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January 17, 2012

Rain Aids Development of Soybeans in Argentina

Last week's rain will help the development of the soybean crop especially in areas where they received some of the larger amounts. How much the crop will recuperate is in direct proportion to the amount of rainfall received last week.

Approximately 2.5 million hectares of soybeans remain to be planted in Argentina. About three quarters of the unplanted soybeans are located in the northern production areas and one quarter is spread throughout the remainder of the country. In the areas where the heaviest rains fell, certainly they will now go ahead and plant the reaming soybeans. In areas where the rainfall was the lightest, I think the majority of the soybeans will be planted, but maybe not quite all.

The next rain event in Argentina will be important for those areas that did not receive good amounts of rain last week. In some of the dryer areas, they are still probably going to need another rain to insure germination. There is still time to plant soybeans in Argentina because soybeans can be planted until the end of January in most of Argentina and into early February in the far northern provinces.

While the soybean planted acreage is yet to be resolved, I think it is safe to say that there will be more soybeans abandoned this year than in a normal year. So, even if farmers switch some of their remaining corn acres to additional soybeans, that may be counteracted by higher abandonment and some double crop soybeans not getting planted.

The condition of the soybeans in Argentina ranges from good to very poor depending on the rainfall thus far during the growing season and the stage of development of the crop. The earlier planted soybeans suffered the most because they were flowering during the heat and dry weather. The later planted soybeans probably have the best chance of recuperating if good rains continue to fall over the next two months. The soybeans that are now being planted in Argentina are going to have a difficult time achieving normal yields due to how late they are being planted and the need for good weather during their entire growing cycle, something that has not yet occurred this growing season.

Most estimates of the Argentine soybean crop will continue to decline unless there are good rains with widespread coverage within the next week or two.