FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Dry and hot weather negatively affected 2012 maize prospects but an average crop still expected
Production of 2011 wheat below last year’s level still above average
Exports of maize in 2012/13 (March/February) may decline slightly
Dry weather conditions reduce 2012 maize prospects but an average production still forecast
Sowing of the 2012 maize crop is virtually completed in the main growing provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Pampa and Santa Fe. Dry and hot weather conditions from the second week of December to early January negatively affected developing crops. Early planted crops (September and first half of October), were the most affected as the heat wave hit crops during the flowering period. Rains from the second week of January brought some relief to crops, but were too late to avoid yield reductions. The area planted is estimated around the good level of last year but lower than expected at the beginning of the season. Assuming regular precipitation in the coming weeks, FAO tentatively forecasts the 2012 maize crop, to be harvested from March, at 21.4 million tonnes. This is 7 percent down from the record level of 2011, but still some 4 percent above the average of the last five years.
Early planted sorghum was also affected by dry weather and high temperatures. However, in general, this crop is more resistant to heat than maize and has showed signs of recovery after the precipitation of the past weeks. If good rains continue, an above average output could still be obtained.
Planting operations of soya-beans in the main growing areas of Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Santa Fe are about to be concluded. The planted area is estimated similar to the high levels of the previous year but dry weather has negatively affected yield potential. However, a recovery of the crop could be expected if more rains are received in the next weeks.