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May 2015 CropWatch bulletin (Vol. 15, No. 2)

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May 2015 CropWatch bulletin released. The current CropWatch bulletin is based mainly on remotely sensed data. It focuses on crops that were either growing or harvested between January and April 2015. The bulletin covers prevailing weather conditions, including extreme factors, as well as crop condition and size of cultivated areas, paying special attention to the major worldwide producers of maize, rice, wheat, and soybean. The bulletin also describes current conditions in China and presents the likely global production prospects for crops to be harvested throughout 2015. A special focus section describes agricultural developments in South America.
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This CropWatch bulletin summarizes global crop condition developments and agroclimatic factors from January 1 2015 to April 30 2015. Chapters 1 through 4 zoom in from a global overview of agroclimatic indicators (Chapter 1) to detailed descriptions of crop and environmental conditions in major production zones (Chapter 2) and individual country analyses covering 30 major producers and exporters (Chapter 3) and China (Chapter 4). A special focus section is included in Chapter 5. This first part of the report includes the cover, table of contents, abbreviations, and a short overview of the different sections of the bulletin.

Chapter 1. Global agroclimatic patterns

Chapter 1 describes the CropWatch agroclimatic indicators for rainfall (RAIN), temperature (TEMP), and radiation (RADPAR), along with the agronomic indicator for potential biomass (BIOMSS) for sixty-five global Mapping and Reporting Units (MRU). Indicator values for all MRUs are provided in Annex A.

Chapter 2. Crop and environmental conditions in major production zones

Chapter 2 presents the same indicators—RAIN, TEMP, RADPAR, and BIOMSS—used in Chapter 1 and combines them with agronomic indicators—cropped arable land fraction (CALF) and maximum vegetation condition index (VCIx)—to describe crop and environmental conditions in six global major production zones (MPZ).

Chapter 3. Main producing and exporting countries

Building on the global patterns presented in previous chapters, this chapter assesses the situation of crops in 30 key countries that represent the global major producers and exporters or otherwise are of global or CropWatch relevance. For each country, maps and figures present NDVI-based crop condition development, maximum VCI, and spatial NDVI patterns with associated NDVI profiles. Additional information about the various indicators by country and 2015 production estimates for Argentina, Brazil, and the United States are provided in Annexes A and B, respectively.

Chapter 4. China

Chapter 4 presents a detailed CropWatch analysis for China, focusing on the seven most productive agro-ecological regions of the east and south: Northeast China, Inner Mongolia, Huanghuaihai, Loess region, Lower Yangtze, Southwest China, and Southern China. The chapter present an overview of 2015 winter crops production estimates for China and detailed analyses for the individual regions. Additional information on the agroclimatic indicators for agriculturally important Chinese provinces are provided in table A.11 in Annex A.

Chapter 5. Focus and perspectives

This focus section complements CropWatch analyses presented in chapters 1 through 4 by presenting additional information about topics of interest to global agriculture. Section 5.1 presents the production outlook for 2015, while section 5.2 summarizes disaster events that took place during the reporting period. Sections 5.3 and 5.4 respectively focus on agricultural developments in South America (5.3) and provide an update on El Niño (5.4).

Annex A. Agroclimatic indicators

Tables in this Annex provide additional information about the agroclimatic indicators—RAIN, TEMP, and RADPAR—as well as BIOMSS for the various CropWatch spatial units. Those units include the Monitoring and Reporting Units (MRU); the thirty-one main producing and exporting countries; and regions or provinces within large countries—Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, and the United States; and China.

Annex B. 2015 Production estimates

Annex B includes tables with 2015 production estimates for Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.

Annex C. Quick reference guide to CropWatch indicators, spatial units, and production estimation methodology

Annex C presents a brief overview of the CropWatch indicators and spatial units (including the MRUs, MPZs, and countries), along with a description of the CropWatch production estimation methodology.
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