Argentine Soy Crop Needs More Rain

The latest reports from Argentina’s Agriculture Secretariat and the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange warn that Argentina’s soybean production potential is again threatened by hot, dry weather.

In its weekly crop update on Jan. 30, the grain exchange said that while rains benefited Argentina's soy crop in some areas last week, hot and dry weather this week is seen sapping soil moisture once again.

Last week in the fertile Pampa region, rain "helped maintain a moderate level of soil moisture reserves and sustain plants' good development," the exchange says.

But scarce amounts of rain and high temperatures through to next weekend will put crop strength to the test.

In the south-central farming region, "precipitation levels during the first 10 days of February will be crucial" as soy plants enter their most critical development phase, the exchange report states.

The crop is in a better state after rains in northern Santa Fe province, the No. 2 grower, and northeastern Cordoba province, the No. 1 soy producer.

Yields are seen below 1.0 metric ton/hectare (roughly 15 bu./acre), however, in part of west-central Cordoba, where the crop may not be worth harvesting, the exchange said.

The Agriculture Secretariat said on Friday that the drought had hurt crops in east-central Cordoba province, the No.1 soy producer, but rainfall was beginning to normalize.

Nearby in Union department, however, some drought-related damage was seen as irreversible and dry conditions persisted further west.

In Santa Fe, the No.2 soy producer, rains benefited crops and later-seeded soy in particular. But in southern Santa Fe, "it is forecast that yields will fall at the end of the growing season," the government says.

However, In No.3 grower Buenos Aires province, some plants were stunted in size due to dry conditions, and yields could slip, the agriculture secretariat says.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.