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February 20, 2019

Dry Weather in Southern Argentina starting to be a Concern

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

Argentina Soybeans - The recent weather in Argentina has turned dryer, which is good to a point. It allowed some of the saturated areas to dry out, but on the other hand, the dry weather is resulting in some moisture stresses developing in the southern production areas, especially southern Buenos Aires and La Pampa. The dry weather in southern Argentina needs to be watched going forward.

In their weekly report, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange rated the soybean crop as 10% poor to very poor and 54.3% as good to excellent, which on the whole is a slight improvement compared to last week. The soil moisture for the soybeans is rated 14.9% short to very short and 40.9% optimum to surplus, which is dryer than last week. Approximately 6% of the soybeans were rated as having surplus soil moisture compared to 10% last week. The soybeans in general are approximately 18% filling pods.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange left their soybean estimate unchanged at 53.0 million tons, but they indicated that they may lower their soybean acreage due to the prior flooding. Outside of the saturated areas, the soybeans are expected to have good yields.

The Rosario Exchange last week estimated the Argentine soybean production at 52 million tons, which was an increase from their prior estimate. They estimated that 700,000 hectares of soybeans were lost due to prior flooding. They reported that the early planted soybeans are doing better than the later planted soybeans, which were more impacted by the heavy rains.

Argentina Corn - Argentine farmers have finally finished planting the last 100,000 hectares of their 2018/19 corn crop. Corn planting started in mid-September and it is ending in mid-February - a five month long planting season! Here in the U.S., it would be the equivalent of the U.S. corn planting starting in mid-March and ending in mid-August. At the same time that farmers in northern Argentina are finishing their corn planting, farmers in central Argentina have already started to harvest their early planted corn.

The 2018/19 Argentine corn crop continues to be a hard one to estimate. The yields from the early planted corn in the core areas are going to be very good. On the other hand, the recent dry weather in the southern areas could negatively impact the later planted corn that is just now pollinating. And lastly, the yields of the very late planted corn in northern Argentina are a long way from being determined.

In their weekly report, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange rated the corn crop as 7.2% poor to very poor and 60.6% good to excellent, which is basically unchanged from last week. The soil moisture for the corn was rated 15.9% short to very short and 37.3% optimum to surplus, which is dryer than last week. Approximately 5% of the corn has surplus soil moisture compared to 7% last week. The corn in general is approximately 60% pollinating with the early planted corn 19% mature and the late planted corn 50% pollinating.