GIEWS Country Briefs: Iraq 27-April-2011

News and Press Release
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Reference Date: 27-April-2011


  • Uncertain prospects for 2011 winter crops due to dry weather conditions during the growing season

  • Imports of cereals in 2010/11 (July/June) are forecast at 4.9 million tonnes compared to 5.2 million tonnes in 2009/10

Uncertain prospects for 2011 winter crops Harvesting of 2011 winter wheat and barley crops is about to start in irrigated areas in the south. Production prospects are still uncertain because, despite some recent beneficial rainfall in northern rain-fed areas, the season has been characterized by late and erratic rains which negatively affected crop planting and establishment especially in key producing governorate of Ninevah. In southern and central irrigated areas, crops often suffered the lack of adequate and timely irrigation due to reduced water level in main rivers Euphrates and Tigris as well as the high soil salinity.

Aggregate output of the 2010 wheat and barley crops, harvested last summer, is estimated at about 3 million tonnes, compared to 1.9 and 1.7 million tonnes respectively obtained in 2009 and 2008 drought-affected years. The good performance of 2010 winter grains was mainly due to almost ideal weather conditions in northern rain-fed Governorates that, despite some localized losses due to an infestation of yellow rust, led to very high yields.

Wheat imports expected to decrease in 2010/11 Cereal import requirements in marketing year 2010/11 (July/June) are forecast at 4.7 million tonnes, including about 3.4 million tonnes of wheat and 1.2 million tonnes of rice. This compares with higher import levels of 5.2 million tonnes in the drought-affected 2009/10 marketing year but still higher than the previous five years average to meet the increasing national food and feed demand.