per hectare, 16 percent higher than last year’s poor crop. Production was also raised in Italy by 0.5 million tons to 8.2 million. Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia also received beneficial rainfall that increased their crop totals. Hungary was revised up 0.5 million tons to 8.5 million, Romania’s crop is up 0.5 million to 10.6 million tons, and Slovakia’s crop is up 0.17 million to a record 1.6 million tons.

European Union Barley: Crop Larger than Expected

Barley production in the European Union (EU) is estimated at 59.3 million tons, up 2.3 million tons or 4 percent from last month, down 0.4 million tons or 0.6 percent from last year, and up 4.9 percent above the 56.5 million ton 5-year average. Area is estimated at 12.5 million hectares unchanged from last month, but up 1 percent or 0.1 million hectares last year. Yield is estimated at 4.75 tons per hectare, up 3.9 percent from last month, down 1.6 percent from last year, and up 6.5 percent from the 5-year average.

Barley is cultivated throughout Europe. It is comprised of both winter (autumn-sown) and summer (spring-sown) varieties. The typical EU barley split is more toward spring varieties than to autumn-sown varieties. In addition to feed uses, the spring crop is often used in the brewing industry. Spring barley is also more prevalent in the northern countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Baltics, and Scandinavia. The ratio of spring to winter barley production is much more evenly split than the planted area ratio, due to the higher yields associated with winter barley. Rain during June and July boosted yields, particularly of later-growing spring barley. As harvest results are being released, production is being revised upward. The biggest revision to this month’s estimates is for Germany, where production is up 9 percent or 0.9 million tons. In addition, other large revisions include France, up 0.4 million tons to 11.75 million, and the United Kingdom, up 0.35 million tons to 6.5 million tons. Although down 30 percent from last year’s crop (due to spring drought), Spain’s 2014/15 production is revised up 0.3 million tons to 7.0 million, based on Agricultural Ministry data.

Canada Rapeseed: Estimated Production Revised Down From Last Month

USDA estimates 2014/2015 Canada rapeseed production at 14.4 million tons, down 2.0 percent from last month and down 20 percent from last year’s record level. Area is estimated at 7.80 million hectares, up 0.6 percent from last month but down 2.6 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1.85 tons per hectare, down 3 percent from last month and down 18 percent from last year’s record yield. Yield is slightly below the 5-year average.

The month-to-month revision is based on the Statistics Canada’s Principal Field Crops October report. Provincial reports indicate that yields will be above average in Alberta and Manitoba, which produce 35 percent and 15 percent of the total crop, respectively. In Saskatchewan, the major producer, yields are expected to be average, despite less than ideal growing season and late plantings.

Harvest progress is behind the 5-year average across the Western Prairies because of late plantings and cool, wet and snowy conditions in mid- September. Warm and dry weather returned to the prairies in late September and harvest has resumed. Alberta and Saskatchewan report that roughly 50 percent has been harvested, while Manitoba reported that at least 30 percent was harvested by the end of September.

India Rice: Prospects for Production Continue to Decline

India's 2014/15 rice production is forecast at 102 million tons, down 1 million metric tons or 1.0 percent from last month and down 4.3 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 43.5 million hectares, down 1.0 percent from last year. Paddy yield is forecast at 3.52 tons per hectare, down 3.4 percent from last year.

The 2014 monsoon rainfall across India started late and was generally poorly distributed across the nation. The late start and below normal rainfall slowed rice seedling nursery preparations, resulting in delayed transplanting which subsequently affected overall area planted especially in Utter Pradesh, Bihar, and western Haryana. USDA’s yield simulation models indicate lower productivity prospects compared to the earlier projections. In September the rice crop in the northern states of Utter Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam entered critical reproductive stages (panicle initiation, ear growth and grain filling) under relatively less than favorable soil moisture conditions due to water deficits.

At the end of September, rainfall in major rice growing regions in India was generally below normal. The regions affected most included North West (Punjab, Haryana, and Utter Pradesh), South Peninsula, and the North East. However, the surface and subsurface soil moisture conditions remained favorable with the exception of South Peninsula. The major concern shaping the current USDA forecast is that the rice crop in the northern states of Utter Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam entered critical reproductive stages (tillering, panicle initiation, ear growth, and grain filling) under less-than-favorable soil moisture conditions. At the moment most yield models still indicate a high chance of an average yield. There is however some variation within the major rice growing states, with most states or regions showing good chance of an average yield, while forecast yield expectations in some states are mixed.

Approximately 85 percent of India’s rice is grown during kharif season (southwest monsoon season, May-September) mainly in Punjab, Haryana, and Utter Pradesh. It is estimated that 50 percent of kharif rice is irrigated using canals and tube wells. The rest of the rice crop is grown under irrigation during the rabi season (winter season, November-March). The rabi crop is predominantly grown in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Karnataka, Assam, and Tamil Nadu. Planting of rabi rice is about to start. Favorable soil moisture conditions, replenished irrigation reservoirs and relatively firm domestic prices will be very beneficial to a good start. Assuming normal weather conditions, higher rabi rice production may partially offset the lower than expected kharif productivity.

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