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USDA World Agricultural Production


12 September 2012

USDA World Agricultural Production - September 2012USDA World Agricultural Production - September 2012

Heat and drought reduce yields in North America and Europe, whilst South America reports record harvests, in the latest World Agricultural Production report by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
USDA World Agricultural Production

European Union Corn: Summer Heat and Drought Damage

Corn production in the European Union (EU) is estimated at 57.1 million tons, down 4.4 million or 7.1 percent from last month, and down 8.3 million or 12.6 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 9.1 million hectares, down 0.2 million from last month’s 9.35 million, but up 0.3 million hectares from last year. Yield is estimated at 6.27 tons per hectare (t/ha) compared to 6.58 t/ha last month and 7.46 t/ha last year.

Yield potential has been falling rapidly in the EU since July when extremely high temperatures inhibited pollination and drought limited kernel growth in much of the EU’s cornbelt. The EU cornbelt is concentrated in France, Spain, Italy, and southeast Europe. The primary corn growing areas have all struggled from excessive heat and moisture stress this season.

Early expectations of a bumper crop declined when this unfavorable weather pattern emerged during late spring. Weather and satellite data indicated high potential yield early in the season, but production is now estimated below last year’s 65.4 million tons and below the five-year average of 57.6 million tons. Recent weather and satellite imagery depict a greatly deteriorated crop in central Europe. During early and mid-August, analysts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) conducted a crop assessment trip in Romania and Bulgaria. The team traveled for two weeks, stopping in numerous fields to analyze conditions and meet with farmers, agricultural industry leaders, and government officials. The field trip confirmed the poor status of the crop.

Much of Hungary has seen no significant rainfall since July. The country will have a much smaller crop, now estimated at 5.0 million tons compared to the 6.5 million tons estimated last month and the 8.1 million ton crop from last year. France’s corn crop is estimated at 15.5 million tons, down 1.0 million from last month, but 0.5 million tons above the 5-year average.

Estimated production was lowered due to late season (August) heat that likely lowered yields at the filling stage. In Italy, where half of the crop is non-irrigated, heat and dryness reduced yields in the intensely cultivated Po River Valley, and estimated production was lowered by 0.7 million tons to 7.8 million. Romanian corn was lowered 0.6 million tons to reflect damage from excessively hot temperatures (above 35°C during pollination) as well as from drought. The result from the heat at pollination and the lack of summer moisture was poorly filled ears and small kernels. Additional September changes to EU corn include Bulgaria (down 0.2 million tons), Germany (down 0.2 million tons), Slovakia (down 0.2 million tons), Slovenia (down .05 million tons) and Poland (up .05 million tons.) (For more information, please contact Bryan Purcell at 202-690-0138.)


Canada Corn: Heat and Drought Reduce Estimated Yields

The USDA estimates Canada corn production at 11.7 million tons, down from last month’s estimate of 12.8 million tons, but up nearly 9 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 1.4 million hectares, up 16 percent from last year, due to favorable planting weather. Yield is estimated at 8.36 tons per hectare, down 6 percent from last month and below the 5-year average of 8.91 tons per hectare.

Yield prospects vary across eastern Canada. Some areas are expecting average-to-above average yields, whereas other regions are reporting that hot and dry conditions in July stressed the crop, resulting in poor pollination in various fields. Precipitation throughout the summer was scattered in eastern Canada. Vegetative indices show below normal conditions in some of the main corn producing areas in Ontario and Quebec. (For more information, contact Arnella Trent at 202-720-0881.)


Ukraine Sunflowerseed: Estimated Yield Reduced Following Excessive July Heat

USDA forecasts Ukraine sunflowerseed production for 2012/13 at 8.5 million tons, down 0.7 million or 8 percent from last month and down 1.0 million or 11 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 6.0 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last year. Yield is forecast at 1.42 tons per hectare, down 6 percent from the 5-year average.

Weather was unusually hot during June, July, and August in Ukraine’s main sunseed region. The heat was accompanied by below-normal precipitation during much of the growing season, but the most significant weather event was the excessive late-July and early-August heat that prevailed as the sunflower crop advanced through the flowering stage. According to Ministry of Agriculture data, sunflowerseed harvest was 13 percent complete by September 4 with yield roughly 25 percent lower, compared to the same date last year. Harvest will continue throughout October. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

Russia Wheat: Harvest Reports Suggest Remarkably Low Spring Wheat Harvest

Russia wheat production for 2012/13 is forecast at 39.0 million tons, down 4.0 million or 9 percent from last month and down 17.2 million or 31 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 22.5 million hectares, down 0.5 million from last month and down 2.4 million from last year. Total-wheat yield is forecast at 1.73 tons per hectare, down 7 percent from last month, 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.

The harvest of winter wheat was essentially complete by the end of August, with yield down 30 percent from last year, according to harvest reports from the Ministry of Agriculture. As of August 28, yields were down by 23 percent from last year in the Southern District (the country’s top winter-wheat region), down 41 percent in the North Caucasus District, and down 36 percent in the Volga District. Only in the Central District was the reported yield higher than last year, but by only 3 percent.

The spring-wheat harvest is in progress in the Volga, Ural, and Siberian Districts, with early yields down significantly from last year. The poor harvest is attributed to excessive and persistent heat and dryness in almost every major wheat-production region. In terms of the overall impact on wheat production, the 2012 drought has been more destructive than the drought of 2010. Although the heat and dryness were more severe in the areas where the 2010 drought prevailed (chiefly the Central, Volga, and Ural Districts), the 2012 drought has been more widespread and has sharply reduced yields in the Southern, North Caucasus, Volga, Ural, and Siberian Districts. Estimated wheat production for 2012/13 is 6 percent below the reported 2010/11 harvest of 41.5 million tons. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)


India Cotton: Improved Prospects for Crop

USDA has increased forecasts for the 2012/13 India cotton production to 24.5 million bales (480-pound bales), up 4.3 percent from last month, but down 3.0 million or 11 percent from last year. The increase is primarily due to higher than previously projected harvested area following improved monsoon rainfall in August and early September that encouraged plantings. Based on recent sowing progress reports USDA forecasts harvested area at 11.5 million hectares, up 0.7 million hectares or 6.5 percent from last month, but down 5.7 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 464 kilograms per hectare, down 2.1 percent from last month and down 5.5 percent from last year.

In August and early September the majority of cotton growing areas experienced improvements in monsoon rainfall. Overall monsoon rainfall across India improved to 14 percent below average compared to 22 percent the previous month.

Most regions saw significant improvements including North West, Central India, South Peninsula, and the East.

Rainfall encouraged growers to continue planting as indicated by the Government of India’s sowing progress reports.

Cotton planting is in progress and is expected to continue through September. This season, July through August was a very critical planting period across the country and the monsoon rains remained a major concern. According to the latest provisional planting estimate from the Ministry of Agriculture in India, total cotton planting at the end of August is reported at 11.15 million hectares, down from 11.77 million hectares compared to the same time last year. Planting progress continues to lag in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat which produce 21 and 28 percent of total India cotton respectively. The majority of the early planted crop is at squaring and first blooming stages. Inadequate rainfall, delayed planting and periodic moisture stress are likely to result in the significant yearto- year yield reduction. (For more information, contact Dath Mita, PhD, at 202-720-7339.)


Ukraine Soybeans: Harvest Forecast Near Record Despite Heat and Dryness

Ukraine soybean production for 2012/13 is forecast at 2.2 million tons, down 0.5 million from last month and down about 0.1 million from last year. Harvested area is estimated at a record 1.3 million hectares against 1.1 million last year. Yield is forecast at 1.69 tons per hectare, down from 1.92 tons last month. The month-to-month decrease in estimated yield is attributed to excessive heat during July and August throughout the main production zone combined with below-normal precipitation during much of the growing season.

Soybean production in Ukraine has increased ten-fold over the past 10 years, driven mainly by rapidly expanding area but also to a steady and significant increase in yield. The crop’s popularity is due to several factors, including high profitability relative to grains, and strong domestic demand from the crushing industry and the poultry and livestock sectors. (For more information, please contact Mark Lindeman at 202-690-0143.)

Brazil Soybean: 2011/12 Harvest Complete

Brazil’s 2011/12 soybean production is estimated at 66.5 million tons, up 1.0 million tons from last month and down 9.0 million or 12 percent from the previous year. Area is estimated at a record 25.0 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 0.8 million or 3 percent from the previous year. Yield is estimated at 2.66 tons per hectare, up 2 percent from last month and down 15 percent from the previous year’s record yield of 3.12 tons per hectare.

Estimated soybean production was raised by 1 million tons this month due to better than expected harvest reports from the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso. This year’s soybean yields were lower than the previous year even though La Niña events occurred during both years. A severe La Niña drought this year reduced yields by more than 30 percent in the southern state of Paraná and by more than 40 percent in Rio Grande do Sul. (For more information, please contact Curt Reynolds at 202-690-0134.)

Canada Barley: Area Harvested Returns to Pre-Flood Levels

USDA estimates 2012/13 Canada barley production at 9.5 million tons, up 22 percent from last year. Area is estimated at 2.73 million hectares, up 15 percent from last year, due to favorable planting weather. Yield is estimated at 3.48 tons per hectare, up 6.1 percent from last year. Statistics Canada’s July 2012 Estimates of Production of Principal Field Crops released in late August estimates planted area will increase 15 percent from last year due to favorable weather. Area in Alberta, which produces 51 percent of total production, is expected be up by 11 percent from last year. Saskatchewan, which produces 35 percent of total production, increased seeded area by nearly 18 percent from the previous year.

Barley planting was completed in early June across the southern Saskatchewan and Alberta prairies. Saskatchewan was the only province that was not able to complete planting because of wet conditions. The Saskatchewan provincial government estimated that approximately 2 percent of the crop was not planted because of localized flooding, which impeded seeding. Warm July weather enabled the crop to compensate for earlier cool conditions. As of the third week in August, reports from Alberta and Saskatchewan indicate harvest activities are slightly ahead of normal, with Alberta having harvested roughly about 14 percent of the barley crop. The quality of over 80 percent of the crop is reported to be good to excellent. (For more information, contact Arnella Trent at 202-720-0881.)

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