Mexico Corn: Adequate Reservoir Levels Benefitting Winter Corn
USDA estimates Mexico’s 2016/17 corn production at a record 26.0 million metric tons, up slightly from last year’s record of 25.9 million tons. Harvested area is estimated at 7.5 million hectares, up 4 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 3.47 tons per hectare, down 4 percent from last year’s record of 3.60 tons per hectare.
Mexico is the seventh largest producer of corn in the world. Corn in Mexico is split into two seasons, the spring/summer crop (the main crop), accounting for approximately 75 percent of total production, followed by the fall/winter crop. The main crop is planted from April through August and relies predominantly on monsoon rainfall, as approximately 85 percent of the main crop is rainfed. Harvest for the main corn season begins in September and extends through February. Approximately 45 percent of the main-season corn is in the states of Jalisco, Chiapas and Mexico. Harvesting for the 2016/17 main crop is complete. On February 28, 2017, the Servicio de Información Agrialimentaria y Pesquera (SIAP) reported a production estimate for the 2016/17 main corn crop at 19.5 million tons, up 12 percent from the same time last year and up 18 percent from the 5-year average. The increase in production for the 2016/17 main corn crop resulted from favorable rainfall throughout the growing season and higher-than-expected planted area.
The fall/winter crop is planted from November through February and is mostly dependent on irrigation as its main water source. Harvest begins in mid-April and extends through July. Approximately 70 percent of the fall/winter corn is in Sinaloa. Because it is mostly irrigated, yields tend to be higher than main-season corn yields, ranging between 5 and 6 tons per hectare. Planting for the 2016/17 fall/winter corn progressed under favorable weather conditions and was concluded in February. According to SIAP on February 28, 2017, approximately 1.16 million hectares of winter corn was planted, down from 1.29 million hectares at this point last year. Irrigation levels remain adequate. On February 28, 2017 the Comisión Nacional Del Agua (CONAGUA) reported that water reservoir levels for Luis Donaldo Colosio and Miguel Hidalgo, the two main water reservoirs in Sinaloa, were at 78 percent and 69 percent of capacity, respectively. The Luis Donaldo Colosio water level increased from 66 percent at the same time last year, but the Miguel Hidalgo water level decreased slightly from 71 percent. These two reservoirs provide water for approximately 35 percent of Sinaloa’s total irrigated corn area.
Satellite-derived vegetative indices (NDVI) show crop vigor for corn in Sinaloa being higher than average, reflecting adequate reservoir levels and favorable weather. (For additional information, please contact Justin.Jenkins@fas.usda.gov).
Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.
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