In Argentina, Welcome Rains Seen Boosting Soybean Harvest

February 26th, 2019


Category: Grains

( – Rain which has boosted Argentina’s soybean heartland after a hot, dry spell should ensure a bumper crop as yields are set and the harvesting season approaches, experts said on Monday.

The rains should keep the country on track for an estimated 53-million-tonne soy harvest, critical for the country’s economy after it was battered last year by an extended drought and a plus for President Mauricio Macri ahead of elections this year.

“It had been a fortnight without rain, temperatures had been increasing, and we’re at a critical stage of growth for most of the crops. So, it’s a great thing the rains came,” said Esteban Copati, head analyst at the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange.

Argentina, the world’s third-largest exporter of soybeans and corn, suffered a heat wave last week that dried up much of the water in the soil and had many watching the skies for rainfall over the weekend.

In Argentina’s core grains area, most areas received about 30 to 50 millimetres (1.2 to 2 inches) of rain of the last few days, with some getting over 100 mm (4 inches), said German Heinzenknecht, a weather specialist with the Applied Climatology consultancy.

He said the latest rains meant that crop yields, a measure of the amount of produce from a given area, were now “practically locked in.”

Earlier in the season, marginal growing areas outside of the key Pampas grains belt were flooded by weeks of excessive rains. Since then, Argentina has been hit by a heat wave that has benefited flooded areas while raising concern about parched conditions in other parts of the country.

Cristian Russo, head of forecasting at Argentina’s Rosario grains exchange, said some areas had received excessive rainfall, but that the key growing areas would benefit.

“Most of the (core growing) region received water, and we will be talking about better yields,” he said.

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