Ag Weather Forum

No Change in Argentina Drought

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
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A large majority of Argentina's major crop areas remain very short on soil moisture going into the home stretch of the 2017-18 crop year. (USDA graphic)

Drought conditions continue in Argentina. The most significant drought in a number of years in the major corn and soybean areas of central Argentina continues to have an impact on crop production, especially soybeans which are the most vulnerable to dryness at this time of the year. There are indications that the very-dry weather pattern may be coming to an end during the next 5 days with the chance of some moderate to heavy showers and thunderstorms on Saturday. This rain event, if it verifies, will offer some crop benefit; however, the impact will be much less than an earlier-season rainfall occurrence would have been.

Meanwhile in Brazil, weather patterns remain very favorable for planting and developing second-crop corn (safrinha) in central Brazil, as soil moisture conditions are quite good and are expected to remain so. There have been some disruptions to the soybean harvest at times, but also periods of favorable harvest weather.

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In the U.S., weather remains quite dry in the Southern Plains winter wheat areas. Topsoil moisture is rated 80% short to very short in Kansas, 61% in Oklahoma and 100% in west Texas. No relief to this dry weather pattern is indicated during the next 10 days as storm systems are expected to continue to move too fast to allow Gulf of Mexico moisture to move far enough to the west and offer precipitation for the region. Only 12% of the crop is in good to excellent condition in Kansas, 7% in Oklahoma and 13% in Texas. Oklahoma is reporting 13% of the crop jointing, indicating moisture needs are beginning to increase.

There is some wet ground in U.S. crop country; wet soils are the story in the Delta and the southern and eastern Midwest. With near to above normal precipitation forecast during the next 10 days, fieldwork and early planting will continue to be delayed.

Mike Palmerino can be reached at


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