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February 2023 CropWatch Bulletin (Vol.23, No.1)

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February 2023 CropWatch Bulletin is based mainly on current remote sensing inputs in addition to detailed and spatially accurate reference data about crops and their management. Focusing on the months of October 2022 to January 2023, chapters cover global, national, and regional level agroclimatic conditions and the condition of crops that were growing during this time. For China, the bulletin presents crop conditions for each of seven key agro-ecological zones. The focus section reports on global crop production index, the production outlook of major cereal and oil crops countries in the Southern Hemisphere and some tropical and sub-tropical countries, regional conflict and recent disaster events and an update on El Niño or La Niña.
Key messages from the report:


This CropWatch bulletin summarizes global crop condition developments and agroclimatic factors from October 1st,2022 to January 31st, 2023 through 4 zoom in from a global overview of agroclimatic indicators (Chapter 1) to detailed descriptions of crop and environmental conditions in large production zones (Chapter 2), to individual country analyses covering 44 major producers and exporters including agro-ecological zones (Chapter 3) and China (Chapter 4). A special focus section is included in Chapter 5, presents global crop production index, crop production for 2023, disaster events and an update on El Niño or La Niña. This first part of the report includes the cover, table of contents, abbreviations, a short overview of the different sections of the bulletin and executive summary.

Chapter 1. Global agroclimatic patterns

Chapter 1 describes the CropWatch Agroclimatic Indicators (CWAIs) rainfall (RAIN), temperature (TEMP), and radiation (RADPAR), along with the agronomic indicator for potential biomass (BIOMSS) in 105 global Monitoring and Reporting Units (MRU). RAIN, TEMP, RADPAR and BIOMSS are compared to their average value for the same period over the last fifteen years (called the “average”). Indicator values for all MRUs are included in Annex A table A.1. For more information about the MRUs and indicators, please see Annex B and online CropWatch resources at www.cropwatch.com.cn. Compared to the previous bulletin, some of the larger MRU with several different phenology and agroclimatic conditions have been subdivided. Thus, the number of MRU wad increased by 40 in this bulletin.

Chapter 2. Crop and environmental conditions in major production zones

Chapter 2 presents the same indicators—RAIN, TEMP, RADPAR, and BIOMSS— as those used in Chapter 1, and combines them with the agronomic indicators—cropped arable land fraction (CALF), maximum vegetation condition index (VCIx), and minimum vegetation health index (VHIn)— to describe crop condition in six Major Production Zones (MPZ): West Africa, North America, South America, South and Southeast Asia, Western Europe, and Central Europe to Western Russia. (See also Annex B 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 44 key countries that represent the global major producers and exporters or otherwise are of global or CropWatch relevance. First, the overview section (3.1) pays attention to all countries worldwide, to provide some spatial and thematic detail to the overall features described in section 1.1. In section 3.2, more detail is provided for each of the CropWatch monitored countries, including analyses by key agro-ecological zones within the country. Additional information about indicators per country is provided in Annex A.

Chapter 4. China

This chapter starts with a brief overview of the agro-climatic and agronomic conditions in China over the reporting period (section 4.1). Next it describes the situation by region, 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 (4.2). 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

Building on the CropWatch analyses presented in chapters 1 through 4, this chapter presents first the global crop production index as of January 2023 (section 5.1), early outlook of crop production for 2023 (section 5.2), sections on recent regional conflict and disaster events (section 5.3), and an update on El Niño (section 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 Mapping and Reporting Units (MRU); the forty-three 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. Quick reference guide to CropWatch indicators, spatial units and methodologies

Annex B 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 and methodology to determine the severity of the occurrence.
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