This reports includes the weather briefs, production briefs, and commodity feature articles from the full World Agricultural Production circular, with the exception of some of the statistical tables and charts. This report draws on information from USDA's global network of agricultural attaches and counselors, official statistics of foreign governments, other foreign source materials, and results of office analysis. Estimates of U.S. acreage, yield, and production are from the USDA Agricultural Statistics Board, except where noted. This report is based on unrounded data;numbers may not add to totals because of rounding. The report reflects official USDA estimates released in the World Agricultural Supply Estimates (WASDE-325) April 11, 1997.
The report was prepared by the Production Estimates and Crop Assessment Division, FAS, AGBOX 1045, 14th and Independence Ave., Washington, DC 20250-1000. Further information may be obtained by writing to the division, or by calling (202) 720-0888, 9516, or by FAX (202) 720-8880.
We plan to issue PART 2 of this circular every month, normally 5 working days AFTER the release of Part 1. The next issue of World Agricultural Production, Part 1, will be available electronically after 3:30 pm local time on May 13, 1997.
During February 1997, southern Santa Fe and most of Cordoba received only 30 to 45 percent of normal rainfall. Rainfall averaged near to above normal in other growing areas. The central region accounts for no more than 30 percent of Argentina's annual soybean production. During the first week of March, central Argentina remained dry. From March 9 - 15, central Argentina was again dry. However, La Pampa, northern Buenos Aires, and portions of southern Cordoba received moderate rain. During March 16 - 22, moderate showers fell across central Argentina, easing dryness and stabilizing soybean yield prospects across southern Santa Fe and Cordoba. That week dry weather favored cotton harvesting in the north. Warm and dry weather returned to central Argentina during March 23 - 29, favoring corn and sunflower harvesting, but increasing stress on second-crop soybeans. Dry weather in the north again favored cotton harvesting. During March 30 through April 6, dry weather prevailed in central Argentina, favoring harvest, but continuing season long stress to late soybeans.
During February 1997, periods of widespread, locally heavy rain kept cotton and sorghum unfavorably wet during later stages of development. This moisture was beneficial for pastures and coastal sugarcane. Unseasonable showers persisted in Queensland's main sorghum and cotton areas during the first week of March. Rainfall totaling 25 to 68 millimeters kept maturing cotton and sorghum unfavorably wet but added to abundant soil moisture reserves that will aid winter wheat establishment. Dry weather dominated eastern Australia during March 9 - 15, favoring drying of maturing cotton and sorghum. During March 16 - 29, moderate to heavy showers fell along Queensland's coast, reportedly causing some damage to sugarcane. The rain spread inland to northern cotton and sorghum areas, again interfering with harvesting and threatening quality. During March 30 through April 7, drier weather covered Queensland's coast, with moderate showers confined to a few local areas. Since sugarcane will be harvested in a few months, the region needed a break from recent weeks of inundating rain. Dry, seasonably warm weather benefited maturing sorghum and cotton in New South Wales, but scattered, mostly light showers fell in summer crop areas of southeastern Queensland. Unseasonable rain, improved moisture reserves in major agricultural areas of Western Australia. This will provide moisture for wheat planting and establishment.
In February 1997, drier- and warmer-than-normal conditions across the corn belt resulted in some declines in yield potential, as most crops experienced some degree of stress during reproduction. However, long-term moisture reserves had been favorable, mitigating the impact of the untimely drying trend. During March 1 - 8, widespread, locally heavy showers swept across the corn belt, benefiting immature crops. While coming too late to significantly improve summer crop yield prospects, the improved moisture situation will benefit winter wheat planting, which typically begins in May. During March 9 - 15, moderate rain continued over a broad section of the northern and central corn belt, keeping filling corn very wet. Rainfall was lighter in eastern and southwestern corn areas. During March 16 - 22, scattered showers and thunderstorms returned to the western corn belt, benefiting immature corn. The rain also boosted moisture reserves for the upcoming winter wheat crop. From March 23 through April 7, moderate to heavy showers covered a broad area of the corn belt. Persistent cloudy weather resulted in lower than normal temperatures, stifling corn maturation and harvesting. Drier and warmer weather is needed for corn maturation and harvesting, which typically begins by late April.
The estimate for 1996 orange production in Brazil's Sao Paulo State has been revised upward 5 percent from the December 1996 forecast (WAP 12-96), to 15.1 million tons (369 million 40.8-kilogram boxes). The revised estimate by the U.S. agricultural officer in Sao Paulo is based on favorable weather--especially the volume and regularity of rainfall between September and December--which benefitted fruit development despite the reduced use of inputs. Because of the increase in Sao Paulo, the estimate for Brazil's total 1996 orange crop has been revised upward, to 17.1 million tons, from 16.4 million. Brazil's orange crop totaled 16.5 million tons in 1995.
In March, farm chores changed from winter to spring activities. Spring fieldwork was active across the southern half of the country. Spring planting was active in the Southwest and the Gulf States. Winter wheat was greening and in good-to-excellent condition. Some areas of the central and southern Great Plains were dry. In California, field activities were progressing normally under weather conditions that were ideal for fieldwork. In the eastern Corn Belt through the Northeast, spring activities were delayed due to rainy weather and wet fields. In the Dakotas and Minnesota, the snowpack was moderately receding. The temperatures were steady enough to prevent major flooding.
Spring fieldwork started on schedule in the southern one-third of the country. In Arizona, above-normal temperatures and virtually no precipitation provided plenty of days suitable for cotton planting and small grain development. By the end of the month, approximately one-fourth of the cotton had been planted, equal to last year's progress, and ahead of the 5-year average. In Alabama, corn planting was one-third complete, ahead of the 1996 progress and the average. In Arkansas, fields were too wet for most field activities. Some planting was underway in the southeast portion of the State. Georgia producers were ahead of normal with land preparation and crop progress.
In the southern Great Plains, winter wheat was breaking dormancy and in mostly good to excellent condition. Little rain fell over the southern Plains in March and additional moisture would have been beneficial. The crop came through the winter with very little freeze or wind damage. In Oklahoma, over two-thirds of the winter wheat crop was jointing, up from last year and the average. Colorado winter wheat experienced a rather dry winter and, by month's end, needed more moisture to maintain favorable crop prospects.
On the West Coast, spring fieldwork was progressing normally in most areas. California weather conditions were ideal for growth. By mid-month, cotton planting began in the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys. In the desert area, cotton planting was complete by month's end. Alfalfa and winter forage were being cut for hay or greenchop.
The eastern Corn Belt and areas of the Northeast experienced rainy weather and wet field conditions that prevented the use of heavy equipment in many areas. Standing water remained in many low-lying areas of fields. Winter wheat was in generally good condition, but the standing water did cause some damage. The Dakotas and Minnesota experienced some snowmelt. The melt was steady and major flooding was avoided for the time being. The potential for major flooding still exists. Mud, rather than snow, was causing major difficulties, stressing livestock and creating problems accessing feed supplies and hauling grain. Difficult birthing conditions caused above-normal losses. Shortages of hay and forage supplies were reported in many areas of the Northern States.
The 1996/97 cocoa crop in Cote d'Ivoire remains unchanged from the 1.10 million ton estimate released in March (WAP 03-97). However, the U.S. agricultural attache in Abidjan has revised the main crop estimate from 900,000 tons to 950,000 and lowered the mid-crop estimate from 200,000 to 150,000 tons. The revision for the main crop was based on actual cocoa bean deliveries to processors. The mid-crop estimate was revised downward because of dry weather in February that adversely affected crop flowering and development in most producing areas.
In March, unusually mild, dry weather continued over most areas during the first half of the month, prompting early greening of winter grains in southwestern Ukraine and favoring fieldwork for early-spring grain planting in Ukraine and southern Russia. However, a cold spell began around mid-March and persisted until month's end. The cold weather halted further greening in winter grains in Ukraine and kept crops dormant in Russia, Belarus, and the Baltics. Furthermore, wet weather, including some snow, accompanied the cold spell, interrupting spring grain planting in Ukraine and southern Russia. Precipitation in March was above normal in most of Russia, the eastern half of Ukraine, most of Belarus, and Latvia. Below-normal precipitation occurred in western Ukraine and Lithuania.
In early-April, a warming trend spread over most of Ukraine and Russia and was accompanied by several days of dryness. The mild, dry weather allowed a resumption in spring grain planting. The mild weather prompted further greening of winter grains in Ukraine and caused winter grains in extreme southern Russia to begin breaking dormancy some 2 to 3 weeks later than usual. As of April 8, spring grain planting progress in Ukraine and Russia was reported to be ahead of last year. However, on April 9, cold, wet weather returned to crop areas in Ukraine and Russia.
For more information contact Tom Puterbaugh, (202) 720-2012
This article presents early indications of Northern Hemisphere winter grain prospects outside the United States based on reports from U.S. agricultural attaches stationed overseas and analyses by Washington-based USDA personnel. The first forecast of 1997/98 area, yield, and production for grains will be published in the May "World Agricultural Production" Circular.
SUMMARY: Winter grain area for 1997/98 outside the United States most likely will be above the level achieved last season. In the European Union (EU), area will be higher than last year due to a further reduction in the mandatory set-aside rate, despite a 1996/97 bumper harvest. Crop prospects are good due to generally favorable weather, although recent dryness in Spain has stressed non-irrigated crops. In Eastern Europe, area is projected to be higher than last year's level, although yield prospects appear to be mixed at this time. For China, the weather has been generally favorable, and crops are emerging from dormancy in good condition. Area is reported to be up slightly from last year. In Pakistan, area is projected lower, while India's crop area is projected above last year's level. Crops have received erratic rainfall to date; however, irrigation supplies are adequate. In Russia, grain area is projected lower, while Ukraine reportedly had a higher area planted to winter grain this season. A relatively mild winter, with adequate snow cover, has prevented excessive winterkill and maintained favorable production prospects for the winter crops. In the Middle East, grain area is projected to be higher in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In Northwest Africa, area is estimated lower than last year. In Morocco, excessive rainfall at planting caused delays. Insufficient moisture since late January has reduced prospects for the wheat and barley crops which will be harvested in May. Drought conditions have prevailed over winter grain areas in Algeria and Tunisia since the beginning of the planting season last fall. In Canada, winter wheat area is lower than the previous year due to the late harvest of soybeans. Crop prospects for winter wheat in Canada are guarded; however, winter wheat represents less than 5 percent of total wheat. In Mexico, grain area is projected to be lower than last season as irrigation supplies are still below normal.
EUROPEAN UNION (EU): Winter grain area in the EU is higher this season since the mandatory set-aside rate was reduced from 10 to 5 percent in order to increase the prospects of higher grain production. The reduced set-aside rate could free up about 2.0 million hectares in additional land. In the United Kingdom and France, the area devoted to winter grains is higher than last year. Near ideal growing conditions last fall and winter, allowed crops to become well-established and tolerate the current dry trend. Crop conditions are generally favorable. In Germany, harsh weather during late-December to early-January in the east caused some freeze damage and may force a small amount of replanting. The damage is expected to be significantly less than last year. Unusually mild weather in February prompted early vegetative growth and yield prospects are favorable. In Spain, area is projected to be similar to last season. Abundant to excessive precipitation in the fall and early winter favored crop establishment and increased reservoir levels. However, dry weather since early February is threatening crop prospects. Grain area in Italy is estimated slightly higher, although most of the expansion will be in durum wheat and spring sown corn. Continuous rains from October through November delayed planting beyond the optimum dates. Planting in central and southern Italy extended into late-January. Rainfall is needed in the Po Valley to replenish soil. In Sweden, the area planted to winter wheat is up from last season. Seeding and establishment went well, but winter moisture accumulations were below normal and cold temperatures early in the year may have caused above-normal winterkill. However, February precipitation boosted moisture reserves and spring seeding has begun a month earlier-than-normal.
EASTERN EUROPE: For Eastern Europe as a whole, winter grain sowings are estimated to be higher due to generally favorable planting conditions. In Bulgaria and Romania, soil moisture was adequate for planting and crop establishment. Unusually warm weather in March prompted grains to break dormancy and resume spring growth. Financial difficulties keep farmers from being able to purchase inputs and increasing yield potential. In Yugoslavia, wheat area is significantly higher for 1997/98 due to a major recovery in domestic wheat prices during the second half of 1996. Winter wheat is reported to be in good condition; however, dryness in February and March in Serbia's wheat-growing areas reduced soil moisture and timely rain is needed for better crop development. In Poland, bitterly cold temperatures during late-December and early-January threatened winter crops. Some freeze damage likely occurred to winter grains, especially in the southern half of the country where snow cover was patchy or nonexistent. The extent of the damage will not be fully known until mid-April when the crops break dormancy. In Hungary, winter grain plantings are projected to be slightly higher than last year. Reports indicate that wheat and barley overwintered well, but there was inadequate fertilizer application. Weather has been generally favorable for the crops in Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
FORMER SOVIET UNION (FSU): Russia and Ukraine are the primary producers of winter grains in the FSU, comprising about 80 percent of the total. The wettest September in at least the last 48 years in Ukraine and southern Russia provided abundant moisture for planting and crop establishment. Sown area for the 1997/98 crop in Ukraine is reportedly up from last year's level. Winterkill has been localized in parts of northern Ukraine, but overall crop condition at this time is good. Also of note is that this was the warmest February since 1990. Ukraine's State controlled agriculture sector is entering spring with many farm managers still waiting for government supplies of seed, tractors, fertilizers, fuel, and financing. In Russia, area is projected down from 1996/97 due in part to excessively wet conditions at planting. Conditions for establishment were generally satisfactory, with only pockets of dryness in the Volga Valley. Adequate snowcover throughout most of the winter grains area helped keep the crops in good condition. Winterkill is expected to be below last year's level and the average. Also, the snow cover retreated a month earlier than normal which enabled the crop to resume vegetative growth. For both Ukraine and Russia, yield potential is again curbed this year by a lack of improvement in the agrochemical input situation and continued economic difficulties in the farming sector.
ASIA: In China, winter grain area is projected to be up from 1996/97. Farmers responded to a favorable government procurement price for wheat, and the supply and cost of agricultural inputs were reportedly good. Widespread rainfall and warm temperatures resulted in nearly ideal conditions for planting and germination, though planting may have been delayed across the western and southern parts of the North China Plain due to unusually heavy rain in October and November. December weather was seasonably dry and cold. Relatively warm temperatures in late winter and early spring caused crops to emerge from dormancy one to two weeks earlier than usual. Unusually heavy precipitation in February and March provided beneficial moisture for the greening crops, and yield prospects are currently favorable for wheat and other winter grains. In India, area is projected to be slightly higher than last year due to an increase in the government support price. Autumn planting conditions in the northern Indian wheat belt were favorable due to late monsoon rains. Post-planting weather has been mixed, with periods of dryness followed by modest amounts of rain and cool temperatures. Yield potential is positive at this time. About 80 percent of the total wheat crop is irrigated to some degree. In Pakistan, area is estimated to be slightly less than last season's level due to unfavorably dry weather at planting followed by a prolonged delay of winter rain across the country. Rains in the second week of January helped stabilize conditions on the nearly 20 percent of Pakistan's crop that is not irrigated. A declining use of inputs and poor weather at the initial stages of crop development limit yield potential.
NORTHWEST AFRICA: Following last season's record crop, Morocco received excessive rainfall for several weeks during mid-November, causing up to 40 percent of the wheat and barley to be planted late. As a result, area is projected lower than last season. Insufficient moisture since late-January has negatively affected crop yield potential. In Algeria and Tunisia, crop area is likely to be lower than last year. In Algeria, planting progress was delayed by dry weather over the winter grains cropping areas. This dry weather pattern over the region continued throughout most of the growing season. Recent rainfall only moderated the declining yield prospects. In Tunisia, general dryness throughout the growing season hampered crop emergence and reduced prospective yield. However, sporadic rainfall along some of the northwest coastal growing areas limited yield damage. Recent dryness has worsened crop conditions.
MIDDLE EAST: Winter grain area in Saudi Arabia for 1997/98 is estimated higher as the Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSFMO) may have increased production quotas in order to increase stocks. The GSFMO controls wheat and barley production by assigning production quotas to each of the country's grain farmers. The crops are primarily grown by small-scale farmers and are 100 percent irrigated. This season has been very dry to-date. In Turkey, winter grain plantings are estimated to be above last year's level, mainly at the expense of cotton in the Anatolia and Cukurova regions. A high procurement price set by the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) in May 1996 and good returns earned from last season's wheat encouraged a small growth in wheat area. The shifting of wheat land into barley production has slowed as producers are having less problems with the sunni insect pest. Yield growth is limited this season due to reports of winterkill in some locations of Central Anatolia. In Syria, area is projected to be similar to last season. Rainfall has been adequate over the course of the growing season. April showers are critical for the grain formation stage. Nearly all of the barley and 60 percent of the wheat crop are rainfed. Area and production may increase further in the mid-term if more land can be brought under irrigation when all the dams under construction are completed.
NORTH AMERICA: In Mexico, wheat area is down slightly from last season as most reservoirs remain below what was considered their normal levels prior to the 3-year drought; however, precipitation during the fall and winter did increase water volume at many storage sites. Soil moisture and irrigation concerns have helped to hold winter wheat area down for 2 consecutive seasons, as farmers opted for crops less susceptible to water stress. Warmer-than-normal temperatures in northern Mexico during February and March moderated yield potential. About 70 percent of the total crop area is spring-harvested and is grown in the north. In Canada, winter wheat area is reportedly lower than last year due to the late harvest of soybeans and a wet fall which hindered planting. Patchy snow cover and cold temperatures may increase the incidence of winterkill this season. Soil moisture should be adequate for the crops grown on the Prairie Provinces this summer, although flooding along the Red River Valley likely will delay sowings.
|Timothy Rocke, World Grains Analyst||John Turner, Pakistan Analyst|
|Phone: (202) 720-1572||Phone: (202) 690-0133|
|Paul Provance, Europe Analyst||Ronald White, Mexico Analyst|
|Phone: (202) 720-0882||Phone: (202) 690--137|
|Paulette Sandene, China Analyst||Mark Lindeman, FSU, India Analyst|
|Phone: (202) 690-0133||Phone: (202) 690-0143|
|E-mail: email@example.com||E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Corn production in Brazil for 1996/97 is estimated at a bumper 37.0 million tons, up 4.5 million or 14 percent from 1995/96. Corn is produced to some degree in nearly every state in Brazil. However, the Central-South region (the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Parana, Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Espirito Santo, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Mato Grosso) generally accounts for 90 percent of total production. Parana is the largest corn-producing state, followed by Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso. The Northeast region generally accounts for 8 percent of production with the North accounting for the remaining 2 percent.
There are two corn crops in Brazil, the first, or main crop, is planted in September through November and the second crop, or "safrinha" (little crop), which is planted in some southern states following the soybean harvest and competes for area with the winter crops such as wheat. Historically, Parana and Sao Paulo have been the two largest producers of the second crop, followed by Mato Grosso do Sul.
The planting of corn in the North and Northeast generally begins in February-- the same general time frame as the second crop in the south--but is statistically considered part of the first crop. The local marketing year runs from March to the following February.
The following is a report dated March 14, 1997, from the U.S. agricultural counselor in Brasilia discussing corn production.
Currently, the outlook for the 1996/97 Brazilian corn crop looks excellent. The weather has been nearly perfect, with only some localized exceptions (drought in Rio Grande do Sul for the second consecutive year). Yield is estimated at 2.61 tons per hectare, up 10 percent from last season, but below the record 2.64 tons per hectare harvested in 1995/96. For the 1996/97 first crop, there was a slight reduction in area planted to corn in all major corn- producing states, except Santa Catarina, mainly due to an increase in area planted to soybeans. Current estimates are that the reduction in area of the first crop is being made up for by an expected large second crop, with total area for the year actually increasing.
The major reasons for this season's increase in soybean area and decrease in the first crop corn include: more specialization is required to produce soybeans and, once the producers make that investment they will tend to continue to produce soybeans; higher returns for soybeans than for corn; more rapid sale and movement of soybeans compared to corn, resulting in lower storage and handling costs; less risk because soybeans tend to be more disease resistant; and, more abundant and easier financing for soybeans. Many producers who plant soybeans as their spring crop still have the option to plant corn during the winter. The area of the second-crop corn depends on a timely or early harvest of soybeans and first-crop corn, planting expectations for wheat, the relative price of corn and wheat, and the need to plant a second crop in order to pay the annual installment of refinanced loans.
Currently, prospects for 1996/97 second-crop corn are very good. Generally the second crop is considered risky because of the climate at that time of the year (dry season in much of Brazil), but for this year's crop the weather risk is considered by many to be less of a problem than the economic uncertainty associated with wheat. There is no crop insurance for the second crop because of the higher risk, and since there is no crop insurance, there are also no government production loans for this crop. The second crop is expected to increase this year because: 1) producers can pay off their rescheduled debt "in kind" at a price of R$6.70 per 60 kilo sack, while the current farm gate price is as low as R$4.00 - 5.00 range; 2) the large area that was planted to soybeans during the spring which typically second-crop corn follows; and, 3) the weather is still good for the planting of the second crop.
BRAZIL CORN Year Area Yield Production (MHa) (MT/Ha) (MMT) 1977/78 11.1 1.22 13.6 1978/79 11.3 1.44 16.3 1979/80 11.6 1.74 20.2 1980/81 12.8 1.76 22.6 1981/82 13.4 1.71 22.9 1982/83 11.1 1.76 19.5 1983/84 12.2 1.74 21.2 1984/85 11.9 1.77 21.2 1985/86 12.7 1.59 20.3 1986/87 14.6 1.83 26.8 1987/88 13.4 1.89 25.2 1988/89 13.0 2.03 26.3 1989/90 12.1 1.84 22.3 1990/91 13.5 1.80 24.3 1991/92 14.0 2.20 30.1 1992/93 12.4 2.35 29.2 1993/94 13.7 2.41 32.9 1994/95 14.2 2.64 37.4 1995/96 13.8 2.36 32.5 1996/97 14.2 2.61 37.0
Timothy Rocke, Grains Chairman Phone: (202) 720-1572 E-mail: email@example.com
The following material was derived from a special report from the U.S. agricultural counselor's office in Rome, Italy.
On March 6, 1997, the EU Commission announced its decision regarding whether Italy's concessions to domestic biodiesel fuel producers conform to EU regulations. The Commission considered the tax relief granted to an annual quota of 125,000 tons of biodiesel fuel.
The EU Commission reviewed the technical procedures by which the tax relief regime is regulated in Italy, rather than the permissibility of a tax relief for fuel produced from farm products. In particular, the Commission questioned the treatment of oilseeds not planted on set-aside land. Italian regulations stipulate that at least 80 percent of the oilseeds used to produce biodiesel fuel must come from set-aside land. The EU Commission determined this requirement is discriminatory.
The Government of Italy now has 60 days to amend its legislation so it no longer refers to the origin of the oilseeds. Once this is accomplished, the vegetable oils used to produce biodiesel fuel in Italy can come from any source (third countries or EU, set-aside or regular acreage).
It is to the processing industry's advantage to continue to use oil from seeds planted on set-aside land, since the price is lower. On January 23, 1997, the crushing industries and the farm organizations reached an inter-professional agreement regarding the prices for both sunflowerseed and rapeseed planted on set-aside land for "non-food" use. The agreed prices for the next three marketing years are as follows (1,650 Lire = US$1):
Year Rapeseed Sunflowerseed (Lire/MT) (Lire/MT) 1997/1998 316,100 288,850 1998/1999 301,600 275,600 1999/2000 290,000 265,000
The above prices, particularly those for the first year, are considered to be appealing enough to revitalize planting on set-aside land. Plantings of oilseeds for non-food use on set-aside land reached a peak of 62,000 hectares in 1993/94, but declined to only 36,000 hectares in 1995/96 (of which 32,000 were sunflowers and 4,000 were rape). In 1996, no inter-professional agreement was reached on the price for sunflowerseeds for non-food use. As a result, crushers were paid (under forward contracts) only 260,000 to 270,000 lire per ton for rapeseed and sunflowerseed during 1996/97.
A possible constraint to increased oilseed plantings for non-food use is the lowering of the EU compulsory set aside rate to 5 percent for crop year 1997/98. Total set-aside land in Italy was approximately 240,000 hectares in 1996/97, when the set-aside rate was 10 percent. Since the number of Italian farmers registering under the general regime continues to increase, there is the potential for new acreage to enter the set-aside program and for that land to be planted to oilseeds for non-food use.
ITALIAN RAPESEED AND SUNFLOWERSEED AREA AND PRODUCTION (1,000 Hectares/1,000 Metric Tons) Rapeseed Sunflowerseed Year Area Production Area Production 1977/78 1 1 31 51 1978/79 1 2 23 42 1979/80 1 2 34 55 1980/81 1 2 32 57 1981/82 1 2 43 86 1982/83 0 0 51 91 1983/84 1 1 72 131 1984/85 2 5 83 146 1985/86 6 13 94 162 1986/87 23 44 104 255 1987/88 28 68 200 450 1988/89 23 51 165 365 1989/90 16 40 134 340 1990/91 17 44 173 403 1991/92 14 36 132 322 1992/93 8 19 120 259 1993/94 4 6 116 256 1994/95 14 28 215 495 1995/96 48 84 248 496 1996/97 85 130 260 570
Rod Paschal, Oilseeds Chairman Phone: (202) 720-0881 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 1996/97 strawberry production forecast for selected major producing countries (excluding the United States) is 925,300 tons, virtually unchanged from 1995/96. Production decreases in Japan and Mexico are expected to be offset by potentially larger crops in Canada, Chile, Poland, and Spain.
Canada: The 1996/97 strawberry crop (harvested March through August 1997) is forecast at 31,500 tons, up 9 percent from the weather-reduced 1995/96 harvest. The 1995/96 crop was adversely affected by winter-kill in Ontario, the largest-producing province, and record rainfall during the peak production period for early-season varieties. In Quebec, the 1995/96 season was shorter than normal and cool weather delayed crop maturity. Extensive replanting will be required in Ontario during the 1996/97 season because of the poor weather in 1995/96.
Production of strawberries for processing is forecast at 9,000 tons, 6 percent above 1995/96, reflecting increased fresh supplies. Canada's small freezing operations are expected to face increasing competition from imported frozen strawberries from Mexico and the United States given the declining tariff rates under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.
Chile: Strawberry production is estimated up 2 percent in 1996/97 (harvested October 1996 through May 1997), to 15,800 tons. Favorable weather and higher- than-normal temperatures during Chile's late-spring and early-summer months boosted yields. Harvested area is estimated to remain stable at 700 hectares because of a significant decline in export prices. Average export prices in 1996 were US$1,146 per ton f.o.b., down from US$2,795 per ton in 1995. As a result of the larger outturn, the volume of strawberries available for processing is estimated up 2 percent in 1996/97, to 6,203 tons.
Italy: Strawberry production in 1996/97 (harvested from late-March through June 1997) is forecast at 130,000 tons, down slightly from the relatively short crop in 1995/96. Area planted declined 6 percent in 1996/97, with both open air-grown strawberries and strawberries cultivated under cover decreasing, while average yields increased. Excess rain during the fall and drought, particularly in central and northern Italy, during the first few months of 1997 contributed to the reduced output. Sunny weather favored covered cultivation in the south, increasing average yields. While Campania remains the leading producing region at nearly 40,000 tons, the Basilicata region in 1995/96 surpassed Emilia Romagna as the second largest producer, at 20,170 tons. In Emilia Romagna, open air strawberry cultivation continues to decline, due to declining profitability compared to other more competitive crops.
Japan: Production of strawberries in 1996/97 (harvested November 1996 through May 1997) is estimated at 210,000 tons, down 3 percent from last season. Planted and harvested area are off 2 percent in 1996/97 in line with the long- term contraction in Japan's agricultural sector. The labor intensive nature of strawberry production, combined with the aging Japanese farm population, are key factors driving this downward trend. Although strawberry farmers have been introducing new picking equipment to reduce heavy labor requirements as well as new varieties that yield better quality and output, Japanese production will likely continue to gradually decline.
Over 90 percent of Japanese strawberries are the Toyonoka or Nyoho varieties. The Toyonoka is grown mainly in the Kyushu region, while the Nyoho is the principal variety in the Kanto region. Other minor varieties include Eyeberry and Tochiotome.
Mexico: Strawberry production is estimated down 15 percent in 1996/97 (harvested November 1996 through June 1997), to 85,000 tons, because of inclement weather. The first two flowerings were damaged by heavy rains in October 1996 and frosts in January 1997. The area planted to strawberries decreased 10 percent in 1996/97 and is projected to decrease further because of insufficient credit and high production costs. Production costs are up substantially this season due to inflation and higher prices for imported inputs. Prices for fertilizers, herbicides, and fungicides increased nearly 30 percent between 1995 and 1996. Another large expense for growers is the purchase of strawberry plants, which are imported from the United States.
Production of strawberries for processing is estimated down 19 percent in 1996/97, to 30,000 tons, because of reduced fresh output. There are 25 strawberry processing plants in Mexico, eight of which are currently closed, with the rest working at lower capacity or processing other fruits because of inadequate supplies and insufficient financing. In Michoacan, the largest producing state, the farmgate price for strawberries destined for processing is about US$0.45 per kilogram, compared to US$0.54 per kilogram for the domestic fresh market and US$1.05 per kilogram for export-quality strawberries.
Over 90 percent of Mexico's strawberries are grown in Michoacan, Guanajuato, and Baja California. Scattered plantings also can be found in Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Morelos, Sinaloa, Veracruz, and Zacatecas. The harvest season for Michoacan and Guanajuato is November through June, with peak harvesting occurring from February through April. The harvest season for Baja California is January to June, with the bulk of the crop taken off in March and April.
Poland: Strawberry production in 1996/97 (primary harvest is May through July 1997) is forecast to rebound to 190,000 tons, up 6 percent from 1995/96 when inclement weather and a 12-percent reduction in harvested area dropped production to 179,000. With producers continuing to receive lower returns from the cultivation of strawberries relative to other crops, the area estimate for 1996/97 is up only slightly, to 54,000 hectares.
Approximately 74 percent of Poland's strawberry production will likely be processed in 1996/97, mostly into frozen strawberries. Processing utilization in 1996/97 is forecast at 140,000 tons, up 17 percent from last year because of the increase in production.
Strawberries are produced throughout Poland with the heaviest concentrations in the central and northern voivodships, which account for approximately 54 percent of Poland's total output. Senga Sengana remains the most popular variety, accounting for over 80 percent of plantings, and is most suitable for processing. The overall quality of strawberries in Poland has declined over the past few years because of the continued recycling of farm-generated planting material and the mixing of the Senga Sengana processing variety with plantings of table varieties. Quality is projected to decrease further unless growers begin to use professionally prepared, high-quality planting material.
Spain: Strawberry output in 1996/97 (harvested mainly January through July 1997) is estimated at 233,000 tons, up 6 percent from the rain-reduced crop in 1995/96. Harvested area is estimated to return to a more traditional level of 6,900 hectares in 1996/97, down from 7,900 hectares in 1995/96.
In Spain, strawberries are not planted specifically for processing purposes. In 1996/97, approximately 20,000 tons of strawberries are forecast to be processed, up from 17,000 tons last season. About 80 percent of the strawberries delivered to processors are frozen; the balance is used for pulp production.
Strawberry production in Spain is concentrated in Andalucia, which accounts for about 88 percent of the total area planted to strawberries. Harvesting generally begins during the month of March and lasts until the end of April. Some later varieties are harvested during the months of May and June.
United States: Strawberry production rebounded 2 percent in 1995/96, to 738,180 tons, primarily because of increased area and production in California. However, California's 1996/97 crop (harvested February through December 1997) is forecast down 7 percent, to 574,065 tons, due to a 10-percent reduction in area, which was tempered somewhat by higher yields from plantings of new, more heat-resistant varieties. Florida's 1996/97 winter crop is estimated at 83,000 tons, up 17 percent from last season due to increases in both area and yield. An official USDA estimate for the 1996/97 U.S. strawberry crop will be released by the National Agricultural Statistics Service in January 1998.
Kelly Strzelecki Phone: (202) 720-0888 E-mail: email@example.com