November 21, 2017

Argentina Planting at Average Pace, Dry Weather Worrisome

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

Argentina Soybeans - The soybean planting in Argentina advanced to 24% last week, which is up 12% for the week. The planting is equal to last year and slightly behind the five-year average. The most advanced planting has occurred in the central and eastern areas of Argentina. In the northern core and southern core regions, the soybeans are 40-60% planted while in southern Argentina they are 5-20% planted and in northern Argentina they are 0-10% planted.

Early germination and emergence is reported to be good. The cooler and dryer conditions will allow for rapid planting progress, but the cool temperatures will probably result in slower than normal emergence and early crop development.

I would not consider lowering the Argentine soybean estimate unless the current dryer weather persisted for several more weeks. Even if the dry conditions early in the growing season resulted in some loss of plant populations, soybeans have an amazing capacity of recovering later in the growing season if the weather cooperates. The important time for soybeans is during the pod filling period, so we should not get overly concerned about adverse conditions this early in the growing season.

Additionally, we have seen here in the U.S. that cool and dry conditions during pod filling are not that detrimental to soybean yields. What really hurts the yields are hot and dry conditions during pod filling.

Argentina Corn - The corn planting in Argentina advanced only 1% last week to 35.4% according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. November is always a slow month for corn planting in Argentina, but this November has been even slower than normal. Normally, the corn planting during November advances 2-3% per week, but thus far this November, it has progressed approximately 1% per week. Therefor, 60% or more of the corn in Argentina will be planted during the second phase starting in early December.

For the last few years, later planted corn in Argentina has done very well primarily because they have had very wet summers. It remains to be seen how well the late planted corn will do if it turns out to be a dryer than normal summer.

The condition of the early planted corn is rated good and the most advanced corn is about at the 5-7 leaf phase. If the current dry pattern persists for several more weeks, it could start to impact the pollination of the earliest planted corn. We need to watch the weather in Argentina, but I think it is too early to be adjusting the yield estimates.