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March 27, 2018

Argentina Corn 13.3% Harvested, Rains Disappoint Again

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

The problem with the corn estimate is the same as the problem with the soybean estimate. In a situation such as this, where is the bottom of the estimates? Unfortunately, we will not know the answer to that question until all the corn is harvested. Probably the last 20% of the corn crop in Argentina will not be harvested until at least the middle of May. The later corn is expected to be lower yielding than the early corn, so the most disappointing corn may be the last corn harvested. Therefore, there is a high probability that my estimate will decline further.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is reporting that 13.3% of the corn was harvested as of late last week. The most advanced harvest is in Entre Rios where more than half of the corn has been harvested. In the northern and southern core regions, the corn is 30% to 50% harvested. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is now estimating the corn yield thus far at 7,240 kg/ha or 111.4 bu/ac. This represents an increase of 10 bu/ac compared to last week and it is probably a function of where the corn has been harvested.

The corn in general is 34% mature with the early planted corn 62% mature and the late planted corn mainly filling grain. The corn in general is 75% rated poor to very poor with 90% of the crop rated short to very short on soil moisture. The later planted corn is doing worse than the early planted corn, which is the same case for soybeans.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange lowered their Argentine corn estimate 2 million tons to 32.0 million. Corn yields are also highly variable, with some areas reporting as much as 20% of the crop abandoned and other areas with very high corn yields. One such lucky area is the municipality of Corral de Bustos in Cordoba where corn yields have been reported as high as 14,000 kg/ha or 215 bu/ac.

Temperatures dropped to near freezing earlier last week in Cordoba, San Luis, Buenos Aires, and western Santa Fe. There is a concern that these low temperatures may slow down the grain filling process making the crop even more vulnerable to potential frosts in the future.