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March 13, 2019

Good Weather last Week Benefited Crops in Argentina

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

Argentina Soybeans - The weather in Argentina during the first 10 days of March has been quite wet with some areas already receiving their average monthly total rainfall. Soybean farmers are nervous because they remember the last two Aprils when nearly constant rainfall for several weeks hit just as the soybean crop was ready for harvest resulting in an estimated loss of 5-6 million tons in 2016 and 2 million tons in 2018. There are some rains in the near term forecast, so we need to watch this going forward.

Even though some areas received too much rainfall last week, in general, the rain was beneficial for the majority of the soybeans that are now filling pods. They had a frost in southern Argentina about 10 days ago which probably caused some minimal damage and cold weather is always a concern, especially for the later planted soybeans.

Generally, I think last week was a good week for the soybeans. The concern is for potential problems going forward if they continue to receive heavy rains, but that is in the future, for now things are looking good. There are probably a few soybeans that have already been harvested, but I have not seen any yield reports as yet.

In their weekly report, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange rated the soybeans 8.4% poor to very poor and 52.1% good to excellent, which was an improvement over last week. The soil moisture for the soybeans was rated 8.5% short to very short and 37.6% optimum to surplus, which was also an improvement over last week. The early planted soybeans are 15% mature, while the later planted soybeans are 15% filling pods.

Argentina Corn - The old adage that "rain makes grain" appears to be true again in Argentina. The rainfall last week across central Argentina was very beneficial for the corn crop in spite of the fact that a few areas received too much rain. Most of the early planted corn is maturing, while most of the later planted corn is filling grain, so the rains came at an ideal time for the later developing corn.

The corn in Argentina is 4% harvested with most of the harvesting being done in the core production areas, which is also the most productive area of Argentina. As a result, there are some very good corn yields being reported. A lot of the early yields are reported in the range of 13,000 to 14,000 kg/ha (200 to 215 bu/ac) with some even as high as 17,000 kg/ha (260 bu/ac).

These are without a doubt going to be the best corn yields in Argentina. The core production area was planted early and the weather was beneficial for virtually the entire growing season. The corn production in Argentina this year is going to surpass the prior record production of 39.8 million tons. There are probably going to be a lot of silo bags sold in Argentina this year!

There are still some areas that could use additional rainfall such as western Buenos Aires, northern La Pampa, and southwestern Cordoba. The corn yields will probably end up being disappointing in this part of Argentina, but the very good yields from central Argentina should more than compensate for the lower yields in the southwestern production areas.

In their weekly report, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange rated the corn crop as 9.5% poor to very poor and 55.1% as good to excellent, which was basically unchanged from last week. The soil moisture for the corn was rated 16.4% short to very short and 28.1% optimum to surplus, which was an improvement from last week. At least half of the early planted corn is now mature, while 10% of the late planted corn has started to fill grain.