Corn production forecast raised 6.1% for 2016-17.
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Favorable weather conditions in Mexico during the current growing season have benefited corn and rice production in the country, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report posted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service on Feb. 8.

Corn production for the 2016-17 market year has been raised 6.1%, to 26 million tonnes, according to the FAS.

“According to official sources, benign weather conditions during the growing stage favorably impacted yields and reduced the total area damaged for the 2016 spring/summer crop cycle, in comparison to the previous spring/summer crop cycle,” the FAS said. “Based on preliminary official information, as a result of the relatively favorable weather conditions across much of Mexico’s rain-fed corn production areas, the total area damaged for the 2016 spring/summer corn crop cycle is estimated at less than 90,000 hectares, compared to 493,000 hectares registered during the crop cycle last year. Another factor influencing the production estimate increase was higher-than-expected planted area. In Guanajuato, for example, 88,000 more hectares of corn were planted instead of sorghum (18% higher than the same crop cycle of 2016), due to the prevalence of the of the sugarcane aphid (SCA) pest infestation on the sorghum crop. Also, the new corn production estimate includes the planting intentions of the current 2016-17 fall/winter crop cycle, which is estimated to reach production of 8.3 million tonnes.”

The forecast for total consumption of corn also was raised, to 38.1 million tonnes from 36.9 million tonnes in 2015-16. The FAS said indications are that feed consumption likely will shift from sorghum to corn.

Favorable weather in the current growing season has benefited rice production. 
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The forecast for rice production in the 2016-17 market year also has been raised, to 277,000 tonnes from 227,000 tonnes in 2015-16.

“Favorable weather conditions in rain-fed areas, mainly in Campeche and Tabasco, and consequently improved yields, have contributed to increase the production estimate,” the FAS said. “In addition, in Campeche approximately 33% more acreage was planted than the same crop cycle a year earlier.”

Meanwhile, wheat harvested area and production estimates for the 2016-17 market year were revised downward from earlier USDA estimates. Area harvested was forecast at 712,000 hectares, down from an earlier forecast of 720,000 hectares, while production was forecast at 3.863 million tonnes, down from an earlier estimate of 3.9 million tonnes.