Key Argentina soy areas flooded, more rains seen starting Friday


Hard rains inundated key Argentina soybean-growing areas over the weekend, local farm experts said on Monday, raising doubts about production in a year that has already seen a reduction in soy planting as growers tend more toward corn.

More than 97 percent of the 47.7 million hectares that the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange expects to be planted with soy this season has been sown so far. But planting and early crop development has been thrown off by heavy storms in key soy areas in southern Santa Fe and northwest Buenos Aires provinces.

“At this point we must have half of our farm area flooded,” said Ignacio Freytes, president of the board of supervisors of the Santa Fe town of San Francisco. “We’ve been hit hard.”

The Rosario grains exchange think 48.4 million acres will be in soybean but 30 percent of that are under “Red Alert” conditions due to excess moisture.

“The focal point of the rain was in south Santa Fe, where 150 millimeters fell over the weekend,” Marina Barletta, a Rosario exchange agronomist said in a telephone interview.

Argentina farmers are expected to harvest 56 million tonnes of soy in the 2016-17 season versus 58.8 million tonnes produced in the 2015-16 crop year, the country’s agriculture ministry said last week.

Soy planting had already been reduced this season after the government stimulated corn and wheat planting by eliminating trade controls and export taxes on the two grains after years of over-planting soybeans under the previous administration.

Stella Carballo, meteorologist with the government’s Climate and Water Institute, agreed that late-planted soy was the most vulnerable to the recent storms, and that rains are likely to return to areas that are already overly wet.

“Between Jan. 20th and the 24th, more or less all those areas will have a new wet spell,” Carballo said.


Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult