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February 1, 2017

Dryer Weather Stabilizes Soybean Crop in Argentina

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

It has been very hard to judge the situation of the soybean crop in Argentina. With floods in the central production areas and drought in the southern production areas, it is hard to know what is exactly occurring on the ground.

One thing we do know is that last week's weather in Argentina was exactly what the "doctor had ordered" for the saturated areas of central Argentina. They had a week of sun, no rain, and good temperatures. This has gone a long way toward stabilizing the situation in Argentina and improving the prospects for the soybeans outside of the saturated areas. The forecast looks generally favorable with more dry weather in the near term forecast with another chance of rain later this week and into the weekend.

The forecast models are not in agreement on the amount of potential rainfall this coming weekend. One model is forecasting up to 4 inches in central Argentina, while another model is forecasting 1-3 inches. If there is only an inch of rain or less, that would be beneficial for the soybean crop. If the amount of rainfall is 3-4 inches or more, that would pose additional problems for the soybean crop.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange issued their first soybean production estimate last week putting the crop at 53.5 million tons. They are estimating that 770,000 hectares of soybeans were impacted by the flooding and that 400,000 hectares were lost and 370,000 hectares are still at risk.

It appears that the later planted soybeans and the double crop soybeans were impacted more so than the earlier planted soybeans. This is due to the fact that the later planted soybeans were much smaller in stature when the wet weather hit. Nationwide, 4% of the soybeans are emerging, 13% are in vegetative development, 60% are flowering, and 22% are setting pods.

In the northern core and southern core production regions, which accounts for approximately 28% of Argentina's soybean acreage, 85% of the soybeans are full-season and are now flowering and setting pods and they are rated generally in good to very good condition. The reaming 15% are late planted or double crop soybeans that are emerging or in vegetative development and they are rated in average to good condition.

In Cordoba, which accounts for 20% of Argentina's soybean acreage, the full-season soybeans are rated good to very good while the double crop soybeans are rated from average to good in condition.

In contrast to the saturated conditions of central Argentina, there are concerns about dryness in far northern Argentina where farmers are just now completing the soybean planting. Dryness is also a concern in the southern areas of Buenos Aires and La Pampa provinces which accounts for approximately 7% of the national soybean acreage.