Crop Explorer - Commodity Intelligence Reports - Mexico Central America and the Caribbean


Jun 30 2022 | Mexico Rice 2021/22: Harvested Area Lowered, Similar to 5-Year Average
USDA estimates Mexico’s marketing year (MY) 2021/22 rough rice production at 266,000 metric tons (MT), down about 9 percent (27,000 MT) from MY 2020/21’s production. Milled rice production is estimated at 183,000 tons, 9 percent (18,000 MT) lower than the previous year. Harvested area is estimated at 42,000 hectares (ha), 11 percent (5,000 ha) lower than the previous year, but similar to the 5-year average from 2016 to 2020 of 42,000 ha. The yield (rough) is estimated slightly higher than the previous year at 6.33 tons per hectare (t/ha) (see Figure 1).

Apr 8 2022 | 2021/22 Mexico Soybeans: Higher Production Than Last Year Expected Though Lower than 5-Year Average
USDA estimates Mexico’s market year (MY) 2021/22 soybean production at 290,000 metric tons (MT), up about 17 percent (44,000 MT) from last year’s production. Overall, 2021/2022 soybean production is 18 percent lower than the 5-year average. Harvested area is estimated at 185,000 ha, 19 percent (29,000 ha) higher than last year, but 11 percent below the 5-year average. Many of the previous agricultural government policies supporting oilseeds have been removed, which may have influenced below average plantings. The yield is estimated slightly less than last year at 1.57 tons per hectare (t/ha) (see Figure 1).

Sep 17 2021 | Mexico Wheat 2021/22: Harvested Area Below 5-Year Average Due to Low Water Availability
USDA estimates Mexico’s marketing year 2021/22 wheat production at 3,100,000 metric tons (MT), up about 5 percent from last year’s production. Though area has decreased slightly from last year, it is about 10 percent below the 5 year-average at an estimated 555,000 hectares (ha). The yield estimate is up about 5 percent from last year at 5.59 tons per hectare (t/ha) (see Figure 1).

Jun 15 2021 | DOMINICAN REPUBLIC RICE: MY 2020/21 HARVEST NEARS COMPLETION FOR THE CARIBBEAN’S LARGEST PRODUCER
The main season rice harvest in the Dominican Republic is ongoing for the marketing year (MY) 2020/21. USDA estimates rice production for MY 2020/21 at 630,000 metric tons (MT) (milled basis), down 2 percent from the record production in marketing years 2018/19 and 2019/20, but continuing to outpace the 5- and 10-year averages (see Figure 1). The gains in production in recent years are due primarily to increases in area. Harvested area for MY 2020/21 is estimated at 195,000 hectares (ha), down less than 1 percent from record area of 196,000 ha in both MY 2018/19 and MY 2019/20, but above the 5- and 10-year averages. Yield is estimated at 4.82 metric tons per hectare (MT/ha), down only 2 percent from the previous two seasons despite intermittent dryness througout the season and challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 18 2021 | Central America: Hurricanes Eta and Iota Damaged Grains in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador; Some Recovery Expected in MY 2021/2022
Hurricane Eta and Hurricane Iota landed on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast as Category 4 hurricanes, on November 3, 2020 and November 16, 2020, respectively, causing damage to crops, infrastructure (roads, buildings, and bridges), and human lives throughout Central America from flooding, strong winds, and landslides (see Figure 1). These hurricanes have been considered the most damaging to Honduras and Nicaragua since Hurricane Mitch in November 1998.

Aug 26 2020 | MEXICO 2020/21 WHEAT: PRE-SEASON DRYNESS LOWERED PLANTED AREA
USDA estimates Mexico’s market year (MY) 2020/21 wheat production at 3,050,000 metric tons (MT), down 5 percent from last year’s production. Area has decreased 7 percent from last year and is estimated at 550,000 hectares (ha). The yield estimate is up 2 percent from last year at 5.55 tons per hectare (tons/ha) (see Figure 1).

Aug 21 2020 | CUBA RICE PRODUCTION EXPECTING LARGE DECREASES
USDA estimates Cuba’s rice production for 2020/21 at 260,000 metric tons (MT) (milled basis), up 5 percent from last year, but down 41 percent from a recent high of 437,000 MT in 2013/14. Harvested area is forecast at 115,000 hectares (ha), up 8 percent from last year, but down 42 percent from the 198,000 ha in 2013/14. Yield is forecast at 3.48 metric tons per hectare (MT/ha), down 3 percent from last year and 4 percent from the 5-year average, and down 7 percent from a record yield of 3.73 MT/ha in 2015/16.

Mar 10 2020 | Mexico: Unfavorable Weather Decreased 2019/20 Cotton Planted Area and Production
Mexico is the ninth largest cotton producing country globally for 2019. USDA estimates Mexico’s market year (MY) 2019/20 cotton production at 1,570,000 bales, down 10 percent from last year’s record production. Area has decreased 7 percent from last year’s record area and is estimated at 225,000 hectares. The yield forecast is down 2 percent from last year at 1,519 kilograms per hectare (See Figure 1). Cotton production in Mexico is mostly found in northern parts of the country. Chihuahua produces over half of Mexico’s cotton. In northwest Mexico, portions of Baja California, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Durango are major cotton growing areas. Coahuila and Tamaulipas are the main cotton growing areas in northeastern Mexico (See Figure 2).

Jun 28 2018 | Honduras 2017/18 Crop Updates and Training Workshop
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) personnel from the Office of Capacity Building and Development (OCBD), Development Resources and Disaster Assistance Division, in collaboration with the Office of Global Analysis (OGA), International Production Assessment Division traveled to Honduras to better understand cropping systems and to provide a geographic information systems (GIS) technical workshop for the staff at the Agro-Food Information Service (INFOAGRO).

Nov 29 2017 | Caribbean 2017/18 Rice Production: An Active Hurricane Season
The 2017 Caribbean hurricane season (which typically extends from June through November) was more active than usual. Two category 5 hurricanes (the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale) made landfall in the Caribbean and in Florida. Hurricanes Irma (See Figure 1) and Maria pummeled the Caribbean with devastating winds and extensive flooding. Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 storm when it made landfall in Texas, bypassed the Caribbean to the south and caused little to no damage to the Caribbean Islands. Hurricane Irma, however, caused extensive flooding on Cuba’s northern shore. For more information contact Katie McGaughey (Katie.McGaughey@fas.usda.gov).

Oct 20 2017 | Mexico Cotton: Harvest begins, Estimated Production Increases from Last Year
Mexico is ranked within the top 15 countries in the world for domestic cotton production. Cotton in Mexico is mainly produced in Chihuahua which represents about 63 percent of total production, followed by Baja California (18 percent), Coahuila (11 percent), Sonora (5 percent) and Durango (2 percent). Cotton is planted in two seasons, spring/summer and fall/winter; however, approximately 95 percent of production is planted during the spring/summer season. The spring/summer crop is typically planted from April through July and harvested August through January; fall/winter planting takes place November through January and then harvested in April through May. Irrigation is the primary water source, but farmers also rely on seasonal rainfall throughout the growing cycle(s) to maintain healthy crop conditions.

Sep 29 2017 | Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua Rice Production
Rice in Central America is produced mainly in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Since production in each country is not enough to satisfy domestic demand, these countries also rely on rice imports. Panama’s domestic production accounts for approximately 40 percent of domestic demand, with Costa Rica slightly above 50 percent and Nicaragua around 70 percent. Rice is the main staple food; consumption per person is approximately 74 kilograms per year in Panama (one of the highest in the world), 45 kilograms per year in Costa Rica, and 53 kilograms per year in Nicaragua.

Mar 28 2017 | Cuba Rice: Satellite Imagery Monitors Irrigated Fields
Rice is an important staple crop for Cuba. USDA estimates Cuba‘s 2016/17 milled rice production at 433,000 metric tons, up 10 percent from last year but down from the peak of 465,000 tons in 2003/04. Cuba’s main rice crop is planted in March and April and is harvested in November and December. While production is distributed relatively evenly across the country, the three main growing regions are Pinar del Rio, Sancti Spiritus, and Granma. Second-season rice is planted in December and January and harvested in June and July.

Mar 15 2017 | Mexico Corn: Adequate Reservoir Levels Benefitting Winter Corn
USDA estimates Mexico’s 2016/17 corn production at a record 26.0 million metric tons, up slightly from last year’s record of 25.9 million tons. Harvested area is estimated at 7.5 million hectares, up 4 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 3.47 tons per hectare, down 4 percent from last year’s record of 3.60 tons per hectare.

Jan 27 2017 | Haiti: Hurricane Matthew Causes Minimal Damage to Second Rice Crop
Of the numerous crops that Haiti produces for food consumption, one of the most important is rice. The main rice producing region is the L’Artibonite Valley. USDA estimates Haiti’s 2016/17 milled rice production at 69,000 metric tons, up 11,000 tons from last year but down from the peak of 78,000 tons for 2013/14. Haiti’s main rice crop is planted in February and March and is harvested from June through September. Although precise figures are unavailable, first-season rice likely accounts for over half of total output.

Sep 27 2013 | Mexico: Hurricane Manuel Partially Recharges Irrigation Reservoirs for Planting Winter Corn in the State of Sinaloa
Mexico experienced two destructive hurricanes last week when they hit landfall on opposite coasts and within 24-hours apart. Hurricane Ingrid from the Gulf of Mexico made landfall on September 16, 2013, while Hurricane Manuel from the Pacific hit landfall on September 15 and 19 (refer to Figure 1). It is a rare event for Mexico to experience two tropical storms within 24-hours of each other, something which has not happened since 1958 according to meteorologists. Both hurricanes caused severe flooding, destroyed roads and claimed lives while they also helped to recharge many low reservoirs which have been operating at less than 50 percent capacity for almost three years.

Aug 30 2013 | Situation Brief: 2013/14 Haiti Rice Production
USDA forecasts production to reach 80 metric tons (milled) in 2013/14 as compared to 62 metric tons (milled) a year ago. Area is forecast to remain unchanged from last year at 85 million hectares. 2013/14 rice production is forecast to rebound to average levels because of favorable weather.

Sep 19 2012 | Tropical Storm Isaac Brings Drought Relief to Haiti but Causes Agricultural Damage
Tropical Storm Isaac struck the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba the third week of August. So far no extreme structural damages have been reported in the impacted region. Haiti is the only country so far reporting any loss of life. Tropical Storm Isaac struck the south east and western departments of Haiti. This is not a major agricultural area. But FEWS/Net reports that 80 percent of the crops were impacted in the southern part of the Island. Only about 15 percent of the country’s total rice is grown in this area. (Rice is grown in this region from December to March.) Food availability in this region could be impacted. There are several reports of family gardens, bean production, banana, fruit plantations and cattle destroyed from excessive rain and wind. The extent of this agricultural damage is unknown in these areas.

Aug 21 2012 | Mexico: Corn Production Forecast to Increase Significantly in 2012/13
The USDA estimated 2012/13 Mexico corn production at 21.5 million tons, up 0.5 million from last month and up 3.4 million or 19 percent from last year. Harvested corn area is forecast at 7.1 million hectares, up 0.1 million from last month and up 1.1 million or 18 percent from last year’s drought affected crop. Corn yields are forecast to reach 3.03 tons per hectare, slightly higher than last year. Timely early season rains across the main corn producing regions allowed farmers to plant near-normal levels of the main spring/summer corn crop this year. This seasonal crop typically accounts for up to 75 percent of total corn production in the country.

Oct 13 1999 | Mexico Announces Emergency Cotton Support Program to Stabilize Production Next Season
Lower prices and drought have reduced the Mexican cotton crop to the lowest level since 1994/95, but a new subsidy program will likely result in a production rebound in 2000/01.

Oct 14 1999 | Early Assessment: Mexico Floods Minimally Impact Coarse Grains
The unprecedented late summer 1999 rainfall over southern Mexico has had a limited affect on national grain production. Above-normal rainfall across the central plateau created flood conditions in the states Hidalgo and Veracruz, and also prompted the Government of Mexico to designate Jalisco, Michoacan, Puebla, and Tabasco as zones of disaster. Few of the major grain growing fields were touched by the overflow from swollen riverbeds prevalent in states along the east and west coastlines. However, the sheer volume of water that fell upon the region may cause quality issues to arise as plants move from maturation into the drydown phase. Current forecasts indicate the torrential rainfall should ease by October 20th.

Nov 8 1999 | Update: Flooding in Mexico Impacts Rice Crop
Despite excessive precipitation in crucial growing areas, indications are that less than 10 percent of Mexico's total rice production for 1999/2000 was lost or damaged. Most of the crop was mature before the flooding began, with approximately a quarter of the fields already harvested. This assessment remains preliminary, as many areas of southeast Mexico remain under water, and are only accessible by boat.

Jun 28 2000 | Mexico Cotton Crop Closely Tied to Reservoirs
Confirming an area loss that cotton industry experts have warned of all winter, FAS Mexico City recently estimated Mexican 2000/01 cotton area at 75,000 hectares, down 53 percent from 1999/2000. Production was estimated at 300 bales, down 52 percent from last year. Official USDA estimates of the 2000/01 Mexico cotton crop will be released on July 12, 2000. Several factors are cited for the area drop, including the relatively strong peso, insufficient governmental support, a tight credit environment, low domestic cotton prices competing with even cheaper imported cotton, and drier than normal weather conditions combined with low reservoir reserves. The comparatively high profit margin of wheat and vegetables is also believed to have pulled acreage away from cotton.

Jun 30 2000 | Good Prospects for Bajio Corn and Sorghum
The central-south plateau region of Mexico known as the Bajio (meaning lowlands) has thus far been treated favorably by the 2000 monsoon, especially when compared to the previous two summers. Unlike 1999, no states have been designated as disaster zones due to dryness, and no other significant issues have arisen in the Bajio states to negatively impact planting or production. Assuming a normal monsoon, the region is progressing toward a normal crop season.

Aug 3 2000 | TIMELY RAINS BENEFIT THE COTTON CROP IN MEXICO
Mexico cotton appears to have passed an important milestone of the 2000 summer growing season in good condition. Fields received enough rainfall to offset temperatures that sometimes reached above-normal levels, easing the requirements on reservoirs and allowing plants to continue development. Peak water uptake for cotton plants is during the bloom stage, and most of the cotton fields are already well into or beyond this critical crop stage.

Aug 11 2000 | EARLY RICE PROSPECTS EXCELLENT IN MEXICAN GULF STATES
Rice harvest has already begun in parts of southeast Veracruz as well as Campeche, and the quality of the rice is reported to be excellent. On the Veracruz fields receiving millers support, cost of production is estimated at 10-12 thousand pesos (US $1,068-1,283 dollars) per hectare, and yields are anticipated in the range of 8,000 kilograms (8 metric tons) per hectare. On the Campeche fields receiving millers support, cost of production is estimated at 6,000 pesos (US $641 dollars), and yields are anticipated in the range of 3,000 kilograms (3 metric tons) per hectare. Recently, non-irrigated fields have become prevalent in the region of the Gulf of Mexico, but irrigated fields still make a major contribution to total production.

Feb 13 2001 | Dryness Tempers Mexican Winter Grain Prospects
Mexico was favored with normal-to-above-normal rain showers over parts of the northwest states during the last 3 months of 2000 (see table below), boosting expectations of strong fall/winter crop development. Reservoirs in the region were recharged, with water levels doubling to 50 percent of capacity at year's end. However, corn, sorghum, and wheat produced in southern areas are currently moisture-deficient, and production prospects will diminish if additional moisture is not forthcoming. USDA's estimate of 2000/01 Mexican total grains (barley, corn, millet, oats, milled rice, sorghum, and wheat) production is 29.4 million tons, 3 percent higher than the 5-year average of 28.4 million, while area of 10.8 million hectares is 2 percent down from the 5-year average of 10.97 million.

Apr 10 2001 | Summer Cotton Planted Area in Mexico Likely to Remain Low in 2001/02
Cotton planted area in Mexico declined through most of the 1990's, and current conditions indicate there will be no major reversal of that trend this year. Likely water shortages in major cotton areas is one of several reasons planted area may be at or below 2000/01 levels. Unattractive world market prices and reported producer dissatisfaction with the cotton policies of the Government of Mexico may also dampen chances for a rebound in cotton area.

Jun 28 2001 | Dryness Negatively Impacts Tamaulipas Sorghum
When Tropical Storm Allison exited the Texas/Mexico region of the Gulf coast, with her went the last chance for the rain-fed fields of north Tamaulipas state to render a normal-to-above-normal level of sorghum production in the June/August 2001 harvest. Tropical Storm Allison delivered over three feet of rain to the Gulf coast of the United States in early June, but northeast coastal Mexico saw little more than brief showers during that period. Producers frequently turn to sorghum when moisture is at a premium, however the continuing absence of appreciable precipitation has combined with temperatures 1-4 degrees above normal to deliver a shock to the sorghum fields of northeast Mexico, from which they are unlikely to completely recover.

Jul 24 2001 | Below-Normal Precipitation May Shrink 2001 Crop Output for Honduras and Nicaragua
Harvested grain area in parts of Honduras and Nicaragua will be significantly lower than originally anticipated for the 2001 crop season, as insufficient moisture has rendered some planted area unproductive and likely will cut along a corridor roughly from yields. Dryness likely will lower total production in central Honduras, the north coast city La Ceiba, southward through Nicaragua to the south coast city of Leon. This "corridor of dryness" includes important corn, sorghum, and rice fields in Honduras (Yoro, Comayagua, Francisco Morazan, Valle, and Choluteca) and Nicaragua (Nueva Segovia, Jinotega, Madriz, Esteli, Matagalpa, Leon, Boaco, and Chontales).

Aug 30 2001 | Tropical Storm Chantal Has Little Impact on Mexico's Summer Crop Prospects
Mexico's summer 2001 crops were little impacted by tropical storm Chantal when it came ashore in easternmost Mexico on late-August 20th in the Yucatan Peninsula. While this area is a popular tourist destination, the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo, Yucatan (where Chantal expended most of her energy, dropping a high of 8 inches rain in one day) are not major contributors to Mexicos total agricultural production. The absence of a natural water system (very few lakes and rivers), and an environment that ranges from near-desert to jungle, confines most agricultural cultivation to the coastal and highland areas. Livestock operations are present, but not large scale. See map below.

Oct 15 2001 | Mexico: Summer Crops Enter Dry-Down Phase;
Summer crops in Mexico's Central Plateau, the foremost corn and sorghum production region, have matured and entered the dry-down phase. The early-season pattern of sporadic precipitation improved in July, in time for a full development cycle. Even so, production has fallen short of Mexico's early-season expectations. Earlier, the Mexican government had projected corn production at 15.3 million tons from a harvested area of 7.6 million hectares. Sorghum production was projected at 4.1 million tons from a harvested area of 1.2 million hectares. Production and area expectations have since been scaled back to approximately 15.3 million tons and 7.3 million hectares for corn, and 3.5 million tons and 0.9 million hectares tons for sorghum. Additionally, the Central Plateau reservoir levels are just above fifty percent of capacity, and could benefit from a recharge that can come from tropical storms.

Apr 25 2002 | Mexico: Tamaulipas Ties Future to Imaginative Program
The state of Tamaulipas has initiated a program to permanently alter sorghum cultivation practices and production.With the financial backing of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Foodstuffs (SAGAPA), Tamaulipas is attempting to alleviate an exploding soil erosion problem by converting 100,000 hectares, traditionally dedicated to sorghum--the states major revenue producing grain--into rangeland during the 2002/03 crop cycle. The goal is to convert a total of at least 300,000 hectares of sorghum over to rangeland within the next three years to offset what is estimated to be 263,000 hectares presently designated as eroded. Tamaulipas state officials say that from 1995/96 to 2000/01, Tamaulipas averaged 854,503 hectares planted to sorghum, resulting in production of 1,787,058 tons, a yield of 2.33 tons per hectare. Using USDAs annual sorghum totals for Mexico, the state of Tamaulipas therefore accounted for an average of 29 percent of Mexico's national sorghum production for the period 1995/96 to 2000/01, and 80 percent of the national fall/winter total.

Jun 13 2002 | Mexico: Hidalgo State Little Recognized
By area, the state of Hidalgo, (map of Mexico) ranks among the smallest of all Mexican states involved in growing wheat, but is the top for barley and alfalfa area. Hidalgo was prominently featured in the news in mid-May 2002, thanks to the hijacking of a truckload of dangerous chemicals off a public highway. Positive publicity is difficult to come by for this small state, just north of Mexico City, which has few natural resources save mining. Agriculture tends to be small-scale, family operations. Agriculture remains Hidalgos main revenue-producing activity, and even that output requires some assistance from beyond the state border. Hidalgo does not have an abundance of rivers and large lakes to draw upon. Though spring rainfall amounts have been increasing since 2000, historical rainfall is less than 4 inches from January through the end of May 2002. In the 1950s, canals were dug to deliver a continuous stream of treated sewer water from Mexico City, 60 miles away, to Hidalgos most productive grain areas. This water delivery system permits the state to continue activities like corn production, in which it is a minor player relative to the national total. Irrigation boosts Hidalgos agricultural fortunes dramatically for alfalfa production.

Jun 25 2002 | Mexican Grains Awaiting Water
Mexican grains need improved soil moisture in July to prevent further crop stress. USDA forecasts Mexico's 2002/03 corn production at 19 million tons, down 600,000, or 3 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 7.7 million hectares, down 80,000 or 1 percent from last year. USDA forecasts Mexico's 2002/03 sorghum production at 6.85 million tons, up 350,000, or 5 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 1.95 million hectares, down 10,000 or 1 percent from last year. USDA forecasts Mexico's 2002/03 rice production at 185,000 tons, down 30,000, or 14 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 64,000 hectares, down 15,000 or 20 percent from last year.

Jul 31 2002 | Important South Mexican Cornfields Going Dry
The positive overall moisture profile for South Mexico disguises a potentially dangerous situation for scattered localities. This year's monsoon was neither generous nor evenly-dispersed through mid-July. As a result, soil moisture levels are nearing harmful range for areas of southern Mexico that recorded below- to well below-normal precipitation during May-June 2002. Parts of Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato, Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Tabasco lacked a good soil moisture profile entering July; non-irrigated corn crop fields are being challenged to survive until a better pattern appears. Temperatures across the region have been favorably warm, promoting good health, rather than further taxing the plants. The greatest danger is that these small pockets of dryness may expand to a significant portion of area for each state as total rainfall declines through the balance of the season. Newer corn varieties adjust more efficiently to negative influences in the environment by slowing their rate of development, much the way sorghum does. Stretching out development over more days will help, but precipitation amounts must climb toward their daily norms to prevent negative affect upon yield. A number of tropical storms spun up in the Pacific Ocean during June and July, but their movement was to the west, away from the major summer crop fields of Mexico, and contributed little to the moisture deficit.

Aug 29 2002 | Caribbean Looks For Additional Moisture in Later Stages of Hurricane Season
Soil moisture across the Caribbean Islands has improved since May, benefiting the region in contrasting ways. The Dominican Republic received regular rainfall almost daily in August, calming fears of damage to a much-anticipated rice crop. Jamaica has received very little precipitation since the May/June 2002 floods, allowing the soil to drain, while permitting individuals and businesses to rebuild. Cuba has serious soil moisture issues; however, the general dryness enhance the taste of citrus products. The most active months of the hurricane season are ahead; to this point, the 2002 hurricane season (June to November) has not delivered ample moisture to the Caribbean; neither has the mild El Niño.

Apr 21 2003 | Few Barriers to Profitability in Dominican Rice Sector
Rice is at the core of the traditional Dominican diet. As such, rice self-sufficiency is a concept easily sold to the voters. The Government of the Dominican Republic (GODR) has made concerted attempts to achieve self-sufficiency for at least 15 years, but the rice surpluses of the last two years present a new set of problems. Complaints are beginning to surface because citizens are being asked to underwrite the costs of field activities, purchase any rice production beyond national consumption, bear the costs associated with transportation and storage of the excess rice, and perhaps to accept the sale of some of that excess to buyers outside the country at prices far below Dominican Republic production costs. Annual rice production in 2002/03 is estimated by USDA to be 318,000 tons, representing about 99 percent of their total annual consumption.

Jul 11 2003 | Mexico: 2003 Monsoon Not Yet Panacea for Trend To Dryness
Hopes for steady rainfall from the 2003 monsoon have dissipated into concern that Mexico may be experiencing a fourth consecutive summer of sub-par precipitation. Reservoir levels were already a concern, and continuing dry weather means they are not being recharged. This will make it difficult to offset the shortcoming of the monsoon by irrigating some grain fields, due to ever-dwindling water resources. Further south, Central American vegetative development is below normal in many places due to inconsistent rainfall.

Aug 28 2003 | Mexico: 2003 Monsoon Not Overwhelming Mexico, But Crop Prospects Remain Good
Vegetation in several important corn production areas of Mexico is faring better than at this time in 2002; however, only a few localities are experiencing exceptional precipitation. Mexican authorities who monitor field conditions have found no encouragement in a recent forecast calling for a scaled-down conclusion to the 2003 hurricane season. William Gray, a well-known expert on hurricane activity based at Colorado State University, has issued an update calling for less tropical storm activity than in his May 2003 forecast. This is not good news for Mexico, as chronic water shortages exist in several regions, negatively affecting both agricultural and non-agricultural activity.

Nov 19 2003 | Mexico: 2003 Rice Crop Slightly Better Than 2002
USDA/FAS field crop travel to the Gulf Coast region of Mexico in late October 2003 assessed rice production in Veracruz and Campeche, two states which account for over half the area devoted to rice in recent years. USDA 's official forecasts released November 12, 2003 estimate Mexico's 2003/04 rice production is 171,000 tons, up 15,000, or 10 percent from last year. Area is forecast at 52,000 hectares, down 5,000 or 9 percent from last year. USDA will next release its official estimates of Mexican rice production on December 11.

May 24 2004 | Mexico: Northeast Reservoir Levels Comparatively High
Bountiful precipitation across northeast Mexico has raised reservoir levels in that region and improved production potential for the 2004/05 crop year. Some reservoirs released water to relieve the pressure on dams; however, localized flooding did not hamper overall field activity in the region. Regular showers since February have kept temperatures mild during a time when Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas states are normally hot and dry. The steady showers made some 2004 irrigation releases unnecessary, helping to rebuild storage volume at reservoirs that were perilously low. Dry land crops benefiting from the bountiful rainfall include corn, sorghum, wheat, and possibly cotton. Irrigated vegetables as well as the limited amounts of irrigated corn, sorghum, and cotton also experienced improved development. True to their nature, growers are worried about receiving too much of a good thing -- as in the rainfall not stopping frequently enough to permit field work, or even preventing normal harvest prior to the start of the 2004 Mexico monsoon season (May through October).

Aug 30 2004 | Mexico: Summer Corn Crop Not Without Issues
Precipitation across Mexico has not been uniformly persistent during the 2004 monsoon (May-October); however, summer grain varieties have can turn moisture scarcity into a positive outcome by harvest. Soil moisture levels have also been up and down; however, there is time for southern corn fields to benefit should good conditions prevail. The annual monsoon traverses Mexicoin a southeast to northwest pattern, usually beginning in May, and retreats from northwest to southeast, ending in October. The monsoon is usually longest and most consistent across the southern half of Mexico.It continues north, complementing the expanded hours of daylight, and permitting producers to take full advantage of the fertile soils of the Central Plateau and the coastal Pacific regions. Deviation from this natural course of climatic events in some southern regions does not always result in a decline in total national production, as was demonstrated in 2003.On balance, progress has been acceptable for the current summer cycle, which accounts for as much as 90 percent of annual production. Mexican 2004/05 corn production is forecast at 20.3 million tons, down 0.700 million tons or 3 percent from last year's record crop of 21 million tons. Area is forecast at 7.65 million hectares down 0.020 million hectares or 1 percent from last year. Current USDA estimates of global crop production are available at PS&D Online.


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