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USDA World Agricultural Production


13 June 2012

USDA World Agricultural Production - June 2012USDA World Agricultural Production - June 2012

Turkey’s 2012/13 wheat production is forecast at 16.5 million tons, down 1.0 million from last month and down 2.3 million or 12 percent from last year.
USDA World Agricultural Production

Turkey Wheat: Production Lowest in Past 5 Years

Turkey’s 2012/13 wheat production is forecast at 16.5 million tons, down 1.0 million from last month and down 2.3 million or 12 percent from last year. Yields are forecast well below average at 2.1 tons per hectare, down 12 percent from last year. Winter-grain growing conditions were harsh by normal standards this year, with heavy snows, late frosts, hail, and a widespread outbreak of snow mold (Fusarium nivale) in the Central Anatolian region. Severely affected crops were generally isolated to provinces in central Turkey. However, these regions are the country’s winter grain heartland, producing nearly 50 percent of total wheat production. Field reports indicate that new varieties were widely sown this year, which are less hardy than those they replaced, with harsh winter conditions and snow mold causing widespread losses. Crop development in the spring was visibly poor with thin crop stands and stunted growth.

Russia Wheat: Dryness Reduces Wheat Prospects in Southern Russia

The USDA estimates Russia wheat production for 2012/13 at 53.0 million tons, down 3.0 million or 5 percent from last month and down 3.2 million or 6 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 25.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 0.6 million from last year. Yield is forecast at 2.08 tons per hectare, down 8 percent from last year and 6 percent below the 5-year average. The month-to-month decrease in estimated production is attributed to hot and dry weather in European Russia.

Persistent dryness and excessive heat during April and most of May hampered vegetative growth for winter wheat in Russia’s Southern District, which accounts for about half of the country’s winter wheat output. The April heat was likely more detrimental to potential yield than was the extended dryness, because the high temperatures essentially brought an end to the development of additional productive tillers (stems) and secondary roots. Conditions have been poor in parts of the southern Central District as well, although yield prospects could improve with favorable weather.

In the Volga District, winter crops have benefited from adequate precipitation in most areas and winter-grain conditions are generally good. The Central and Volga Districts each produce about 25 percent of Russia’s winter wheat. Meanwhile, springwheat planting in the Siberian, Ural, and Volga Districts is nearing completion. Early-June surface moisture levels were considerably lower than normal in the Siberian and Ural Districts (which account for about 50 and 15 percent of Russia’s spring-wheat output respectively) but about average in the Volga District (25 percent). Yield prospects for spring wheat will hinge chiefly on subsequent weather.

European Union Wheat: Production Down on Further Central EU Reductions

The USDA estimates 2012/13 European Union (EU) wheat production at 131.0 million tons, down 1.0 million or less than 1 percent from last month, and down 6.4 million or 5 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 24.6 million hectares, down 0.3 million or 1 percent from last month. Yield is estimated at 5.32 tons per hectare (t/ha), compared to last month’s 5.30 t/ha, and last year’s 5.36 t/ha.

Largely unfavorable conditions have existed in central Europe for much of the growing season with dryness in autumn, frost damage during winter, and early spring dryness. Poor emergence and frost damage have caused winter crops in central Europe to be ploughed under, replaced with spring varieties, resulting in lower yield. Specialists from USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) conducted crop travel in central Europe in May observed dry soils, short plants, low tiller counts, and small grain heads.

The already-low 2012/13 estimates for German and Polish crops were reduced further in June to reflect recent weather related damage. German wheat area (the second largest EU wheatproducer), is estimated at 3.1 million hectares, compared to 3.2 million for both last month and last year. The production estimate for 2012/13 German wheat was lowered 0.7 million tons to 21.8 million, 1.0 million below last year’s poor crop of 22.8 million. Poland is typically the fourth largest EU wheat producer and is estimated to produce 8.1 million tons in 2012/13, compared to 9.3 million last year. Spain’s wheat crop (particularly the durum crop in the south) has been struggling with dryness and was reduced 0.2 million tons. Italy was also adjusted down 0.1 million tons. France is Europe’s largest wheat producer at 37.0 million tons, and production is estimated up 0.5 million from last month due to the return of favorable and wet conditions.

Spain Barley: Production Lowered as Dryness Spreads North

The USDA estimates 2012/13 Spain barley production at 6.5 million tons, down 0.6 million tons from last month, down 1.8 million tons from last year, and down 2.8 million from the 5-year average. Area is estimated at 2.7 million hectares, nearly the same as last month (2.74) and the same as last year (2.70). Yield is estimated at 2.41 tons per hectare (t/ha), down from 2.60 t/ha last month, and from 3.09 t/ha last year.

Dryness prevailed in Spain, particularly in the south, during the autumn of 2011 and winter of 2012. Durum wheat has been hit exceptionally hard because the crop is concentrated in the southern most province of Andalucía. The two largest barley-producing regions in Spain are Castilla Y Leon in the north and Castilla La Mancha in the center-south. Recent dryness and high temperatures during grainfill in early May lowered estimated barley yields in Castilla y Leon. The reduced June production estimate is largely in recognition of these lowered yields in Castilla y Leon.

Russia Corn: Record Production Forecast

The USDA forecasts Russia corn production for 2012/13 at 7.8 million tons, up 0.8 million or 11 percent from last month and up 1.1 million or 17 percent from last year. The estimated output shatters the previous record of 6.7 million, set in 2008/09 and matched in 2011/12. The increase is attributed to a 23-percent year-to-year jump in estimated area, as indicated by plantingprogress reports from the Ministry of Agriculture. Harvested area is estimated at 1.90 million hectares against 1.55 million last year. The sharp increase in area stems from a combination of factors, including higher domestic feed-corn consumption by the poultry sector, increased processing of value-added products like gluten and corn syrup, and high frost-related losses of winter rape and barley in southern Russia. Corn yield is forecast at 4.11 tons per hectare, down from last year’s record 4.31 tons.

China Corn: Record Area and Production Forecast

China’s corn production for 2012/13 is forecast at 195.0 million tons, up 2.2 million or 1 percent from last month and up 1 percent from last year’s revised estimate of 192.8 million tons. The estimated area of 34.3 million hectares is up 1 percent from last month and nearly 3 percent from last year. Increased demand for feed grain and high corn prices have led to a remarkable expansion of corn area in the past few years, mainly at the expense of soybean area. The forecast yield of 5.69 tons per hectare is essentially unchanged from last month but down 1.5 percent from last year’s record yield. The growing conditions have been generally favorable for the spring-sown crop in Northeast China. However, unusually warm and dry weather on parts of the North China Plain in May has caused concern for the summer corn crop which will be planted after the winter wheat harvest in June. Additional rain is needed to provide adequate moisture for timely planting and proper germination.

China Soybean: Production Forecast at Lowest Level in 20 Years

China’s 2012/13 soybean production is forecast at 12.6 million tons, down 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and down 7 percent from last year. The forecast implies that China will harvest its smallest soybean crop in the past 20 years, some 13 percent below the 5-year average. Total soybean area was revised this month to 7.2 million hectares, down 0.3 million or 4 percent from last month and down nearly 6 percent from last year. Most of this reduction took place in Heilongjiang, China’s most important soybean province. Farmers there have reportedly reduced soybean area this year in favor of allocating more land to corn and rice, which have been much more profitable in recent years. The forecast yield of 1.75 tons per hectare is unchanged from last month and 4 percent above the 5-year average.

Brazil Cotton: Low World Cotton Prices Reduces Incentive to Plant 2012/13 Cotton

Brazil’s 2012/13 cotton production is forecast at 7.0 million bales, down 1.0 million from last month and down 2.1 million or 23 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 1.075 million hectares, down 0.125 million hectares from last month and down 0.325 million hectares or 23 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 1418 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha), or close to the five-year average yield of 1426 kg/ha. Because of steadily falling cotton prices, farmers in Brazil are forecast to plant less cotton and plant more competing crops such as corn or soybeans. Cotton planting will begin in December.

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