Australia: Dry Weather Hurts Wheat Yield Prospects
The 2000/01 wheat crop is estimated at 21.0 million tons, down 2.0 million or 9 percent from last month and down 13 percent from last year. Estimated area is unchanged at 11.7 million hectares, but yields are forecast lower due to unfavorable dryness across parts of the winter wheat areas. Dry weather continued through September and early October in Queensland and northern New South Wales, which has been hot and dry for most of the growing season. Although most of Western Australia received some rainfall last month, the southern part of the state has been especially dry. According to local sources, the wheat crop is now entering the critical heading/flowering stage and significant rainfall is needed immediately to prevent a further decline in yield potential. Another source of concern is the possibility of a major locust outbreak this spring in all wheat producing states, with the threat in Western Australia being the worst in ten years. Ideal breeding conditions have been experienced across the grain growing regions, and locusts have been spotted throughout the wheat belt. Spraying is scheduled to occur within a few weeks to combat the problem.
China: Corn Production Down Due to Lower Area and Yield
Chinas 2000/01 corn output is estimated at 105.0 million tons, down 10.0 million or 9 percent from last month and down 18 percent from last year due to lower area and yield. Estimated area was reduced by 2 percent this month to 24.0 million hectares based on updated area information from official sources. The revised yield of 4.38 MT/Ha reflects larger-than-expected crop losses in the Northeast and North China Plain. Recent field travel by FAS personnel in the Northeast and North China Plain revealed widespread and significant yield reductions. Persistent hot and dry weather, especially in early July, affected corn in the critical pollination or tasseling stage. Corn borers were also a major problem, especially in Jilin province. Moderate rainfall in late July and August improved crop conditions in some areas, but the weather remained drier than normal through the summer in Liaoning and parts of Jilin, Hebei and Shandong. In contrast, there was excessive rainfall and local flooding in Henan, Anhui, and Jiangsu provinces this summer. Growing conditions were mostly favorable in other corn-growing regions, although parts of the southwest and Yangtze River valley experienced periods of drought. Harvest weather has been favorably warm and dry in the Northeast, but unseasonably wet weather likely hurt crop quality and harvest progress in Henan and the southern part of the North China Plain.
Argentina: Favorable Soybean Prices Divert Area Away from Corn and Sunflower
With the soybean-corn price ratio favoring soybeans in recent months, corn area is expected to decline, and soybean area will rise to record levels in 2000/01. Additionally, reduced demand for sunflowerseed has made soybeans the favored crop this season. Soybean production is forecast at a record 22.6 million tons, up 1.9 million tons or 9 percent from last year. Harvested area is also forecast at a record 9.3 million hectares, up 9 percent from last year. Planting will begin in November and continue through December. Corn production for 2000/01 is estimated at 15.5 million tons, down 1.0 million tons or 6 percent from last month and down 0.7 million tons or 4 percent from last year's crop. Harvested area is estimated at 2.9 million hectares, down 0.2 million hectares or 6.5 percent from last year. As of October 6, the corn crop is 25 percent planted, compared to 33 percent last year, with delays attributable to insufficient soil moisture in some areas. Rainfall has been below normal for the previous two months in Cordoba, La Pampa, and western Buenos Aires. However, moderate to heavy rains in the first week of October boosted soil moisture in most dry areas.
Brazil: Soy Yield Forecast Higher for the 2000/01 Crop
Brazils MY2000/01 soybean crop (October - December planting) is forecast at 33.5 million metric tons, up by about 5 percent from last years crop. Harvested area is currently forecast at 13.4 million hectares, the same as last year. The potential for a net expansion in soybean area is dampened by expectations for good domestic cotton and corn prices next season. Traditional soybean farmers in the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana are likely to plant more corn or cotton in response. Early indications are that the soybean area in Parana and Rio Grande do Sul is expected to decrease by about 100,000 hectares each, while Mato Grosso is poised to increase about 200,000 hectares over last year. It is also very likely that there will be a significant increase in the Safrinha or second corn crop in Parana, which immediately follows soybeans. In summary, the outlook for the 2000/2001 soybean crop calls for a nearly steady harvested area with the potential for a return to more normal yields throughout the country. Much depends upon the crop in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, which has had three consecutive drought years with low yields.
Pakistan: Cotton Output Rises on Yield Increase
Cotton production for 2000/01 is estimated at 8.3 million bales, up 0.6 million from last month, but down 0.3 million from last years revised crop of 8.6 million bales (from 8.4 million). The harvested area of 3.0 million hectares is up slightly from last month and last year. The estimated yield of 605 Kg/Ha is higher than last month and much higher than the 5-year average, but lower than last year. Despite drier than normal conditions in the cotton areas, irrigation supplies were adequate this season. Favorable rainfall and lower temperatures at planting time, increased sowing of early-maturing varieties, and limited insect damage boosted yield prospects. The U.S. Agricultural Attaché in Pakistan reported that yields in the Punjab may be marginally higher than last year. This region accounts for about 80 percent of the crop. Yields were estimated to be about 25 percent lower in Sindh due to late planting and irrigation problems. Recent crop travel by FAS personnel through the Punjab area indicated that the cotton crop is in good to excellent condition, with potential yields close to last years 620 Kg/Ha.
Canada: Wheat, Barley, and Rapeseed Production Forecasts Fall
Canadas 2000/01 wheat production is estimated at 25.5 million tons, down 0.5 million from last month and down 5 percent from last year. Estimated harvested area remained the same as last month at 10.9 million hectares, up 5 percent from last year. Statistics Canadas August and October reports on their crop surveys state that low rainfall in the western prairies had a negative impact on wheat yields during the growing season. Estimated wheat yields were very favorable in the eastern provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, but the wheat crop is heavily concentrated in the western provinces. Roughly one-fourth of the crop is grown in Alberta, which has been very negatively impacted by the dry growing season. Saskatchewan grows about half the wheat crop and has experienced some dry conditions, especially near its western border with Alberta. Barley production is estimated at 13.0 million tons in 2000/01, down 1 million tons from last month and down 2 percent from last year. Estimated area fell from 4.7 million hectares to 4.5 this month, with much of the lost area coming from Alberta. Almost half of the barley crop is grown in Alberta, so the dry weather during the growing season had a stronger impact on country-wide barley yields than wheat yields. Yield estimates for both wheat and barley dropped even further this month following weeks of wet weather that have delayed harvesting across the prairies.
Canada is expected to produce 7.5 million tons of corn, down 18 percent from last years record crop of 9.1 million and down 9 percent from last months estimate of 8.2 million. Estimated area remained unchanged from last month at 1.1 million hectares, down from 1.2 million last year. Producers in Ontario and Quebec, where most of the crop is grown, responded to growing demand from the livestock industry and tried to plant a record area of 1.3 million hectares this spring. Torrential rains kept farmers from completing their fieldwork as the main corn growing region received 179 percent of its normal rainfall between March 30 to June 30. Producers were forced to switch to soybeans or leave fields fallow. Continuing heavy rains and cool temperatures throughout the summer have damaged many fields and slowed growth. Late planting and slow growth put the crop at risk of frost before harvest. Rapeseed production is also estimated lower at 6.9 million tons, down 0.3 million from last month based on lower yields in the major producing provinces.
Ukraine: Estimated Wheat Output Down, Barley Up
Ukraine wheat production for 2000/01 is estimated at 11.0 million tons, down 0.5 million or 4 percent from last month and down 2.5 million or 19 percent from last year. Barley production is estimated at 6.5 million tons, up 0.5 million or 8 percent from last month and up 0.1 million or 2 percent from last year. Official reports indicate that persistent rain in July during wheat harvest had a significant negative impact on output, while the barley harvest benefitted from subsequent drier weather.
Kazakstan: Wheat Harvest Reports Indicate Favorable Harvest Conditions
Kazakstan wheat production form 2000/01 is estimated at 9.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 13 percent from last month, but down 2.2 million or 20 percent from last year. Weather has been generally favorable for the harvest campaign, and yield prospects have improved from last month.
Former Yugoslavia: Corn Production Drops on Harvest Results
Corn production in the former Yugoslavia has fallen further as harvesting operations are in full swing. Total corn production is now estimated at 6.5 million tons, down 0.5 million from last month and down 3.0 million from last year. Area has been reduced 5 percent to 1.9 million hectares. In comparison, Yugoslavia has a five-year average corn production of 9.1 million tons from 2.1 million hectares. The 2000/01 production estimate is the lowest total since 1993 (6.4 million tons). Former Yugoslavia is comprised of five republics: Serbia / Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia / Herzegovina and Macedonia. The vast majority of corn production within the former Yugoslavias borders can be found on the plains of northern Serbia and eastern Croatia. Serbia is estimated to produce about 3.6 million tons in 2000/01, down 36 percent from its five year average, while Croatia is estimated to produce around 1.4 million tons, down 27 percent from its five year average. The total output of Serbia, Croatia, and the three other republics are estimated to produce a drought and heat reduced corn crop of 6.5 million tons.
Brazil: Safrinha Corn Crop Adversely Impacted by Earlier Frost
Brazils 1999/2000 total corn production is estimated at 32.0 million tons, down by 1 million tons from last month, and 1 percent below the 1998/1999 crop. Harvested area is estimated at 12.5 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but 2 percent above the previous year. The first-crop experienced drought during the early part of the 1999/2000 growing season but later managed to recover from the dry period with minimal damage. However, a series of freezes in mid-July adversely impacted the Safrinha or second corn crop in the southern states of Parana, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, and Mato Grosso do Sul.
Two crops of corn are cultivated, the first-crop (Planting: October- December, Harvesting: February-June), and the second-crop known as the Safrinha (Planting: January-February, Harvesting: June-September). The first-crop accounts for 80-85 percent of total corn production and the Safrinha accounts for the rest. The key first-crop producing states include: Parana (22%), Rio Grande do Sul (14%), Minas Gerais (14%), Santa Catarina (11%), Sao Paulo (10%), Goias (10%), Mato Grosso do Sul (3%), and Mato Grosso (3%). Important Safrinha producing states include: Parana (37%), Sao Paulo (20%), Mato Grosso (15%), Mato Grosso do Sul (13%), and Goias (12%).
Planting conditions for 2000/01 corn production are extremely favorable. The 2000/01 total corn crop is estimated at 36.0 million tons, up 4 percent from last month and up 13 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 13 million hectares, unchanged from last month, but up 4 percent from last year. A tight supply of corn and increased demand by the poultry industry have resulted in very strong domestic prices. Farmers in the southern states of Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, and Mato Grosso do Sul are very likely to capitalize on the situation by growing more corn during the 2000/01 crop seasons. Safrinha acreage is also projected to increase as more farmers are likely to double-crop soybeans with corn than wheat during the upcoming season.
Southeast Asia: Rice Production Forecasts Fall Due to Flooding
Thailand rice production in 1999/2000 is estimated at 15.7 million tons (milled), down 0.2 million from last month, but up 0.5 million from 1998/99. Estimated area also dropped 0.1 million hectares from last month, reflecting flood losses to the second crop. Cambodian estimated production for 2000/01 fell 0.2 million tons to 2.3 million, down 0.1 million from 1999/2000. Also, area forecasts declined 0.2 million hectares to 2.0 million, down 0.1 million from 1999/2000 due to flood losses to the main wet-season crop in 2000/01. Laos rice production for 2000/01 is estimated at 0.9 million tons, down 0.1 million tons from both last month and last year. Estimated area fell less than 0.1 million hectares from last month and last year due to flooding of the only rice crop of the year.
Since July there has been widespread flooding along the Mekong River in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. However, in the major rice exporting countries of Vietnam and Thailand the flooding has caused only minor damage to the rice crop. While there has been great loss of life and property in both countries, the damage to rice has been limited by both the location and timing of the floods. Cambodia and Laos have experienced much more significant damage to their rice crops, due to different crop growing schedules and less flood-control infrastructure. The Mekong River normally floods every year between late August and November, but this year the monsoon rains started at least five weeks early in July. Extremely heavy rainfall has also caused flood waters along the Mekong River to rise much higher than normal.
Brazil: Favorable Planting Weather Boosts Prospects For the 2000/01 Cotton Crop
Brazils cotton production for 2000/01 is estimated at 3.4 million bales, up 6 percent from last month and 17 percent above last years crop. The estimated harvested area is up 7 percent from last month, and 19 percent from last year. Cotton is typically planted during September-November, and harvested between February and May. Wide-spread rains during September and early October benefitted planting operations. Increased domestic demand and favorable prices are rejuvenating cotton production in Brazil. Recently, there has been a noticeable a shift in production from the traditional states of Parana and Sao Paulo into the states of Mato Grosso and Goias (Center-West Region), Bahia (Northeast), and Minas Gerais (Southeast). Cotton production in marginal areas in the south has given way to large mechanized commercial farms in states such as Mato Grosso.
Argentina: Poor Outlook for Sunflowerseed Reduces Area
Argentinas 2000/01 sunflowerseed production is estimated at 4.8 million tons, down 1.3 million tons or 21 percent from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 2.7 million hectares, down 0.8 million hectares or 22 percent from last season, and the lowest in seven years. A weak vegetable oil market and reduced demand for sunflowerseed products have reduced incentives to produce this crop. Area is expected to be shifted to soybean with some area already lost to wheat. The Argentine government is estimating a 22 to 30 percent decline in planted area from last year. On October 6, an initial planting intention estimate of 2.7 million was reported, almost 0.9 million hectares below last year with a reduction of over 0.5 million hectares in Buenos Aires (the main sunseed-growing province) alone. Approximately 11 percent of the crop has been planted since planting began in the northern part of the country at the end of August. There have been some delays in planting because of insufficient soil moisture in the western and northern growing areas. Provinces in the far north remain very dry, although rainfall in early October boosted soil moisture in many of the dry areas.
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