Dry conditions curtail Argentina’s planted wheat area: BAGE

2 Jul 2020 | Tim Worledge

Dry conditions spreading across Argentina’s key north, north east, Santa Fe and Cordoba regions are expected to bring an early end to the country’s wheat planting efforts, forcing a cut to the expected planted area, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange warned Thursday.

The agency has trimmed 200,000 hectares from its outlook, cutting its planted area to forecast to 6.5 million ha – a 1.5% decrease on last year’s area if realised.

“The wheat planting window in the center and north of the national agricultural area is close to closing. The lack of rainfall and the surface water deficit that affects a large part of the western strip has expanded towards the central-west,” the agency noted.

“This scenario prevents the incorporation of lots and forces the resignation of hectares,” BAGE said.

Of the reduced area, 79.1% is now planted with the near-drought conditions exacerbated by heavy rains in the southern Buenos Aires and Entre Rios regions that are making it hard for machines to work, BAGE noted.

Elsewhere, progress on the corn harvest stalled over the week with the harvest now complete on 81.7% of the expected area – an increase of just 3.4 percentage points over the week, and the slowest rate of progress for seven weeks.

Nonetheless, the agency maintained is 50 million mt outlook, with yields of 3.24 mt/ha and progress a whopping 32.4 percentage points ahead of the same stage of last year.

Finally, the country’s barley sowing is now complete on 64.7% of the 900,000 ha that the agency projects, a jump of 41.2 percentage points over the course of the last two weeks.

Planting remains 14.8 points ahead of last year’s progress.