The weather thus far in Argentina during the spring planting has been erratic. It started off dryer than normal with late season frosts and then earlier last week, some areas of central Argentina received 8-12 inches of rain resulting in localized flooding, hail damage, and wind damage. Some of the crops will need to be replanted and there is time to replant, so that is the good news. The bad news is that some of the corn that was impacted by the adverse weather was approaching pollination or had already started to pollinate.
The heaviest rains were recorded in north-central Santa Fe, western Entre Rios, and central Buenos Aires. The Rosario Exchange estimated that approximately 60% of the 3,000,000 hectares of soybeans that had been planted in the core region of Argentina was impacted in some manner by the heavy storms. Some of those soybeans will need to be replanted once the fields dry out. The forecast going forward is for dryer weather, so the wetter areas should have an opportunity to dry out.
It is too early to make any adjustments to the production estimates in Argentina due to the adverse weather, but it has made it harder to estimate the eventual soybean production in Argentina. As is always the case in scenarios such as this, if a farmer did not experience the excessive rainfall, the moisture was welcomed because it has recharged the topsoil and subsoil moisture after the severe drought experienced last growing season.
The soybeans in Argentina were 21.7% planted as of late last week according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. This represented an advance of 12.3% for the week, but it is still 2% behind last year’s planting pace. In the core production areas of central Argentina, the soybeans are approximately 40-50% planted, whereas in southern Argentina, the soybeans are 5-25% planted and no soybeans have been planted in far northern Argentina.
In their weekly Crop Conditions & Development Stages Report, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange issued their first rating for the early planted soybeans. This first rating was only for the northern core and southern corn regions where they rated the soybeans 0.8% very poor, 8.3% poor, 62.9% average, 27.9% good, and 0% excellent. The soil moisture for the early soybeans was rated 0% very short, 0.9% short, 53.4% favorable, 27.6% optimum, and 18.1% surplus. These ratings are only for one specific area, but as the season progresses, they will take on more of a national representation.
The forecast looks dryer which is very good news for the saturated areas of central Argentina. The planting pace will certainly be slowed until the area has had time to dry out.