Argentina Crop Acreage


Argentina To Produce 53 mt Of Soybeans In 2009-10

The big change in Argentina in 2009-10 is going to be the soybean crop. It is expected that Argentine farmers will switch some of the corn acreage into soybean production. It is also expected that some of the wheat acreage that was not planted will also go into additional soybeans. Additionally, there will be less double crop soybeans and more full season soybeans due to drastic reductions in the wheat acreage. Soybeans are favored over corn because they are cheaper to plant; they are planted later in the spring (November is the main planting month) allowing more time for the soil moisture to recharge, and the federal government doesn't restrict the exports of soybeans. Granted, the export tax is higher for soybeans (35%) and lower for corn, but the government is always trying to restrict corn exports while they have a hands-off policy concerning soybean exports.

Therefore, it is estimated that Argentine farmers will plant 19.0 million hectares of soybeans in 2009-10, which would represent an increase of 1.5 million hectares over last year's acreage (17.5 million hectares) or a 9% increase. The Argentine soybean crop is estimated at 53.0 million tons, or 21 million tons more than the drought afflicted crop of 2008-09. The nationwide yield is estimated at 2,789 kg/ha or 40.4 bu/ac. These estimates are based on a return of more normal weather to Argentina due to El Nino conditions in the eastern Pacific. Generally, an El Nino results in better than average rainfall in southern Brazil and Argentina, but as always; the growing season weather is yet to be determined.

The 2009-10 Argentine corn crop is expected to be very disappointing. It is estimated that the 2009-10 Argentine corn acreage could be as low as 2.0 million hectares, which would be 19% less than last year's 2.46 million hectares and 25% below the five-year average of 2.7 million hectares. The total 2009-10 Argentine corn crop is estimated at 14.5 million tons, which is 1.5 million tons more than the very disappointing 2008-09 crop.

Argentina Becoming A Monocrop Country Of Only Soybeans

Argentina is rapidly turning into a country with one crop - soybeans. Currently, the Argentine soybean acreage is estimated at 19 million hectares and the corn acreage is estimated at 2 million hectares. In other words, the soybean acreage is 9 times more than the corn acreage and there are indications that the corn acreage may go even lower and that the soybean acreage may go higher. It would not be a surprised if the soybean acreage ends up 10 times larger than the corn acreage before planting is complete!

The farmers in Argentina realize that this is not a good agronomic practice. If they continue to plant only soybeans year after year, it is going to result in increased diseases, increase pest pressures, higher production costs and lower yields. Everybody knows this including the policy makers in the federal government. It just shows what a warped policy the federal government has adopted in Argentina in respect to agriculture.