Ag Weather Forum

Just-In-Time Argentina Showers

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , Ag Meteorologist Emeritus
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Rainfall of 10-25 millimeters, or a guarter inch to 1 inch, gave a needed lift to crops in Buenos Aires and La Pampa, Argentina on Jan. 30. (NOAA/CPC graphic)

The crop moisture scene in southern Argentina has been a little dicey, with January rainfall running below average. Some comments have already been made about lower double-crop soybean planting following wheat harvest because of dry conditions. This situation was noted in the most recent USDA weather and crop bulletin, posted Jan. 28: "The southern dryness was untimely for emerging summer crops, particularly soybeans planted after the winter wheat harvest," the bulletin's comment said.

But, lo and behold -- Jan. 29 brought a decent dose of rain. Amounts of a quarter inch to 1 inch, covered southern Argentina, with the greatest coverage of rain indicated to be a half inch to 1 inch. That moisture won't last the rest of the season, of course -- but it does provide a needed drink for crops and will help temperatures to moderate from the mid-90s Fahrenheit to the upper 70s to mid-80s F. That's a big change in crop weather ahead of the next week.

Argentina produced 51 million metric tons of corn in 2018-19. A very minor reduction is expected this year, to 50 mmt. That's much larger than the drought-affected 32-mmt crop in 2017-18. In soybeans, Argentina is projected by USDA to harvest 53 mmt in 2019-20, a bit lower than the 55.30 mmt produced in 2018-19, but a notable margin larger than the drought-reduced 2017-18 total of 37.80 mmt.

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