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April 3, 2018

Argentina Crops Received some rain, but more is Needed

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

Argentina Soybeans - Last week was once again relatively dry across Argentina. They did receive heavier than expected rains over the weekend of 1- 2.5 inches in Cordoba, southern Santa Fe, and northern Buenos Aires. For some farmers, this was probably one of the best rains of the summer. The forecast looks wetter especially in the 6-10 period. The question is did the rain come too late for any meaningful recovery of the crops.

The soybean crop in Argentina was 8.8% harvested as of the middle of last week according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. This is approximately 7% ahead of last year's pace. The soybeans are maturing quickly and the harvest is starting quickly due to the dry weather that has accelerated the crop maturity. The early planted soybeans were 60% to 70% turning yellow last week with 37% mature and 12% harvested. The later planted soybeans were 46% filling pods. Recently there have been some low temperatures in Argentina with scattered frost which is worrisome because they might cut short the pod filling period for the later maturing soybeans.

Of the soybeans harvested thus far, 49% have been from the northern core region where yields range from 2,100 to 4,300 kg/ha (31.0 to 63.6 bu/ac). Farmers in the southern core region have harvested 18% of the soybeans thus far and the yields range from 2,000 to 4,800 kg/ha (29.6 to 71.0 bu/ac). In Cordoba the yields thus far are in the range of 1,200 to 2,500 kg/ha (17.7 to 37.0 bu/ac). In north central Santa Fe the yields range from 400 to 1,800 kg/ha (5.9 to 26.6 bu/ac).

The early planted soybeans are rated 82% poor to very poor and 90% short to very short on soil moisture. The later planted soybeans are rated 92% poor to very poor and 94% short to very short on soil moisture.

The forecast is calling for a wetter pattern especially in the 6-10 day period. I don't think the rains will be much of a help for the early planted soybeans that will probably be 60-70% turning yellow this week. The rain will help some of the later planted double crop soybeans. If these rains materialize, my soybean production estimate may stabilize.

Argentina Corn - The corn crop in Argentina was 18% harvested as of the middle of last week according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. The early planted corn was 64% mature and 37% harvested. The late planted corn was 63% filling grain and 2% mature.

The northern core and southern core regions account for 55% of all the corn harvested thus far in Argentina with yields ranging from 7,940 to 8,350 kg/ha (122.2 to 128.6 bu/ac), which is considered about normal yields. This is the most fertile part of the country and most of the corn in this area was planted early, so this should be the best corn in Argentina. The early planted corn is rated 59% poor to very poor and 84% short to very short on soil moisture. The later planted corn is rated 91% poor to very poor and 94% short to very short on soil moisture.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is estimating the yield of the corn harvested thus far at 7,410 kg/ha (114.1 bu/ac) and they left their estimate unchanged at 32.0 million tons. Once the corn in the core region has been harvested, I expect the nationwide corn yield to decline because the later planted corn is rated worse than the early planted corn.

The rains over this past weekend and the wetter 6-10 day forecast will probably help the latest maturing corn to fill the grain. I don't think this will increase any of the estimates, but they could stabilize.