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October 18, 2018

Dry Weather in western Argentina slows Corn Planting

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

The spring rainfall in parts of Argentina has not been enough to recharge the soil moisture after the severe drought suffered during the 2017/18 growing season. In some parts of Cordoba province, the drought earlier this year was the worst in a hundred years resulting in severe crop damage.

According to the latest bulletin from the Office of Agriculture and Livestock Risk (ORA) in the Ministry of Agriculture, the topsoil moisture is below average in the provinces of Cordoba, La Pampa, western Buenos Aires and parts of Santa Fe. In Santa Fe, the topsoil varies from adequate to short. Excessive topsoil moisture is only found in northeastern Argentina and the eastern-most province of Entre Rios.

In Cordoba there has only been moderate showers in the northern and eastern parts of the province with the remainder of the province receiving below normal rainfall. In southeastern Buenos Aires, the topsoil is adequate, but it is short in western Buenos Aires and La Pampa. Most of the western areas did not receive any rainfall last week, but there is some rain in the forecast. Unfortunately, most of the rain is forecasted to fall in northern Argentina.

The early corn planting continues to progress in central and eastern Argentina, but it remains slow in western areas due to inadequate topsoil moisture. The subsoil moisture is OK, but timely rains will be needed to insure adequate germination and stand establishment.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reported last week that 27% of the corn in Argentina had been planted, which is about average. The fastest planting pace was in the central and eastern production areas and the slowest pace was in the western areas. The corn in Argentina is planted in two phases. The first phase is planted in September and October, while the second phase is generally planted in December and January.