China: 2001/02 Wheat Area and Production Lower than Last Year
Chinas 2001/02 wheat production is estimated at 94.0 million tons, down 2.0 million or 2 percent from last month and down 6 percent from last year. The estimated yield of 3.73 tons per hectare is lower than the 5-year average and similar to last years drought-reduced yield. Estimated area was reduced by 1 percent this month, to 25.2 million hectares, based on preliminary government area statistics for summer-harvested grain. Historically, winter wheat accounts for 85 to 87 percent of Chinas summer-harvested grain production and area. Last month the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that summer-harvested grain production dropped to 101.9 million tons in 2001/02, down 4.9 million from last year, and planted area declined to 28.3 million hectares, down 1.3 million from a year ago.
The weather was less than ideal this year for winter wheat. Scattered showers and mild temperatures in February benefitted the emerging crop, but drought in March and April depleted soil moisture on the North China Plain, the main production area. Timely rainfall in late April boosted yield prospects, but renewed heat and dryness in May stressed the crop in the grain-fill to maturing stage. Dry June weather favored winter wheat harvesting. Planting conditions for spring wheat in the Northeast were fair to good, but unfavorably dry weather in May and June lowered yield potential. Near-normal rainfall in July improved growing conditions for the crop, which is now maturing.
China: 2001/02 Corn Area and Production Revised Downward
Chinas 2001/02 corn output is estimated at 105.0 million tons, down 10.0 million or 9 percent from last month and down 1 percent from last years poor crop. While the National Bureau of Statistics has not released an official corn area for 2000, other government sources indicate that previous USDA area estimates were too high. Chinas corn area for 2001/02 was lowered to 23.5 million hectares, down 1.0 million from last month, but up 0.4 million from last years revised area. On a year-to-year basis, corn area reportedly increased in the Northeast, as farmers switched to corn from soybeans, but it remained steady on the North China Plain (NCP). The estimated yield of 4.47 tons per hectare is lower than the 5-year average and last year, but higher than the drought-reduced crop of 1997/98. Hot and dry conditions on the NCP and in the Northeast delayed planting and germination by several weeks in some areas. Many fields in the Northeast were replanted with soybeans or other grains, and some corn area on the NCP was shifted to cotton this year. Because of late planting and development delays in the Northeast, it likely that some corn will not reach maturity before the first frost. Widespread heavy rainfall in July and early August increased moisture levels and improved crop prospects over most of northern and eastern China, but dryness remains a problem in the Yangtze Valley, parts of the southern plains, and western Manchuria. The corn crop is now in the flowering/filling stage.
Russia: Harvest Reports Describe Bumper Winter Wheat Crop
Russian wheat production for 2001/02 is estimated at 38.5 million tons, up 1.0 million or 3 percent from last month and up 4.0 million or 12 percent from last year. The increase is based chiefly on harvest reports indicating outstanding yields in southern Russias winter-wheat region. Estimated corn production was reduced this month following extremely high temperatures throughout July which placed considerable stress on corn as it advanced through the tasselling and silking stages. Output is estimated at 1.0 million tons, down 0.5 million or 33 percent from last month and down 0.6 million or 35 percent from last year. Estimated oat production was increased to 6.0 million tons, up 0.5 million or 9 percent from last month and unchanged from last year. The change was based on a revision in estimated area.
Ukraine: Excessive Heat Reduces Estimated Corn Output
Ukraines corn production for 2001/02 is estimated at 2.8 million tons, down 0.5 million or 15 percent from last month and down 1.0 million or 27 percent from last years bumper crop. Excessively high July temperatures in southern and eastern Ukraine, the countrys key corn region, had a significant impact on yield potential as the crop progressed through its reproductive stage.
Kazakstan: Favorable Weather Boosts Yield Potential for Spring Wheat
Wheat production for 2001/02 is estimated at 11.0 million tons, up 2.0 million or 22 percent from last month and up 1.9 million or 21 percent from last year. Spring wheat in north-central Kazakstan, the key wheat-production zone, benefitted from favorable precipitation during June and July, and conditions are reportedly much better than last year.
Canada: Wheat, Barley, and Rapeseed Production Forecasts Fall
Canadas 2001/02 wheat production is estimated at 22.5 million tons, down 2.5 million tons or 10 percent from last month and down 4.3 million or 16 percent from last year. The countrys 2001/02 barley crop is estimated down 5 percent this month at 12.3 million tons, which is a 9 percent reduction from last years harvest. Crop yield for both grains is forecast significantly lower in Alberta and Saskatchewan owing to drought stress, as regional crop conditions have continued to deteriorate in the worst-hit areas during July and early August. The vast majority of grain crops in Canada are in moisture sensitive grainfill stages, and require timely showers to stabilize yield potential. Grain size and quality will be determined by finishing conditions in the next few weeks. Canadian agriculture officials and crop scouts report that although July rainfall has been beneficial in stabilizing crop condition in diverse locations, it arrived too late in many hard-hit areas such as southern Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan. The drought-affected region in the Prairie Provinces decreased this month, but long-term moisture deficits and stressful growing conditions are still widespread. On the positive side, spring wheat and barley crop yields in Manitoba are forecast well above average levels, having benefitted from abundant summer moisture and cool temperatures. However, crop disease is a significant issue in Manitoba this year, affecting both yield potential and grain quality.
Rapeseed production in 2001/02 is forecast to be 5.3 million tons, down 0.5 million tons or 9 percent from last month and down 1.8 million or 25 percent from last year. Yield is expected to decrease to 1.33 tons per hectare from 1.45 tons due to an extended period of below average precipitation and high temperatures in the prairies of central Alberta and Saskatchewan. Favorable rainfall conditions in the Peace River Valley of northwest Alberta and drier weather in previously waterlogged areas of Manitoba aided crop development and enhanced yield prospects. Production gains in these growing regions may somewhat offset production decreases in central Alberta and Saskatchewan. Harvested area in 2001/02 is forecast down 0.8 million hectares or 17 percent, from last years 4.8 million hectares because of poor price prospects and high input costs.
Brazil: Record Soybean Production Forecast as Corn to Drop in 2001/02
Brazils 2001/02 soybean crop, to be planted from October through December, is currently estimated at a record 39.0 million tons, up 1.0 million from last month and up 1.5 million or 4 percent from the record 2000/01 harvest just completed. Optimistic pre-season estimates for sown area are bolstering the likelihood that a third consecutive record harvest will be achieved. Soybean area for 2000/01, at 15.0 million hectares, is up 0.7 million from last month and up 1.15 million or 8 percent from last year. Crop area expansion forecasts are being driven by significant changes in domestic corn/soy cost of production which heavily favor soybean cultivation. Consequently, corn area is currently projected to decline by 1.2 million hectares in 2001/02 from last years level, as growers aim to maximize their return. A significant majority of this swing acreage is forecast to shift from corn to soy in the traditional southern growing areas of Rio Grande do Sul, Parana, and Santa Catarina. In addition, it is expected that strong market signals will continue to fuel expansion of soy cultivation in Center-West and northern states.
France: Rapeseed Production Hurt by Wet Weather at Harvest
Frances 2001/02 rapeseed crop is estimated at 3.1 million tons, down from the July estimate of 3.5 million. The decrease is due to a lower yield which is down to 2.82 tons per hectare from 3.18 tons per hectare in July. Area remains unchanged at 1.1 million hectares. Dry weather in May and June, and periods of hot temperatures stressed the growing and maturing rapeseed crop. Abnormally wet weather in the latter part of July damaged the mature crop and caused harvest delays.
This is the second consecutive year that wet weather has adversely affected the French rapeseed harvest. Production is estimated 14 percent lower than last years 3.6 million tons with yield down 3 percent on 10 percent less area.
India: 2001/02 Cotton Production Forecast to Increase
The 2001/02 cotton crop is estimated at 12.5 million bales, up 0.2 million or 2 percent from last month and up 1.6 million or 15 percent from last year. The 2001 monsoon season has brought timely and well-distributed rains in most cotton growing regions. Late-May and June rainfall provided good seeding conditions, which fostered a 7 percent year-to-year jump in area to 8.66 million hectares. Area increases occurred in the mostly rainfed central states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. In the northern zone the relatively better returns from cotton compared with competing crops resulted in a shift to cotton in Punjab and Haryana. The timely onset of monsoon rains in the second week of June added to the low irrigation supplies in Rajasthan. Some areas in the rainfed southern zone received below normal June precipitation which delayed sowing operations; however, August rains in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka may encourage late-season planting. The small crop in Tamil Nadu is progressing well with adequate moisture. Pest pressure is reported to be light in all regions.
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