South African farmers are expected to increase corn production 25% in 2015 due to higher corn prices and to make up for 2014's drought-damaged crop.
The latest USDA attache report also forecast 2015 corn exports will more than double to nearly 60 million bushels from 2014's nearly 24 million. South Africa corn competes in a small way with U.S. corn in global export markets.
Global Hot Spots, March 19, 2015: Difficult economy to cut Russia's beef, pork consumption
Wheat imports should increase 6% to nearly 70 million bushels because of increased consumption and less local production. Production has declined as farmers favor more profitable crops like canola, oats, corn and soybeans.
Argentina harvesting big soybean crop
About 5% of Argentina's soybeans have been harvested and analysts report the high yields in the central farm belt may offset losses in flood-damaged fields in the north. A record harvest is expected.
Showers have interrupted harvesting, but have not hurt yields, according to a Reuters report.
Argentina's soybean harvest is estimated locally to range from 56 million to 60 million metric tons, the report said. The country said last year's harvest was record 53.4 million metric tons.
USDA currently has the Argentina soybean crop at 56 million metric tons.
South Korea combats FMD in cattle, influenza in poultry
South Korea has devoted considerable resources to contain Foot & Mouth Disease in swine and cattle as well as High Pathogen Avian Influenza (HPAI) on poultry farms. While vaccinations and culling of affected animals and birds have proven effective in controlling mass spreading of the diseases, it has not resulted in eradication, according a USDA attache report.
Global Hot Spots, March 12, 2015: Argentina farmers launch three-day sales strike
The first case of FMD was reported in December and since then there have been 147 cases on swine farms and four on cattle farms. As a result, nearly 140,000 head of livestock have been culled.
There have been 133 case of HPAI as of March 18, resulting in 3.88 million head of poultry culled from 163 farms. Migrating wild birds are the suspected carriers and the Korean government said it expects more cases as migrations continue up to April.