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September 22, 2020

Argentina Weather and Spring Planting Progress

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

Argentina Weather - Argentina stayed mostly dry over the weekend with the driest areas in northern and northeastern Argentina. There have been some rains in central and southern Argentina, but the temperatures have been cold in Argentina. Widespread frosts in central and southern Argentina occurred over the weekend. The forecast for this week is calling for some scattered showers in central Argentina with increased chances of rain in the 6-10 day period.

Argentina Soybean Planting - There have not been any soybeans planted as yet in Argentina, which is normal for this time of the year. Farmers in Argentina plant their corn and sunflowers first and they will start to plant soybeans in early to mid-October if conditions permit.

Argentina Corn Planting - Farmers in Argentina started planting their 2020/21 corn about two weeks ago and the crop is now 6.5% planted as of late last week according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. Most of the planting has occurred in the eastern regions where there has been better rainfall over the past month. The province of Entre Rios is where the corn planting has progressed the most.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is estimating the 2020/21 corn acreage for commercial grain production at 6.2 million hectares, which is down 100,000 hectares from last year's acreage of 6.3 million hectares. The USDA is estimating the corn acreage at 6.2 million hectares unchanged from last year.

Corn and soybeans compete for the same acreage in Argentina and there is speculation in Argentina that the current dry weather might convince some farmers to forgo some of their soybeans and instead increase the amount of corn planted in the second phase of corn planting that starts in December when there may be improved soil moisture.

Farmers in Argentina plant their corn in two phases. Planting of the first phase starts in September and generally ends about the end of October. Generally about 45% of Argentina's corn is planted during the first phase. Planting of the second phase starts in December and ends sometime in January and about 50% of Argentina's corn is planted during the second phase.

I am not convinced at this point that farmers in Argentina will forgo some of their intended soybean acreage in the hope of planting more corn in December when the soil moisture may be better. The weather for the next two months would have to be extremely dry for farmers not to plant all their intended soybeans.

Argentina Sunflower Planting - Farmers in Argentina had planted 15.4% of their sunflowers as of late last week compared to 34% last year and 32% average. Most of the sunflowers planted thus are in northern Argentina where the soil moisture for the sunflowers is rated 79% short to very short and 21% favorable.

Argentina Wheat - There were widespread frosts in central and southern Argentina over the weekend. The wheat crop in Argentina continues to be impacted by repeated frosts and dry weather. The wheat is rated 40% poor to very poor, 46% fair, and 14% good to excellent. The soil moisture for the wheat is rated 49% short to very short and 51% favorable. The wheat acreage has been declining in recent weeks due to increased abandonment caused by dry conditions and frosts.