Crop Explorer - Commodity Intelligence Reports - Central Asia

May 31 2018 | Afghanistan: Low Precipitation Results in a Decline in Northern Winter Grains
Afghanistan’s 2018/19 winter grains crop production is expected to be less than the previous year due to below normal precipitation across northern growing areas. Afghanistan typically imports wheat and barley to meet domestic consumption, but when crops are below normal, they have to import more (see the PSD table below).

Jul 17 2015 | AFGHANISTAN: 2015/2016 Wheat Production above Average but Down from Last Year
USDA estimates Afghanistan’s 2015 (USDA market year MY2015/2016) wheat crop at 5.0 million metric tons. Production is down 25,000 tons, or 0.5 percent, from last year. The 5-year average is 4.26 million tons. Harvested area is estimated at 2.55 million hectares which is 10,000 hectares below last year. Yield is estimated at 1.96 tons per hectare which is the same as last year and above the 5-year average of 1.75 tons per hectare.

Jan 28 2014 | Afghanistan MY2014/15 Winter Grains Northern Rain-fed Region Concern Due to Low Precipitation
Adequate precipitation is needed early in the winter grains season (October through December) to allow for good stand establishment before the onset of winter dormancy. Wheat is the dominant winter grains and in most years falls short of demand for total consumption by nearly 2 million metric tons (MMT). Under normal conditions, approximately 70 percent of the total Afghanistan winter wheat crop is irrigated. In market year (MY) 2007/08 and MY2010/11, prevailing dry conditions significantly decreased total wheat production in the rain-fed regions (Fig. 1). The last two years (MY2013/14 and MY2012/13) were favorable for winter grains production in Afghanistan because of timely precipitation and mild temperatures. The USDA will publish its first estimate of the MY2014/15 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on May 9, 2014 which will include Afghanistan winter grain production (6).

May 25 2012 | AFGHANISTAN: Wheat Production Forecast at Near-Record Levels in 2012
Afghanistan's domestic food security situation is expected to markedly improve this year owing to a resurgence in national wheat production. The country benefitted from one of the most favorable growing seasons in recent memory, with well-timed rainfall occurring during all critical crop development phases. Plentiful rainfall helped ensure a major increase in non-irrigated dryland wheat production throughout important northern growing regions this year. As a result, significantly higher dryland production will boost overall national output to near-record levels. USDA's estimate released May 10, 2012 for marketing year 2012/13 wheat production is 3.8 million tons, up 1.3 million or 52 percent from last year. Harvested wheat area is forecast at 2.35 million hectares, up 0.25 million or 12 percent.

May 11 2011 | AFGHANISTAN: Wheat Production Forecast to Decline in 2011
The 2011 wheat harvest in Afghanistan will begin in the next few weeks and be completed at the highest elevations in the Hindu Kush Mountains sometime in late July or early August 2011. The bulk of the harvest usually occurs from late May through early July, as the majority of crops are cultivated in earlier-maturing lowland locations. Early indications are that 2011 wheat production will decline significantly from last year, as deficient moisture and poor crop germination plagued the vast northern growing regions of the country. Both crop area and yield are expected to decline owing to insufficient rainfall and/or irrigation supply at various times of the growing season. USDA is currently estimating marketing year 2011/12 wheat production at 2.5 million tons, down 1.2 million or 33 percent from last year. Harvested wheat area is forecast at 2.1 million hectares, down 0.25 million or 11 percent.

May 11 2010 | AFGHANISTAN: Above-Average Wheat Production Outlook in 2010/11
Afghanistan is currently having its second consecutive successful wheat growing season, as plentiful autumn planting rains ensured the majority of the crop got off to a strong start. Overall grain growing conditions have been less favorable though than last year, when record crop area and yields resulted in a bumper harvest. Overall winter snowfall was substantially lower than last year, implying that total irrigation supply and irrigated crop yields will be reduced. In addition, well-above normal temperatures blanketed the major lowland wheat growing regions, causing heat stress and increased crop water demand.

Jun 10 2009 | AFGHANISTAN: Wheat Production Recovers in 2009/10 Season
Afghanistan suffered a severe drought last year which decimated its 2008/09 winter grain crop and caused an acute food and feed-grain shortage throughout much of the country. Wheat production is estimated by USDA to have fallen 55 percent from the previous year. This major shortfall in production of the nation's staple grain crop was also exacerbated by disruptions in regional grain trade (export bans) and increasing conflict in major transport corridors along the Pakistani border, resulting in record high domestic food grain prices and increasing food insecurity.

Dec 11 2008 | AFGHANISTAN: 2009/10 Wheat Production Outlook Uncertain
Afghanistan suffered a severe drought last year which decimated its 2008/09 winter grain crop and caused an acute food and feed-grain shortage throughout much of the country. Wheat production is estimated by USDA to have fallen 55 percent from the previous year, while barley production is estimated to have declined 67 percent. This major shortfall in grain production was exacerbated by disruptions in regional grain trade (export bans) and increasing conflict in major transport corridors along the Pakistani border.

Sep 16 2008 | MIDDLE EAST and CENTRAL ASIA: Continued Drought in 2009/10
The Middle East and Central Asia regions are currently in the grip of one of the worst droughts in recent history. Widespread failure of rain-fed grain crops occurred in 2008/09, as well as sizable declines in irrigated crop area and yield. Food grain production dropped to some of the lowest levels in decades, spurring governments to enact grain export bans and resulting in abnormally large region-wide grain imports. Should drought continue into the 2009/10 growing season which begins in October, even greater declines in grain production will occur as planted area for both rain-fed and irrigated crops will be severely restricted. A second year of severely reduced grain harvests would imply significantly increased regional grain import requirements as well as posing substantial threats to internal security in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Afghanistan is the most vulnerable, owing to its lack of financial resources for large-scale grain imports and lack of institutional expertise to plan and execute such imports.

Aug 12 2008 | AFGHANISTAN: Severe Drought Causes Major Decline in 2008/09 Wheat Productio
Well-below normal rainfall and winter snowfall across the majority of Afghanistan during late 2007 and early 2008 have led to the worst drought conditions in the past 10 years. Widespread losses of rainfed wheat crops have been observed by international non-governmental organization (NGO) officials across the country's important northern and western growing regions, while the government of Afghanistan has also reported that irrigated crop yields have fallen significantly this year. Owing to the severity of current conditions and the breadth of areas impacted, wheat production in 2008/09 is forecast by USDA at 1.5 million tons, down 2.3 million or 60 percent from last year.

Central Asia, which includes Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, is known chiefly as the cotton-production zone of the former Soviet Union, but the region is forecast also to produce roughly 8 million tons of grain this year. Grain output has jumped 60 percent over the past five years, chiefly because of higher yields resulting from increased irrigation. In Uzbekistan, for example, the percentage of irrigated grain area rose from roughly 40 percent in 1990 to nearly 80 percent in 2000. (Cotton has always been virtually all irrigated throughout the region.) Central Asia's irrigation supplies rely largely on snow-melt from the nearby Tien Shan mountains. Winter precipitation in the mountains, however, has been below normal for four of the past five years, and moisture reserves are reportedly low as a result of the long-term dryness. Dryness continued throughout the spring and summer, and cumulative precipitation remains substantially below normal. Local observers are reporting that cotton has been under drought stress in parts of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but the grain crop appears to have escaped significant damage. Roughly 80 percent of Central Asia' grain crop consists of winter wheat, which reaches maturity several months before the cotton crop and likely avoided some of the drought's impact. According to official reports, the Turkmenistan grain harvest surpassed the 1.5-million-ton target by 0.2 million tons, and 2000/01 Uzbekistan output will likely match or exceed last year's output of 4.3 million tons. Grain production in Kyrgyzstan, which has not reported significant water shortages, is forecast to match last year's 1.6 million tons.

May 25 2001 | Uzbekistan Policy Changes May Boost Cotton Output
With the wheat and feed grain supply approaching self sufficiency, the Government of Uzbekistan (GOU) plans to initiate a major program to reform the cotton sector in an effort to boost foreign exchange arising from cotton exports.

Jun 12 2001 | Afghanistan: Third year of drought, conditions worsen
While Afghanistan is undergoing a third consecutive year of drought, conditions this year are by far the most severe and widespread. The compound effect of dry weather and higher temperatures for three consecutive years have severely reduced food production.

Nov 2 2001 | Winter Grain Planting Conditions in Afghanistan:
Current Conditions Summary: Afghanistan enters the winter wheat season with very dry conditions and low irrigation reserves. Poor Start to Season in Afghanistan Afghanistan has experienced three consecutive years of drought which have severely impacted field crop production and pasture land capacity. The winter grain crop is typically planted during October and November, depending upon region and, most importantly, soil moisture. Current analysis of Afghanistan's irrigated crop areas indicates very low irrigation reserves and low soil moisture. In the rainfed agricultural area, soil moisture is very low from the lack of recent rain. Cumulative precipitation for Afghanistan's field crop regions, for the time period of September 1 through November 1, show the agricultural zone at only 57 percent of long-term normal. During 2000 for the same time period this area received 43 percent of normal. Rainfall during the September through October period is extremely important to provide the proper planting conditions, germination, and support emergence for both the irrigated and rainfed crops.

Dec 21 2001 | Afghanistan: Continued Dryness Compounds Food Shortage
Very low cumulative precipitation during critical winter grain establishment will reduce domestic food supply availability in the spring of 2002. Afghanistan enters the winter wheat growing season with very dry conditions and low irrigation reserves.

Feb 8 2002 | Central Asia Wheat: 2001/02 Output and 2002/03 Prospects
Drought has prevailed in Central Asia for the past three crop seasons, but estimated total regional wheat production has not dropped significantly. Combined 2001/02 wheat production for Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan is estimated at 6.1 million tons, compared to 6.0 million in 2000/01, and 6.2 million in 1999/2000. Early winter grain prospects for 2002/03 are relatively good. Sown area will likely remain steady for the two biggest producers, and winter precipitation has increased soil-moisture reserves.

Mar 8 2002 | Afghanistan: Winter Grain Conditions--
Afghanistan is experiencing the fourth year of below-normal precipitation in the winter grain production areas. Additionally, above- normal temperatures may be lowering already reduced irrigation water. Without additional precipitation, winter wheat production shows little likelihood of rebounding from the record-low harvest in 2001.

Mar 22 2002 | Central Asia: Favorable Early-Season Conditions
Near-normal amounts of winter precipitation have helped to ease the three-year drought in parts of Central Asia and improved prospects for 2002/03 winter grains. In western Uzbekistan, southern Turkmenistan, and southern Tajikistan -- three areas that have been particularly hard-hit by the persistent dryness -- beneficial precipitation has resulted in an early green-up of native grasslands. While improved vigor of natural vegetation does not guarantee subsequent favorable conditions for grain crops, mid-March moisture conditions are likely the best in three years in these chronically drought-affected regions.

May 10 2002 | Uzbekistan: Improved Prospects for 2002/03 Grain Output
Beneficial rainfall throughout the winter and spring has boosted production prospects for wheat production in northern Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan) following three years of drought. The USDA estimates 2002/03 wheat production at 3.6 million tons for Uzbekistan (against 3.4 million last year), 1.3 (1.25) million in Kyrgyzstan, 1.2 (1.2) million in Turkmenistan, and 0.3 (0.2) million in Tajikistan. Wheat comprises nearly 90 percent of total grain area in northern Central Asia.

Jul 25 2002 | Afghanistan: Limited Improvement in Spring Harvested Grain
Cumulative rainfall in the agricultural zones of Afghanistan remained below normal for the fourth consecutive year. However, the timing and distribution of spring rains appears to have benefited the winter grain crop. Although there is relative improvement this year in agricultural areas, as indicated by satellite imagery, the compounding effect of dry weather and higher temperatures continues to severely restrict food production. Wheat is the main food crop, accounting for more than three-quarters of food grain production. Current wheat production for 2001/02 is at a historical low. Production in 2002/03 will not meet total domestic need. Harvesting was completed by early July, with the higher elevations finishing last

Nov 15 2002 | Afghanistan: Grain Production Recovers After Three Years of Drought
Improved weather during the 2002/03 winter and summer seasons contributed to a recovery in Afghanistans grain output in key growing areas, following three years of drought. The 2003/04 crop season began with planting of winter grains in October. Early indications point to continued improvement of growing conditions in the northern provinces. The southern and southeastern provinces reflect very dry conditions, similar to the start of last years winter grain season.

Feb 27 2003 | Afghanistan: Heavy Rains Arrive but More Needed
Heavy rain and snow fell from February 14 through February 17, 2003 providing widespread relief to Afghanistan and causing flooding in some areas. Additional rainfall this past week was concentrated in the northeast portion of the country. However, estimated seasonal precipitation remains far below normal but better than last year for much of Afghanistan. Regional rainfall deficits are greatest in the southern and western regions where long-term drought persists.

Apr 15 2003 | Uzbekistan: Winter Grain Conditions
Uzbekistan's winter wheat crop, planted last fall for harvest in June, has benefited from favorable March weather. Winter grains broke dormancy and resumed vegetative growth later than usual this year because of below-normal February temperatures, but warm weather and generous rainfall during the past month have enabled the crop to compensate for a slow start. Vegetative indices, a measure of crop vigor derived from AVHRR satellite imagery, indicate that crop growth during the first half of March was less vigorous than at the same time last year (see graphs). Crop development had advanced by the end of the month, but vegetative indices indicate that the crop growth in late March was less vigorous than in both 2002 and 2001. Despite the delayed resumption of spring growth, winter grain conditions are described as good by local observers. Abundant snowfall replenished irrigation reserves, and agricultural officials suggest that wheat output could match last year's record level.

Jun 13 2003 | Afghanistan: Crop Condition Update
The growing season began last September with some optimism following the previous seasons recovery in wheat production after several years of drought. Improved weather has continued into this season ending drought conditions in the northern part of the country. Higher area is reported to have been planted this year as a wet autumn in most growing areas likely encouraged farmers to increase acreage. The major wheat producing regions are the North, North East, West and South West.

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