USDA revises India rice and corn production estimates higher

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates India’s 2018/19 rice production at 116.0 million metric tons (milled), up 5 percent from the previous estimate and up 3 percent from last year.

It said in its latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report that area planted is forecast at 44.5 million hectares, up 1 percent from last month and up 2 percent from last year.

“Yield is estimated at a record 3.91 metric tons per hectare, up about 1 percent from last year. Rice is primarily grown during the kharif season, which accounts for 85 percent of production, while the rabi season accounts for the remainder,” the report said.

Although rice is grown throughout India, the major growing areas are in the east. During the 2018 Southwest Monsoon season, the eastern rice area received normal monsoonal rains, unlike the other half of the country, the report aid, adding that satellite-derived MODIS NDVI analysis showed strong crop vigor in the kharif season.

Corn

The USDA forecast 2018/19 India corn production at 27.8 million metric tons, up nearly 7 percent from last month, but down 3 percent from last year.

Area is forecast at 9.2 million hectares (mha), unchanged from the previous forecast and down slightly from last year.

Yield is forecast at 3.02 metric tons per hectare, up nearly 7 percent from last month but down 3 percent from last year.

Corn is grown throughout the country and in both seasons. The kharif season, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of total production, is the largest while the rabi season accounts for the remainder.

In the primary corn areas, rain was more than sufficient, the report said, adding that the yield increase is due to beneficial growing conditions during the kharif season, according to the government of India. Additionally, USDA’s Agricultural Affairs office reported minimal damage from the fall armyworm for the kharif crop, the report said.

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