Argentina: Higher Soybean Yields and Production Forecast
Argentinas 2000/01 soybean production is forecast at a record 25.0 million tons, up 1.0 million or 4 percent from last month, and up 18 percent from last seasons record production of 21.2 million. Harvested area is forecast at a record 9.85 million hectares, up 0.05 million from last month and up 1.28 million or 15 percent from last season. Soybean yields are estimated at 2.54 tons per hectare, above the five-year average yield of 2.32 tons but below the record yield of 2.80 tons in 1997/98.
Beneficial rains at the end of February have alleviated concerns for yield potential which arose from the hot dry conditions that predominated from February 12 to 27. Abundant soil moisture maintained single-crop soybeans through the hot dry spell. Second-crop soybeans may have suffered during a dry spell in December and early January, but early vegetative and flowering periods have had very good rainfall. March weather will be important to the second-crop soybeans; poor rainfall or early coolness would negatively affect yields. Of the total planted area, 74 percent is single cropped and 26 percent is second-crop soybeans.
South Africa: Dry Conditions Temper Corn Yields
South Africa corn production for 2000/01 is estimated at 7.5 million, down 0.5 million or 6 percent from last month and down 29 percent from last years bumper crop. Area is estimated at 3.3 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 15 percent from last year. The estimated yield was reduced this month to 2.27 tons per hectare in response to an extended period of dryness. Following a favorably wet planting period, the weather in South Africas corn producing regions turned mostly dry and unseasonably warm from January through mid-February. Surface and subsurface soil moisture declined significantly and potential yields were reduced in many areas, especially for early-planted corn, which was in the pollination/silking stage during the dry period. Widespread rainfall and cooler temperatures in recent weeks have improved soil moisture levels and reduced crop stress, particularly for late-planted corn. Current conditions (early March) are dry again, but additional rain is forecast for later in the month. Yield prospects have stabilized and may improve given favorable weather through harvest.
Mexico: Corn and Sorghum Production Forecasts Lowered
Mexican corn production for 2000/01 is estimated at 18.0 million tons, down 0.5 million, or 3 percent from last month and down 5 percent from last year. Area is unchanged from last month at 8.0 million hectares. Sorghum production for 2000/01 is estimated at 6.2 million tons, down 0.2 million, or 3 percent from last month and down 3 percent from last year. Area is unchanged from last month at 2.0 million hectares. These changes reflect the cumulative effect of dry conditions over the summer The mostly non-irrigated fields are planted in April/August and harvested October/February. The summer crop usually generates 85 percent of Mexicos annual corn production, while as much as 70 percent of the annual sorghum production comes from the summer season.
India: 2000/01 Rice Forecast Falls Due to Poor Rabi Planting Conditions
The 2000/01 rice crop is forecast at 87.0 million tons, down 1.5 million or 2 percent from last month. The area forecast is unchanged at 44.6 million hectares. The Indian rice crop consists of two harvests from different seasons: the kharif and rabi. The current estimate of 87 million tons represents the two component estimates of 75 million tons previously harvested during the kharif season and 12 million from the rabi to be harvested in the early summer months. The rabi crop is expected to be reduced as planting conditions were unfavorable due to reduced water availability as water in reservoirs and storage tanks were low.
Bangladesh: 2000/01 Rice Forecast Rises to Record
The 2000/01 rice crop is now forecast at a record 24.0 million tons, up 2.7 million from last month or 13 percent. The area forecast is revised to 10.7 million hectares, up 0.2 million from last month. Despite flooding in the southwest parts of the country during September, the aus and aman crops are estimated at record production levels, at 1.90 and 11.1 million tons respectively. Boro planting is assessed as normal this season and assuming average yield of 3 tons per hectare, Boro production is expected to reach last years record level of 11 million tons.
India: Dry Conditions Reduce Rapeseed Production Forecast
The 2000/01 Indian rapeseed output is forecast at 4.2 million tons, down 0.2 million or 5 percent from last month and down 0.9 million or 18 percent from last year. Estimated area is revised from 5.4 to 5.1 million hectares, down 0.3 million or 6 percent from last month and 0.5 million or 10 percent from last year. Dry conditions during the planting window reduced the sown area in Gujarat and Rajasthan. This led to a partial shift to low-rainfall tolerant crops including millet and sorghum. Yields are anticipated to be lower this season, because of decreased seasonal rainfall, and reduced irrigation supplies in some areas.
Indonesia: Palm Oil Output Higher Than Expected
Indonesia palm oil production continues to exceed expectations due to excellent weather conditions and large numbers of young trees coming into production. As a result, 2000/01 production is raised this month by 0.6 million tons, to 7.4 million. Output in 2000/01 is 0.7 million tons higher than 1999/2000 output, which was revised higher this month by 0.3 million tons to 6.8 million. Concurrently, 2000/01 palm kernel output is raised this month by 0.2 million tons to 2.2 million.
Australia: 2000/01 Cotton Production Forecast Increased
Australian cotton production for 2000/01 is estimated at 3.4 million bales, up 0.1 million or 3 percent from last month but unchanged from last year. Estimated area is revised to 0.485 million hectares, up 0.02 million from last month. Above average temperatures and periodic rainfall have significantly improved conditions in most of the cotton growing areas. The cotton season endured a rough start with dry conditions during September and October, followed by heavy rains in November. However, beneficial weather has predominated in the east and has bolstered yield prospects. Damage from heavy rains and flooding had less impact than previously believed. Irrigated cotton fields typically have perimeter levees as part of the irrigation scheme, and these are reported to have successfully reduced damage.
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