Mixed Harvest Results for 2019/20 European Union Crops .

(Oct 23, 2019)

Weather conditions throughout Europe were less than ideal during the 2019/20 crop season. Early expectations for wheat, barley and rapeseed were high but during June, EU winter crops suffered from drought in Spain and central Europe (See Figure 1). The regional drought in central Europe reduced yield potential below early expectations for both wheat and rapeseed. In addition, extremely high temperatures across much of Europe in June ended further growth and kernel development (See Figure 2). Winter barley did well, as its growth had mostly been completed before temperatures reached damaging levels; barley finished its most sensitive vegetative periods prior to the spring drought. During mid-to-late July, staff from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) traveled in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic to observe crop conditions and meet with agricultural experts about issues facing cereal and oilseed producers. Observations and discussions revealed the effects of a difficult season for both rapeseed and wheat. This report will further discuss 2019’s weather effect on Europe’s winter crops (rapeseed and wheat) and summer crops (corn, sunflower, and soybeans). Barley is both a winter and summer crop in Europe.

Severe Drought Curtails Hydropower Production in Zambia and Zimbabwe .

(Sep 12, 2019)

The 2019 drought in southern Zambia was the driest rainy season (October through April) since 1981 and it covered most of the Lake Kariba’s drainage basin in the southern half of Zambia and northeastern Zimbabwe (Figure 1). The well below-average rainfall during the 2018/19 rainy season did not recharge the Kariba reservoir and current water levels (August 30, 2019) are the lowest since July 1996. Similar low water levels in July occurred during 1993-97, 2005-07, and 2015-16 (Figures 2-3).

Severe Drought Reduces 2019 Corn Production in Zambia and Zimbabwe .

(Sep 12, 2019)

Zambia and Zimbabwe corn production for MY 2019/20 is estimated at 2.0 and 0.77 million metric tons (mmt), respectively, down 33 and 41 percent from the 5-year average due to a severe drought in both countries. The 2019 drought did not reduce production as much as the 1992 drought, when production reductions for Zambia and Zimbabwe were 66 and 80 percent below the 5-year average. In addition, corn production reductions during the 1992 and 2019 droughts were most severe in the Southern province of Zambia where outputs were 93 and 84 percent, below the 1992 and 2019 5-year averages (Figures 1-2).

China Soybeans: 2019/20 Production at a Record High.

(Aug 29, 2019)

China’s 2019/20 soybean production is forecast at a record high primarily due to a rise in area planted, which is at a 5-year high. USDA forecasts production at 17 million metric tons (mmt), up 1.1 million from last year. This season’s production is roughly 7 percent higher than last year’s record crop of 15.9 mmt (Figure 1). Area is forecast at 9.1 million hectares, up 0.7 million or 8.3 percent from last year.

Ukraine: Favorable Weather Boosts Yields for Sunflowers and Corn.

(Aug 16, 2019)

Analysts from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Washington and Kyiv conducted cropassessment travel in Ukraine from July 13–25 alongside FAS Kyiv (See Figures 1 and 2). FAS met with farmers in Poltava, Dnipro, Mykolaiv, Odessa and Kherson; and with industry sources throughout Ukraine. The team visited farms to discuss the ongoing harvest of winter crops, conditions for summer crops and planting conditions for next year’s winter crops.

Brazil’s 2018/19 Record Cotton Harvest Underway.

(Aug 12, 2019)

Brazil is harvesting its largest ever cotton crop, estimated at 12.8 million 480-lb bales for MY 2018/19 (Figure 1). The record production is primarily due to the highest planted area in 27 years (since 1991/92) with the benefit of favorable weather. Harvested area is estimated at 1.6 million hectares, up 36 percent from last year (Figure 2). Higher prices and two prior seasons of record yields encouraged producers to plant more area. Most of Brazil’s cotton is planted as a second crop after soybeans are harvested.

North Korea: Early and Mid-Season Dryness Increases Food Productivity Concerns.

(Jul 22, 2019)

In North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) the early part of the 2019/20 season (April, May, and June) has been characterized by below-average rainfall, poor irrigation water availability, and unfavorable, drier-than-normal conditions across the major growing regions. Summer is the main cropping season and the main agricultural crops are corn, rice, potatoes, soybeans, millet, sorghum, and sweet potatoes. Summer crops are typically planted in March through June and harvested between July and October. The optimum planting window for the major food security crop, rice, is May through June.

Benin Becomes Leading Cotton Producer in West Africa’s Franc Zone .

(Jul 16, 2019)

Franc Zone cotton production for marketing year (MY) 2019/20 is forecast at a record 6.0 million bales, up 0.6 million bales or 11 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast a record 3.3 million hectares, up 0.3 million hectares or 10 percent from last year. Benin was the leading cotton producer for the region last year and is forecast to be the top producer again this year (Figure 1).

Northwest Africa: Drought in Western Growing Areas, Favorable Conditions in the East.

(Jul 16, 2019)

Diverse weather conditions in Northwest Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) during marketing year (MY) 2019/2020 crop season led to different results across the region. Drought reduced yields in Morocco and western Algeria, but favorable conditions in eastern Algeria and Tunisia improved yields. Combined wheat production for these three countries is estimated at a near-average level of 9.9 million metric tons (mmt) (See Figure 1).

Iraq Wheat: Record Yield and Production from Abundant Precipitation.

(Jun 28, 2019)

Iraq wheat production for 2019/20 is estimated at 4.8 million metric tons (mmt), up 1.8 mmt or 60 percent from last year’s crop of 3.0 mmt. Harvested area is estimated at 2.4 million hectares, up 41 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 2.00 metric tons per hectare, up 13 percent from last year.