The USDA has forecast China’s 2017/18 corn production at 215.0 million tons, unchanged from last month but down 4.6 million or 2 percent from last year.
“Harvested area is estimated at 35.0 million hectares, unchanged from last month but down 5 percent from last year. Area has shown a downward trend in recent years, particularly in the Northeast, as farmers switched to alternative profitable crops such as soybeans, and rice, as well as returning land to pasture<” it said in its latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report.
Despite unseasonably warm and localised dry weather from April through June, satellite data indicate favourable soil moisture conditions and with no significant crop stress in several important corn-producing provinces in Northeast China and the North China Plain, the USDA said.
“In some regions, however, abnormally dry conditions may have slowed planting and early crop development, including Henan (9 percent of total corn production), Liaoning (7 percent), Hebei (8 percent), and Inner Mongolia (9 percent), as well as parts of Jilin (13 percent), and Shandong (10 percent),” the report said.
According to the report, corn is at advanced vegetative to early reproductive stages. Satellite-derived vegetation indices show that crop conditions are average across the important corn-producing provinces in Northeast China and the North China Plain.
August weather will be important for determining potential yield. During this period the crop typically advances through the critical stages of silking, tasseling, and grain-fill, the report said.