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November 1, 2016

2016/17 Argentina Planting Slows due to Wet and Cold Conditions

Argentina weather - There were heavy rains last week in western Buenos Aires, northern La Pampa, and southern Cordoba (where these three province meet), which resulted in localized flooding. There were also heavy rains further north in the province of Corrientes. Local officials in western Buenos Aires estimate that at least 300,000 hectares were flooded with other areas being saturated. If you combine all the areas of heavy rainfall last week, I would estimate that 300,000 to 500,000 hectares have probably been flooded.

There were probably a few hectares of corn that were flooded out and will need to be replanted, especially in the northern areas. Any wheat that was flooded will suffer significant losses if not a complete loss. Planting of the soybeans in the flooded areas will be delayed for several weeks.

The flooding is coming early in the growing season, which could help to minimize the losses, that is if there are no more heavy rains in the near future. It was also a colder than normal week last week in Argentina. Frosts were recorded in parts of Buenos Aires and La Pampa.

Argentina soybeans - The soybean planting in Argentina is probably 2-4% complete, but we don't know for sure because there have not been any nationwide surveys released. The average soybean planting for the first week of November is approximately 5%. The weather last week was not favorable for soybean planting, so planting is getting off to a slow start. For now, I am not too concerned because the main planting months are November and December.

Argentina corn - As a result, the prospects for the corn crop in Argentina are not quite as good this week as they appeared one or two weeks ago. Wet weather and cold temperatures have now slowed the corn planting to a slower than average pace. Farmers in Argentina only managed to plant 1% of their corn crop last week which is now estimated at 36% compared to an average of about 41%. The most advanced corn planting is in the core areas where 80-90% of the corn has been planted. In southern Argentina the corn planting is 20-50%, while in northern Argentina it is 0-15%.

Some of the northwestern areas are too dry to plant and farmers will probably now wait to plant their corn during the second phase of corn planting which will start in early December.

Farmers in Argentina generally do not like to plant corn during the month of November because if they did, the corn would be pollinating during January, which can be the hottest and driest time of the summer. The Argentine corn planting is currently at 36% and it will probably only advance about 2% per week until the end of November. In early December, the farmers will start on the second phase of corn plating which will terminate in late January.