December 19, 2017

Argentina Soy Planting on Pace, Corn Planting Extremely Slow

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Argentina soybeans - Farmers in Argentina had planted 63.5% of their soybeans as of late last week according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. This represents an advance of 10% for the week, which is a good week, but it is still 3% slower than last year.

In the core production areas, the soybeans are 85-90% planted with 20-60% planted in southern Argentina and 2-10% planted in northern Argentina. Dry conditions in parts of Argentina continue to slow the soybean planting and early plant development especially in northern Argentina. If the majority of the remaining soybeans are not planted within the next two weeks, the yields could start to suffer due to late planting.

There will end up being more double crop soybeans planted in Argentina this year due to more wheat acreage. Additionally, some of the full-season soybeans will be planted later than normal as well. The most advanced soybeans in Argentina are starting to flower and the crop is generally rated good to very good.

The National Agricultural and Livestock Institute (INTA) reported that during the month of November, rainfall was down 50-80% in the core production areas and that approximately 80% of the cropping area was dryer than normal before last weekend's rains. The dryness this year is more widespread than the localized dryness experienced at this time last year. The Argentine Office of Agricultural Risk (ORA) is forecasting a hotter and dryer than normal summer, but they also mentioned that the subsoil moisture could help to compensate for some of the dryness.

Argentina corn - The corn planting in Argentina this year continues to be exceptionally slow. As of late last week, farmers had only planted 45.3% of their intended corn acreage, which was up 5% for the week. This year's corn planting continues to be the slowest on record and farmers in Argentina probably will not finish planting their corn until later in January.

The earliest planted corn in Argentina is either pollinating or already in the milk stage and there are reports of some of the crop exhibiting moisture stress. The elevated temperatures have resulted in high rates of evapotranspiration, which has resulted in moisture stress. The Rosario Grain Exchange has already stated that they do not expect the yields this year to be as good as the last three years.

I am not a meteorologists, but it looks like La Nina will be in place for the entire South American growing season. If that turns out to be the case, then there is the potential for a hotter and dryer summer this year. The Rural Society of Rosario has already indicated that the dry weather has delayed planting and plant development for both soybeans and corn.

The corn planting pace will probably pick up with the recent rains Argentina received over the weekend, but the planting will still be approximately 10-14 days later than last year when the Argentine corn crop hit 50% planted on about December 10th.