South America Calling

Argentina Crop in Good Position Because of Precipitation During the Last Month

John Baranick
By  John Baranick , DTN Meteorologist
Rainfall has been very good in Argentina during the last month. Outside of a few pockets of dryness, most areas have seen near- or above-normal rainfall. Growing areas on the right for reference. (USDA graphics)

The weather hasn't been perfect in Argentina, but it has been awfully good, especially during the last month. As I mentioned in last week's blog post,…, the forecast for Argentina continues to be one of favorable weather conditions through the end of January.

Rainfall analysis indicates that almost all of Argentina's growing areas have seen near- or above-normal rainfall during the last 30 days. There are some holes where rainfall has not been as fortunate or heavy, and that does include the northern portion of the state of Cordoba, which is a large producer of corn and soybeans. However, when taken on the whole, the country is in a very good position for a good crop.

The crop season is a long one in Argentina and thus planting is spread out. Some of that is done intentionally to reduce risk of a dry spell, and some of that is by necessity with double cropping with winter wheat. But in either case, the planting season is a long one.

Corn planting usually comes in two phases. The early crop is planted in September and October, there's a general lull in November, and then late-season planting picks back up in December and ends in early January. The early planted corn had to endure some early dryness coming off last season's historic drought and spotty early-season rainfall, but it has been very good over the last four to six weeks. The rest of the crop is being planted and in good condition.

The soybean crop may have started with a little dryness, but the weather has been very good since then.

In some cases, rain has been a little too good. Heavy rain, particularly in northern growing areas, has caused some issues with excessive soil moisture and flooding. That has also slowed the final planting pace a bit. But overall, the weather conditions continue to be quite good.

It is no wonder the reports coming out of Argentina are very favorable and production forecasts are back up to trendline. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange listed the poor ratings for both corn and soybeans as extremely low with only 1% of corn and 3% of soybeans listed in poor condition on their most recent report, released Dec. 21.

The forecast for the next week is a touch on the drier side. Showers will make their way through the country through Christmas Day. But then models suggest a little drier stretch before showers come back in at the end of the week. Even if the drier stretch proves true, or lasts a little longer, more systems are in the pipeline to move through the country for January, and a little dryness wouldn't be too bad of a thing for those areas that are a bit too wet and need to get final plantings done.

So, while Brazil's troubles are still a question mark, Argentina's are not. El Nino tends to favor Argentina and it certainly has so far. Without any reason to believe this will not continue through the rest of the season, it becomes a strong case to either keep production levels where they are or perhaps increase them as long as producers get the crop planted. Political issues aside, Argentina's gains may still make up for potential losses in Brazil.

To find more international weather conditions and your local forecast from DTN, visit….

John Baranick can be reached at


To comment, please Log In or Join our Community .