December 4, 2012

Argentina Planting Continues to be Slowed by Wet Weather

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

As wet weather continues to slow the planting progress in Argentine, concerns are mounting that not all the intended corn acres in Argentina will actually get planted. In central Argentina, if the corn is not planted by about December 10th, farmers may have to consider switching those unplanted corn acres to additional soybean production instead. This is not a hard and fast date and it can vary depending on the location -PC earlier in southern Argentina and later in northern Argentina.

Currently the corn crop in Argentina is approximately 53% planted, which is an advance of 2% compared to a week earlier, but still 12% behind last year's pace. When you see reports about the advances made in planting the crops in Argentina, it is always good to remember the absolute numbers. The idea of planting progress in Argentina can be distorted because there are about 6 times more hectares of soybeans planted in Argentina compared to corn.

During this past week for example, the corn planted percentage increased 2.4%, which represented approximately 80,000 hectares of corn being planted. During the same period, farmers planted 8.6% more of their soybeans which represented approximately 1.7 million hectares of soybeans being planted. So during the week, farmers in Argentina planted about 20 times more hectares of soybeans than they did corn.

When thinking about how much is left to plant in Argentina, also keep in mind how much more soybeans are planted in Argentina compared to corn. Currently about 47% of the anticipated corn crop in Argentina still remains to be planted or about 1.6 million hectares (47% of 3,400,000). For soybeans, approximately 53% of the crop remains to be planted or about 10.8 million hectares (53% of 20,500,000). So, even though the percentages are about the same, there are more than six and a half times more soybeans left to be planted as compared to corn.

These acreage numbers are rough calculations because we still do not know how many acres of either crop will eventually be planted in Argentina.