last release: April 2016
The crop condition map, kindly provided by the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative (GEOGLAM), synthesizes information for all four AMIS crops in major growing areas. Assessments are based on a combination of national and regional crop analyst inputs along with earth observation data. Crops that are in other than favourable conditions are displayed on the map with their crop symbol.
Crop conditions at a glance
- Wheat: In the northern hemisphere, conditions continue to be largely favourable for the winter wheat crop, which is resuming vegetative growth following winter dormancy. Conditions in Ukraine have improved since last month however some concern remains over the poor establishment in the fall. The southern hemisphere is currently out of season.
- Maize: In the southern hemisphere, conditions continue to be relatively favourable, with the notable exception of South Africa, where they remain poor over the western production regions despite recent rains. The northern hemisphere is still largely out of season with the exception of India, Mexico and China where conditions are favourable.
- Rice: El Niño continues to cause concern and impact conditions in southeast Asia, especially in Thailand. Conditions in India deteriorated due to unfavourable moisture levels while in the other countries they remain generally favourable.
- Soybeans: In the southern hemisphere, conditions remain generally favourable. However, in Brazil concern remains due to reduced rainfall in the northern and northeastern regions. The northern hemisphere is currently out of season.
El Niño declining
The ongoing El Niño continues to decline from its peak strength in late 2015, with neutral conditions expected by June. According to several UN agency estimates, it has already resulted in 60 million people affected by droughts, floods and extreme weather and its aftermath impact on food security is expected to continue well into 2017. Late arriving rains in Southern Africa this past month provided relief for pastures and water supplies, but are too late to mitigate widespread and severe drought impacts on crop production. Significant precipitation also arrived in March in Central Asia, likewise later than usual, in this case improving summer water supply prospects for important areas of irrigated agriculture in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Drought is expected to continue through June in Southeast Asia and across northern South America, including northeast Brazil, while in the same period southeast Brazil and Uruguay should see continuation of above average rainfall. No El Niño impacts are anticipated in the main summer growing season (June-July-August) of North America, Europe, Russia, China, and India. Thereafter, neutral conditions could persist through the last quarter of 2016, or there is a possibility of transition to La Niña. Odds of reverting to El Niño are low. A review of past El Niño events and model projections for October-December 2016 puts the probabilities at approximately 50 percent for La Niña, 40 percent for neutral, and 10 percent for El Niño.