Negative cereal yield outlook in Maghreb due to long-lasting drought

Morocco and Algeria faced challenges with wheat and barley production due to drought conditions, leading to below-average forecasts

In the western countries of North Africa, cereal yield potential was severely affected by drought, in large parts of Morocco and the northwestern regions of Algeria, the latest Monitoring Agricultural Resources (MARS) report showed on Monday May 27.

Rainfall in March arrived too late to prompt a recovery in these regions.

Barley and wheat production in Morocco performed badly in most of the main producing regions. Drought conditions hampered crop growth and development from emergence to the vegetative phase.

Moroccan wheat production was forecast 29% below the five-year average at 2.98 million tonnes and barley production 27% below average at 971,000 tonnes.

In the central and eastern coastal regions of Algeria, abundant rainfall in February and wide availability of irrigation enabled crops to recover from the preceding dry conditions to above-average biomass accumulation levels.

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Crop failures also observed for western regions

But high probabilities of crop failures were also observed for western regions, which similarly to Morocco experienced a long-lasting seasonal drought, resulting in widespread crop failures.

Algerian wheat production was forecast at 2.3 million tonnes, 23% below the five-year average, while barley production was projected at 1.1 million tonnes, 8% below long-term-average.

In Tunisia, evenly distributed rainfall in February and early March, coupled with warm temperatures, sustained above-average crop growth throughout the review period.

MARS expected Tunisian wheat production to be 1.16 million tonnes, 2% below the long-term average, with barley production at 370,000 tonnes, 34% below average.

In Libya, heatwaves during flowering hampered crop growth in the western coast belt area, while average to above-average biomass accumulation was observed in the main agricultural region in the northeast.

Favorable growing conditions have prevailed in the main cereal-producing regions of Egypt.

Egyptian wheat production was forecast 4% above the long-term average at 9.15 million tonnes as a result, while barley production was forecast 4% below the average at 96,000 tonnes.

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