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November 23, 2016

Planting Slow in Argentina, Weather Should Improve Late Week

Spring planting thus far in Argentina has been hindered by cool and wet weather. As of late last week, the 2016/17 Argentine soybean crop was 24% planted compared to an average of 33%. The 2016/17 corn crop was 40% planted compared to an average of 48%. The weather is expected to be move favorable for planting starting later this week as the temperatures warm up. Earlier this week, the temperatures dropped as low as 5°C in parts of southern and southeastern Buenos Aires province.

The province of Cordoba is a leading producer of corn and soybeans in Argentina and the Grain Exchange in Cordoba is estimating that the 2016/17 corn acreage in the province will increase 18% to 1.88 million hectares (4.6 million acres). In contrast, the soybean acreage in the province will decline 6% to 4.52 million hectares (11.1 million acres).

Heavy rains that fell during October are still causing some problems in the province. Most of the heavy rains fell in central and southern areas and there are still approximately 48,000 hectares that are flooded. The area is very flat and it takes a long time for water to drain away or infiltrate into the soil.

Farmers are switching some of their production from soybeans to corn because of the improved corn prices resulting from the elimination of export taxes on corn exported from Argentina. Additionally, farmers are also taking this opportunity to better balance their crop rotations which have been heavily weighted toward soybeans.

Farmers in Cordoba had been planting approximately 3 times more hectares of soybeans than corn, but with the adjusted acreage in 2016/17, this year they will plant approximately 2.4 times more hectares of soybeans than corn. Ideally, farmers would like to have a 50-50 rotation between corn and soybeans, but that is not expected to be achieved any time soon.