Mar 22, 2023

2022/23 Argentina Soy Yields Will be Low, Abandonment High

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

There is rain in the forecast for central Argentina this week which may help to stabilize some of the later maturing soybeans. If the rains turn out to be disappointing, the Argentina soybean estimate may be lowered again next week.

Rainfall over the weekend favored southern Santa Fe, southern Entre Rios, central and southern Buenos Aires, and eastern La Pampa. Rainfall this week is expected across central Argentina with the heaviest amounts in Cordoba, Santa Fe, and Entre Rios. These rains are needed immediately to prevent further losses and the question now is if the forecasted rain will be enough to stabilize the crop at these lower levels?

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange has not yet issued a nationwide soybean yield estimate, but they did say that they expect it to be below the 1,920 kg/ha (28.6 bu/ac) registered during the 2008/09 growing season. In their report last Thursday, they lowered the soybean estimate 4 million tons to 25.0 million and they cited the continued dry conditions, high temperatures, and the frost in mid-February as the reasons for the lower estimate.

Soybeans in the northern core and southern core regions have been the most impacted by the adverse weather and farmers are reporting aborted pods, increased abandonment, and potentially record low yields. In localized areas such as Pergamino in northern Buenos Aires (about halfway between Buenos Aires and Rosario), it is estimated that maybe as much as 80% of the soybeans may not be harvested.

The Rosario Grain Exchange is estimating yields of the early planted soybeans in the core production areas in the range of 1000 to 2500 kg/ha (15 to 37 bu/ac). Yields of the later planted soybeans are estimated in the range of 500 to 1500 kg/ha (7.5 to 22 bu/ac). They are estimating the average yield in the core area at 1500 kg/ha or less (22 bu/ac). In addition to low yields, there will also be record abandonment of soybeans in Argentina this year.

The soybeans in Argentina were rated 75% poor/very poor, 23% fair, and 2% good/excellent as of late last week. The good/excellent percentage was unchanged from the prior week. The soil moisture for the soybeans was rated 71% short/very short and 29% favorable/optimum. The favorable/optimum percentage was up 4% from the prior week.

Earlier planted soybeans are approximately 62% filling pods and 14% maturing. Later planted soybeans are approximately 7% filling pods.

Below is the soybean condition rating in Argentina from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange for March 16, 2023.


2022/23 Argentina Soybean Ratings*

ConditionSoil Moisture
Poor/V. Poor %Good/Excellent %Short/V ShortFavorable/Optimum
Feb. 2, 2023 46 (20) 12 (38) 53 (36) 47 (64)
Feb. 9, 2023 48 (19) 13 (40) 61 (33) 39 (67)
Feb. 16, 2023 56 (23) 9 (35) 67 (36) 33 (64)
Feb. 23, 2023 60 (25) 3 (26) 73 (41) 29 (59)
Mar. 2, 2023 67 (23) 2 (27) 74 (32) 26 (37)
Mar. 9, 2023 71 (20) 2 (31) 75 (24) 25 (74)
Mar. 16, 2023 75 (16) 2 (33) 71 (25) 29 (75)

*Source: Buenos Aires Grain Exchange – Crop Condition & Development Stages