GIEWS Country Brief: Mexico 02-April-2020

News and Press Release
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  • Winter 2020 crop conditions reportedly favourable

  • Plantings of 2020 winter crops declined due to low irrigation water availability

  • Cereal 2019 output estimated at slightly below‑average level

  • Cereal imports in 2019/20 marketing year forecast at record highs

  • Prices of beans and rice higher year on year

Winter 2020 crop conditions reportedly favourable

The 2020 winter season maize (minor) and wheat (main) crops are at flowering and grain‑filling stages and will be harvested from mid‑April. The increased rainfall amounts since November 2019 favoured the development of the crops and, according to satellite imagery, crops are generally in good conditions as of mid‑March. Cool temperatures in the January‑February period also contributed to the favourable development of the wheat crop.

Plantings of 2020 winter crops declined due to low irrigation water availability

The planted area of the 2020 minor maize crop and the main wheat crop contracted during the previous four years, except in 2019, when plantings rebounded due to favourable weather conditions at planting time. However, the 2020 first season sowings lowered due to the year‑on‑year decline in irrigation water availability in the main reservoirs during the land preparation and planting periods. In the key producing departments of Sinaloa (minor maize) and Sonora (main wheat), the ongoing crops are cultivated almost entirely under irrigation. In Sinaloa, limited water availability during this season instigated farmers’ shift to plant beans that are more resistant to drier conditions compared to maize.

The Ministry of Agriculture continues to support smallholder farmers by buying maize, beans, wheat (for bread), rice and fresh milk at fixed prices that are higher than the market prices. The guaranteed programme is applicable to the main season maize crop (only those rainfed and up to 5 hectares per farmer), to be planted from April, as it is mostly grown by smallholder farmers. It also applies to both wheat seasons, as the country is highly dependent on imports. In addition, the Ministry will implement guaranteed prices for medium‑sized farms (up to 50 hectares) of Sinaloa, Sonora and Tamaulipas departments, key producing regions of irrigated maize crops of the current minor season.