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August 2016 CropWatch bulletin (Vol. 16, No. 3)

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August 2016 CropWatch bulletin released. This most recent CropWatch bulletin focuses on crops that have already been harvested in 2016 as well as those that were growing between April and July, to be harvested later this year. The bulletin covers prevailing weather conditions, resulting crop condition, size of cultivated areas, and global food production, paying special attention to the thirty major agricultural countries and maize, rice, wheat, and soybean crops. For China, regional conditions and an update on pests and diseases are presented, along with new sections on trade prospects for major crops and an outlook for domestic crop prices. Other focus areas for this bulletin are the drought in Morocco and agriculture in Southwest Asia.
Key messages from the report:


This CropWatch bulletin summarizes global crop condition developments and agroclimatic factors from April 1 to July 31 2016. 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). (See also Annex C for more information about these zones.)

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 2016 production estimates for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States are provided in Annexes A and B.

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. Specifically, this chapter includes a brief overview of the agroclimatic and agronomic conditions over the monitoring period (section 4.1), 2016 crop production estimates (4.2), pest and diseases monitoring (4.3), trade prospects for major crops (4.4), an outlook for domestic prices (4.5), and analyses by region (4.6). Additional information on the agroclimatic indicators for agriculturally important Chinese provinces are listed 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. This issue includes an updated production outlook for 2016 (5.1), a closer look at the situation in Morocco (5.2), a focus on agriculture in Southwest Asian countries (5.3), and 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. 2016 Production estimates

Annex B includes tables with 2016 production estimates for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, 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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