South Africa: Favorable Weather Boosts Corn Yield
South Africas 1999/2000 corn crop is estimated at 10.0 million tons, up 0.5 million from last month and up 2.3 million from last year due to higher estimated yields. Widespread showers and seasonable temperatures covered the central Maize Triangle in March, maintaining very good moisture levels for filling and maturing corn. In northern and western corn areas, which experienced excessive rainfall and flooding in February, drier weather in March favored crop development. Recent warm, dry weather followed a brief cool wet period in early April, improving conditions for corn maturation and early harvest activities. The corn harvest normally begins in April and continues through July.
Argentina: Expanded Area and Favorable Weather Raise Soybean Production
Argentinas 1999/2000 soybean crop is estimated at a record 21 million tons, up 5 percent from last month and 6 percent above last season. Harvested area is estimated at a record 8.35 million hectares, 2 percent above last month and last season. Planting of a record 8.55 million hectares was completed in early February. An estimated 28 percent of the total area is second-crop soybeans compared to about 25 percent last season. Dryness caused planting delays early in the season. Since then, the season has been characterized by favorable weather except in portions of the eastern growing region that experienced persistently dry conditions. Yields for the early planted crop in Entre Rios (3-4% of total production) and adjacent areas are expected to be below average. On the other hand, western growing areas are expecting higher than average yields due to very good growing conditions this season. Harvest began in mid-March, and conditions have been favorable with only slight delays. As of March 31, approximately 6 percent of the crop had been harvested with yields reported ranging from 2 to 3.5 tons per hectare.
India: Rice Production Rises to Record Level
Indias 1999/2000 rice crop is estimated at a record 86.5 million tons (milled basis), 1 percent higher than the previous high of 86.0 million tons produced last season. Area is forecast at 44.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month and near the record 1998/99 area of 44.6 million. The forecast yield of 2.92 tons per hectare is also a record. This increase is a result of record production in major rice producing states, and improved production outlook for the spring/summer harvested paddy. The increase more than offset the rice crop loss from cyclone 05B in Orissa.
Argentina: Revisions Hike Wheat Production
Argentinas 1999/2000 wheat crop is estimated at 15.0 million tons, up 0.5 million from last month and 23 percent above last seasons revised output. Harvested area is estimated at 5.8 million hectares, and up 8 percent from last season. Yield is estimated at a near record 2.59 tons per hectare. Growing conditions were generally good. Effects of colder weather in the latter part of the season were minimal. Harvest was completed in mid-January and the weather was favorably dry. The 1998/99 crop is also revised upward this month by 0.2 million tons to 12.2 million.
Nigeria: Peanut Production Revised Upward
Nigerian peanut production for 1999/2000 is estimated at 1.45 million tons. Production for 1998/99 is revised to 1.43 million, based on revisions in the historical data series. Peanuts have been gaining in popularity across the savanna region of Nigeria for 8 years. To a great extent, Nigerias crop is produced by smallholder farmers. Commercial farming (units greater than 10 hectares) reportedly accounts for less than 5 percent of the total harvest.
Mexico: Barley and Sorghum Output Revised Lower
Mexico total grain (wheat, coarse grains, and rice) production for 1999/2000 is estimated at 29.2 million tons, up 1.1million tons from last year. According to harvest results, the sorghum crop is reduced 0.3 million tons this month to 6.2 million, while barley output is down 0.1 million tons to 0.5 million. The relative absence of rainfall from November 1998 to June 1999, and below-normal rainfall for all of 1999, lowered output. Grains are grown year-round in Mexico; however, over 65 percent of the national total is produced in the summer months (April-September).
Thailand: Corn Estimate Falls Following Excessive Rainfall
Thailand is expected to produce 3.8 million tons of corn in 1999/2000, down 7 percent from last months estimate and down 12 percent from 1998/99's crop. Production is down because flooding caused a small loss of area, and the same excessive rain that brought the flooding also harmed yields. Heavy rainfall from September through November 1999 stunted the vegetative growth of corn in part of the country, then rotted the fully-grown corn ears.
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