Nov 15, 2018

Heavy Rains impact Crops in Central Argentina

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

Areas of central Argentina received very heavy rainfall over the last several days. The areas most impacted were central Santa Fe, eastern Cordoba and Entre Rios. There were also significant rains in northern Buenos Aires province as well.

Amounts of 4-6 inches of rainfall were common with some areas receiving as much as 10 inches. There are reports of localized flooding and fields under water. This area of Argentina is very flat so it takes a long time for the water to percolate into the soil or runoff.

It is very early in the growing season, so there can be problems as well as benefits from these heavy rains. Nationwide, the corn crop in Argentina is approximately 36% planted and the soybeans are approximately 10% planted. In the region of the heavy rainfall, the planting percentages for both corn and soybeans are much higher. The Rosario Exchange estimates that approximately 60% of the crops that have been planted were impacted by the heavy rains. Planting progress will now be slowed and some of the fields will need to be replanted. There are also reports of hail damage and wind damage to the developing corn crop

On the positive side is the fact that these rains have recharged the soil moisture in much of central Argentina after the devastating drought during the last growing season. If the storms were not excessive, the developing corn crop and sunflower crop will benefit from the abundant moisture.

The most immediately impacted crop could be the wheat crop which is maturing and in the process of being harvested. In the saturated areas, farmers are worried that the quality of the grain will quickly deteriorate because the saturated conditions could prohibit harvesting for an extended period of time. The high winds, hail, and heavy rains also could have caused extensive lodging of the wheat, which will make harvesting even more complicated and could result in lower yields.