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November 4, 2016

Potential Loses Mount in Argentina due to Flooding

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

Farmers in Argentina could face significant losses due to flooding for the second time in seven months. In March and April of this year, severe flooding caused extensive losses in central and eastern Argentina. Heavy rains during October are now causing potential losses in the southern production areas. An estimated 600,000 hectares or more of farmland in Argentina have been flooded by the recent rains.

Record rainfall was received during the month of October in northwestern Buenos Aires, north-central La Pampa, and southern Cordoba. In northern La Pampa, the rainfall during October totaled 500 mm or 20 inches. During just during a 12-day period, the region received 400 mm or 16 inches of rain. The flooded areas are highly productive row crop and cattle producing areas and a state of emergency has been declared in numerous departments with probably more decelerations to come.

Some of the corn that had already been planted in the area may need to be replanted and any wheat in the flooded zone will probably be a complete loss. There were very few if any soybeans planted in the flooded zone and now soybean planting will be delayed for an extended period of time while the water drains away.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reported that 38.7% of the 2016/17 Argentine corn crop has been planted compared to approximately 36% last year and 43% average. Of the corn that has been planted, 17% is rated as having excessive soil moisture.

Some farmers in the region have now potentially lost three crops over the past seven months. When the heavy rains fell last March and April, farmers lost some of their corn and soybean production that was ready for harvest. Now with more flooding, some farmers could lose the wheat that was approaching maturity and they may not be able to plant their intended soybean crop for an extended period of time.

According to the Information Department of the Stock Exchange in Cordoba, as much as 60,000 hectares of farmland in southern and eastern Cordoba have been flooded by the heavy rains. Based on historical trends, they estimate that approximately 80% of the flooded area was expected to be planted to soybeans with 20% going to corn. There are 8 million hectares in the province of Cordoba, so less than 1% of the province has been flooded.

Damage from heavy rains is also being reported in central and northern Santa Fe. The crop most at risk in the region is wheat which is in the midst of grain filling. There could also be loses for the newly planted corn and sunflower crops, especially in the low lying areas where the crop may need to be replanted.

The Agricultural Estimating System of the Commercial Stock Exchange of Santa Fe estimates that approximately 1.5% of the soybeans in the region have been planted, which is less than the 10.5% planted last year at this time.

Another problem encountered by farmers in the region will be the timely application of herbicides needed to control troublesome weeds such as buva - also known as marestail or horseweed. This is one of the major weeds that has developed resistance to Roundup herbicide making it very difficult to control.