Apr 30, 2024

2023/24 Argentina Corn 20% Harvested, Stunt Disease Hurts Crop

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

Rainfall last week and over the weekend favored northeastern and east-central areas of Argentina. The forecast for this week is calling for rainfall once again in the east-central region. Temperatures in Argentina will fluctuate this week with the possibility of localized light frost in southern locations early in the week before the return of warmer temperatures later in the week especially across northern Argentina.

Corn in Argentina was 19.8% harvested as of late last week, which represented an advance of 2.6% for the week. In the core production areas, the corn is 60-65% harvested with 10-20% harvested in southern Argentina and 0% harvested in far northern Argentina.

Corn yields are variable in Argentina with an average yield last week of 8,800 kg/ha (140.7 bu/ac), which is up 1 bu/ac compared to the prior week. Yields in the northern core area is as high as 10,330 kg/ha (164.2 bu/ac), while yields in southern Buenos Aires and southern La Pampa are as low as 5,110 kg/ha (81.2 bu/ac). The early corn yields are going to be the best this growing season because the later planted corn was more impacted by corn stunt disease.

The Argentina corn estimate was lowered 1.0 million tons this week to 49.0 million and it might decline further in subsequent reports. The later planted corn has been impacted the most by corn stunt disease, but we will not know the extent of the damage until the corn is harvested in July and August.

Argentina's 2024/25 corn acreage is expected to decline because many farmers were completely surprised by the corn leafhopper infestation and the subsequent corn stunt disease. There is no acceptable way to ensure that the insect will not be a problem again in 2024/25, so farmers who had the problem this year will be reluctant to plant corn again in 2024/25.

The corn was rated 40% poor/very poor, 43% fair, and 17% good/excellent as of late last week. The good/excellent percentage was down 3% compared to the prior week. The soil moisture for the corn was rated 18% short/very short, 80% favorable/optimum, and 2% saturated. The favorable/optimum percentage was up 8% from the prior week. Below is the Argentina corn rating for April 24, 2024 from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange.


2023/24 Argentina Corn Ratings*

ConditionSoil Moisture
Poor/V. Poor %Good/Excellent %Short/V ShortFavorable/Optimum
Mar. 21, 202421 (58) 24 (5) 21 (55) 77 (45)
Mar. 27, 202425 (53) 22 (9) 28 (49) 71 (51)
Apr. 4, 202432 (52) 17 (6) 33 (45) 66 (55)
Apr. 11, 202436 (53) 19 (6) 34 (46) 66 (54)
Apr. 17, 202436 (54) 20 (6) 22 (45) 77 (55)
Apr. 24, 202440 (52) 17 (5) 18 (49) 80 (51)

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

Below is the percentage of the corn rated normal/excellent in the NEA Region of northern Argentina. The declining rating is due to corn stunt disease and moisture stress. The soils in northern Argentina are not as fertile as in central Argentina and the corn is planted later in northern Argentina making it more susceptible to corn stunt disease.


Below is an example of how corn stunt disease spread by leafhoppers can impact corn yields. The picture was taken on April 25, 2024 and is from the municipality of Carlos Tejedor in west-central Buenos Aires and courtesy of the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange.