Back
April 25, 2018

Improved Weather in Argentina too Late for most Argentine Crops

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

Argentina Soybeans - The weather in Argentina is improving, but it is coming too late for most of the soybeans in Argentina. The improved rains still might help some of the latest maturing soybeans, but not enough to increase my production estimates.

The soybean harvest in Argentina was 40% complete as of late last week. Approximately 50% of the early planted soybeans have been harvested and the yields are extremely variable. On the low end, some yields are as low as 500 kg/ha (7.4 bu/ac) and on the high end, some yields are as good as 5,000 kg/ha (74 bu/ac). The average yield for the early planted soybeans thus far is estimated at 2,520 kg/ha (37.2 bu/ac).

Approximately 10.6% of the late planted soybeans have been harvested and the average yield thus far is estimated at 1,620 kg/ha (23.9 bu/ac).

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is estimating the nationwide soybean yield thus far at 2,460 kg/ha (36.4 bu/ac) which is approximately 1,000 kg/ha (14.8 bu/ac) below the 5-year average for this point in the harvest. They are estimating that the nationwide soybean yield will end up at 2,200 kg/ha (32.5 bu/ac). They estimate that 4.3% of the soybeans will not be harvested (788,050 hectares) and they left their crop production estimate unchanged last week at 38.0 million tons.

Argentina Corn - The improved weather going forward in Argentina may help to stabilize some of the latest maturing corn, but it is coming too late for the majority of the crop. The corn in general is rated 77% poor to very poor and 86% short to very short on soil moisture. The early planted corn is 71% mature and 52% harvested. The later planted corn is 41% mature and 3% harvested.

The total Argentine corn harvest is 29.5% complete. The recent harvest activity has been focused on the core production areas where the corn is 70-85% harvested. In the southern locations, the crop is 20% to 30% harvested and in the far northern locations, the corn harvest has not yet started.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is estimating that the average corn yield thus far is 7,270 kg/ha (111.9 bu/ac), which is down a little more than one bushel from last week. Approximately 45% of the corn harvested thus far is from the core production areas where the yields are generally higher. I think the nationwide corn yield will decline as the harvest moves into lower yielding environments. The Grain Exchange estimates that 1% of the corn will not be harvested (57,900 hectares) and they left their corn estimate unchanged last week at 32.0 million tons.

In their latest assessment of the crop, the Argentine Minister of Agriculture estimates that the 2017/18 corn production will be 42.0 million tons. This number is much higher than everybody else because the Argentine government counts corn differently than the rest of the market. The Minister counts all corn production, silage, forage, and corn consumed on farm. The rest of the market (and the USDA) only counts the corn that will go into the commercial markets.

Here is a way to compare the government's corn estimate with other estimates. The government is estimating that the corn production will be down 7.5 million tons from last year. I am currently estimating that the corn production will be down 9 million tons from last year. So, we are both estimating about the same reduction even though we count the corn differently.