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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The August edition of the JRC's Anomaly Hotspots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) assessment, which was published today, highlights hotspots in South-East Asia, Central America, the Middle East and parts of Africa.
In particular, heavy rains and storms are affecting the main rice crop in South East Asia, while Central America’s Dry Corridor countries report significant crop losses due to dry spells.
The assessment shows evidence of delays in rice planting and damage to standing crops during South East Asia’s monsoon season caused by heavy rainfall and storms.
Significant crop losses are reported for the “Dry Corridor” countries of Central America (covering the lowlands of the Pacific coastal area, and most of central pre-mountain region of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama). Crop conditions in Haiti and Cuba have also been affected by poor rainfall.
Summer crops in the several Middle Eastern countries show reduced biomass levels due to conflict and the lack of water for irrigation. Some summer crops have been banned in Iraq and Iran in order to save water resources.
In East and West Africa, crop and rangeland conditions are generally good due to above-average rainfall, but this has also lead to localized floods, mainly in Sudan (see the ASAP Special Alert: August 2018 - Floods affecting main crop production areas in Sudan). Western Mauritania and North Western Senegal experienced late season dryness as seasonal rainfall stopped earlier than usual.
Most countries of North Africa show above-average production levels, and conditions are also good in Southern Africa, where the winter wheat planting has recently been completed.