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Cablegate: Iraq Agriculture: Rain Fuels Expectation of Normal Grain

VZCZCXRO8195
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3799 3390841
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040841Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0685
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003799

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS TO USDA/FAS OGA GRIFFIN, SHEAN
STATE ALSO PASS TO USDA/FAS OCRA ALLEN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON ETRD IZ
SUBJECT: IRAQ AGRICULTURE: RAIN FUELS EXPECTATION OF NORMAL GRAIN
PRODUCTION

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.

1. (SBU) Substantial general, at times locally very heavy, rain
arrived 29 November, providing much needed moisture for rain-fed
wheat and barley production in the 2009/10 crop year. Based on
accumulated rainfall data from the Ministry of Agriculture, this
event provided ample moisture for seeding and germination of dry
land wheat and barley production from Ninawa Province in the north
through the central provinces of Iraq. MoA is extremely pleased and
relieved with the arrival of rain, especially following the severe
drought experienced in Iraq for the 2008/2009 crop. MoA reported
rainfall totals are listed in paragraph 4.

2. (SBU) FAS/Baghdad preliminary analysis indicates this rainfall
is sufficient to maintain a forecast of normal wheat and barley
production, 2.0 and 1.0 million metric tons respectively, for the
2009/10 marketing year as of this date. Additional rainfall for the
rain fed grain areas will still be required to bring this forecast
to reality.

3. (SBU) Rice production remains a question of how much irrigation
water will be allocated for the crop. A decision by the Ministry of
Water Resources (MoWR) has yet to be publicized. However, Iraqi
reservoir levels are reported to be below those of the previous crop
season, when MoWR restricted the application of irrigation water for
rice production. Local analysts expect MoWR to again restrict water
availability for rice irrigation based on reported reservoir
levels.

4. (SBU) According to Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) officials,
rainfall accumulations were recorded as follows:

PROVINCE LOCALE REPORTED RAINFALL 29-30 Nov
(mm)
Bagdad Baghdad 42.1
Baghdad Airport 5.8
Ninawa Mosul 32.8
Ninawa Sinjar 0.8
Ninawa Rabiaa 7.9
Ninawa Telaafar 11.0
Salah ad Din Tikrit 11.3
Salah ad Din Samarraa 18.0
Ta'mim Kirkuk 5.3
Ta'Mim Tuzkhurmato 12.4
Ta'Mim Chumchama l4.3
Wasit Al-Hay 14.5
Wasit Al-Azzizia 23.8
Wasit Badra 34.8
Maysan Omara 20.4
Maysan Ali Al-Gharbi 23.2
Dahuk Dahuk 38.0
Dahuk Zakho 36.6
Dahuk Makhmur 18.2
Karbal' Karbala 1.1
Najaf Najaf 0.5
Qadisiyah Diwaniyah 8.3
Al Anbar Ramadi 6.1
Basrah Al-Faw 0.7
Babil Hilla 1.8

SOURCE: MoA Unpublished Data
CROCKER

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