European Union (EU) 2015/16 corn production is forecast at 62.3 million tons, 3.5 million tons below last month and 12.9 million tons below last year’s record crop of 75.0 million.
This is according to figures from the USDA report: 'World Agricultural Production (Aug 12)'. Yield is forecast at 6.58 tons per hectare, 5.2 percent below last month, 17 percent below last year and 6.2 percent below the 5-year average. The area is estimated at 9.5 million hectares.
After targeting Western Europe during June, unfavourable conditions migrated east in July, most notably in South-Central and South-Eastern Europe. A punishing heatwave with daily temperatures above 35°C (95°F) was accompanied by increased dryness.
July is critical month
July is a critical period for corn in Europe because the plant is typically silking and tasseling. High temperatures (>35°C) during this sensitive period can cause severe pollination problems. In addition, a lack of summer precipitation in southern Europe resulted in very low soil moisture levels, limiting grainfill and reducing kernel size.
France to lower predictions
France, the EU's largest corn producer, has released several crop reports during the past couple of months indicating declines of corn conditions. While half of the French crop is irrigated, heat remains a major hindrance. The estimated corn crop in France is lowered 0.5 million tons to 14.0 million. This 0.5-million-ton cut to the French crop follows an even larger 1.4-million-ton cut last month. Italian corn is estimated down 1.0 million tons to 6.2 million as extreme heat scorched northern Italy's agricultural Po Valley with record high temperatures. Germany received rainfall during July; its crop was adjusted up (0.15 million).
Grain predictions Eastern-Europe
Romania's crop is estimated down 0.9 million tons to 9.7 million tons, with over 20 days above 35°C since June 1 in the southern region, and dryness in the west. Hungary is estimated down 0.6 million tons due to heat and dryness while other reductions in the EU included Croatia (by 0.3 million), Bulgaria (0.2 million), and Austria (0.2 million). Serbia, while outside the EU boundaries, is a significant European corn producer. Serbia's 2015/16 corn harvest is estimated to be down 1.0 million from last month to 5.7 million tons. Serbia's principal agricultural region Voivodina, located in its north, experienced its driest July in at least 35 years. Production in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina (also not an EU member state), is estimated to be 0.1 million lower than last month at 0.65 million tons.
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