April 17, 2018

Argentina Corn and Soybeans 25% Harvested, Yields Disappoint

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

Argentina Soybeans - The improved rainfall in Argentina over the past few weeks came too late for most of the early planted soybeans although they may help some of the later planted soybeans. The condition of the later soybeans did improve slightly last week, so I thought it would be prudent to hold the soybean estimate steady for a week. The biggest benefit from the rainfall though may be improved soil moisture for the winter wheat, which they will start planting in May.

The soybean harvest was 23.6% complete as of last Thursday, which represents an advance of 8% for the week. The early planted soybeans were 83% mature and 32% harvested. The later planted soybeans were 25% mature and 1.5% harvested. The most advanced harvest pace is in the northern core region where 67% of the soybeans have been harvested. In the far southern and far northern regions, the soybean harvest progress is in the single digits.

The soybeans in general are rated 81% poor to very poor and 80% short to very short on soil moisture. The later planted soybeans are rated worse than the early planted soybeans.

According to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange, the average nationwide soybean yield thus far is estimated at 2,480 kg/ha (36.7 bu/ac). The nationwide yields are expected to decline as the harvest moves into areas outside of the core production areas. Outside of the core production area, yields are highly variable from 1,000 to 3,000 kg/ha (14.8 to 44.4 bu/ac). Approximately 40% of the soybeans harvested thus far have been from the northern core region where yields have averaged 3,030 kg/ha thus far (44.8 bu/ac).

Argentina Corn - The corn harvest is 24.7% complete according to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. The harvest is most advanced in the northern and southern core regions where the corn is 82% and 52% harvested respectively. In the far southern areas, the corn is generally less than 20% harvested and in the far northern areas of Argentina, the corn harvest has not yet begun.

The earlier planted corn is 67% mature and 50% harvested, whereas the later planted corn is 26% mature and 0.4% harvested. Even with the recent showers, the corn is still generally rated 80% to 85% short to very short on soil moisture. The recent rains could still help some of the latest developing corn, so I thought it would be best to keep the corn estimate unchanged this week.

The Grain Exchange estimates the average corn yields thus far to be 7,340 kg/ha (113.0 bu/ac), which is up slightly from last week. Thus far, approximately 33% of the harvested corn has been from the northern core region where the yields have averaged 8,490 kg/ha (130.7 bu/ac) with a range of 8,000 to 12,000 kg/ha (123 to 185 bu/ac). Once the harvest moves into lower yielding environments, I expect the nationwide corn yield to decline