Zea mays, corn, is a graminean “originated and domesticated” by the indigenous peoples of central Mexico about 10,000 years ago. It was introduced in Europe after the conquest of America, in the seventeenth century. The Taíno Indians of the Caribbean called this grass with the name of mahís that means “what sustains life”, according to the definition that can be found on the Internet. It is the cereal with the highest volume of production in the world and exceeds wheat and rice, according to its annual production level. At the moment, its development acquired new forms even with the transgenic maize, in spite of the risks that this type of crop can have, but that have increased their production a lot worldwide and has been an exit for many cases of necessity in a large part of the poorest regions of the planet. In Argentina it is produced before it declared the end of Spanish rule in 1810 and after the independence of 1816.In order to understand the different corn seeds, the classification of E. Lewis Sturtevant is commonly used according to his book ‘Varieties of corn’ of 1899. In 1950 a classification was made by Walter Kugler and collaborators on the different varieties of corn In Argentina and in 1977 and 1978 the work of Lucio Solari and INTA (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria, by its acronym in Spanish )technicians was carried out, which carried out a complete study of the different varieties of maize in Argentine, after which it was concluded that we have 43 breeds of corn, with more than 1900 classifications of all kinds, all that research on corn seeds is stored in the Germplasm Bank of the Agricultural Experimental Station of INTA of Pergamino city, Buenos Aires.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the World Corn Production 2021/2022 would be 1,205.45 million tons, about 4.31 million tons more than last month’s projection. The World Corn Production for the 2020/21 campaign was 1,125.88 million tons. The 1,205.45 million tons estimated for this year could mean an increase of 84.57 million tons or 7.51% in corn production around the world.
In 2021, Brazil has consolidated itself as the 3rd largest corn producer in the world, and Argentina is in the fifth position.
Although Brazil and Argentina are still far from the first positions occupied by the United States and China, respectively, in 2021 both countries consolidated themselves as the third and fifth largest corn producers in the world, Brazil with production reaching 87 million tons, practically 20 million more than the European Union, occupying the fourth global position in corn production, and Argentina fifth position after the European Union with 50.5 million tons.
In 2022, corn prices are projected to drop by approximately 10% y/y due to an expected all-time record high global production, which is to reach 1.2B tonnes. This forecast is subject to a number of risks, such as volatile fertilizer and energy prices, high freight rates, biofuel policies and weather conditions.
Corn prices are forecast to ease in 2022 due to a sharp increase in global production. The world’s corn output is to soar by 7% y/y to a record 1.2B tonnes with higher crops in the U.S. and South America. Production in Brazil is expected to rise by 31% y/y to 114M tonnes, fully recovering from the last year’s 15%-drop caused by a drought. Argentine farmers are to harvest 54M tonnes of corn, 5% more than a year earlier. U.S. production will grow by 7% y/y to 384M tonnes.
Crop increases are also forecast in China, the E.U., Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa. Significant output growth is projected in Russia and Ukraine, where corn production is to rise by 8% y/y to 15M tonnes and by 39% y/y to 42M tonnes, respectively.
In the 2020/21 campaign, Argentina surpassed Brazil in exports and established itself as the second largest supplier worldwide, behind the United States. With exports of more than 40 Mt, Argentina supplied 22% of the world corn trade (185.8 Mt). In the 2021/22 business year, a significant growth in global corn trade is expected, amounting to 203.7 Mt, while local exports are estimated at 33.5 Mt, below what was exported in the previous campaign. Consequently, Argentina will lose market share this campaign, with an offer that will supply only 16% of international external demand. It is also expected that the country will once again rank as the third largest supplier of corn, surpassed by the United States and Brazil.
For its part, Brazil has consolidated itself as the 3rd largest corn exporter in the world, with 27.5 million tons of corn exported in 2021, which represents 32.5% of the total cereal produced in the country. This consolidated Brazil as the 3rd country that most exported corn in the last harvest, despite the damage caused by weather conditions in the 2nd corn harvest, which reduced exports by almost 20%, if compared to the 2019/20 harvest.
Brazilian corn production is expected to total 115.602 million tons in the 2021/22 season, an increase of 32.7% compared to the previous season, when 87.096 million tons were harvested. After a sharp drop in production in 2021, as a result of the delay in planting the 2nd crop and the lack of rain in the main producing Federation Units, a year within normality is expected, which will allow for the recovery of crops, even reaching a new national record.
With an area of 21.238 million hectares sown, it represents an increase of 6.5% over the previous year. Productivity is estimated at 5,443 kilograms per hectare, a gain of 24.6% over the previous season, of 4,367 kilograms per hectare.
For corn 1st crop, the estimate is for a production of 24.7 million tons, a decline of 3.8% compared to the previous month and 3.9% compared to the 2021 crop, despite the increase of 6, 9% in the area to be harvested. The average yield, on the other hand, shows a reduction of 10.1%. Although the rains arrived early in most of the country, starting the agricultural year at the right time, from the second half of the crop cycle onwards, there was a lack of rain in the South Region, which considerably reduced the production potential of this crop.
For corn 2nd crop, production is estimated at 87.2 million tons, an increase of 4.9% compared to the previous month and 40.4% compared to 2021, with growth of 6.8% in the area planted.
In the 2021 harvest, in most of the Federation Units that are important in the production of the cereal, the weather hampered the development of the second harvest crops. In addition, the agricultural year was delayed, shortening its “planting window”, which also helped to reduce production, as it left the crops more exposed to rainfall restrictions during the production cycle. For 2022, a more beneficial climate situation is expected for the second corn crop, when compared to 2021. The agricultural year was not delayed and soy planting was carried out, for the most part, at the ideal time, which favored the “planting window” for second crop corn. Production growth is expected in the main producing states.
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