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May 2023 CropWatch Bulletin (Vol.23, No.2)

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May 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 January to April 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, an updated estimate of trade prospects (import/export) of major crops. The focus section reports on the estimate by CropWatch for maize, rice, wheat and soybeans production in 2023, recent disaster events with an impact on agriculture, the possibility of an El Niño event and the impact of regional conflict on world food supply.
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This CropWatch bulletin summarizes global crop condition developments and agroclimatic factors from January 1 to April 30 of 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 crop production for 2023, disaster events and 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 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), maximum vegetation condition index (VCIx), and minimum vegetation health index (VHIn)—to describe crop and environmental conditions in six global 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, chapter 3 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

After a brief overview of the agroclimatic and agronomic conditions in China over the reporting period (section 4.2), Section 4.3 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. Section 4.4 describes trade prospects (import/export) of major crops. 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 food production prediction for 2023 (section 5.1), as well as sections on recent disaster events (section 5.2), and an update on El Niño or La Niña (5.3).

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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