Rains fell across Cordoba, one of Argentina's key soybean and corn-producing provinces, over the weekend. Precipitation is expected to spread across the heart of the grain belt over the next couple of days, ending a hot, dry spell of nearly two weeks that was beginning to stress plants.
Ample showers fell on some parts of Cordoba Saturday and Sunday. Bengolea in the south of the province got 3 1/2 inches, but many other areas enjoyed only lighter rains, further east in San Francisco just three-fourths of an inch fell.
But showers are forecast to spread across most of the key grain-producing regions in the next few days. According to the Argentine Agricultural Technology Institute (INTA), the outlook for the next nine days is for moderate showers across Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santa Fe and Entre Rios provinces.
The rain will be strongest in northern reaches, where it is perhaps needed most.
With the rains, the 'bullish nuggets' in the soybean and corn markets have been 'washed away,' according to DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson.
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The Argentine corn crop was in dire need of moisture as high temperatures have been quickly drying out the crop in December, according to a report issued by the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange.
The soybean crop was still in generally good condition, although rain was needed soon or there would be damage, the exchange said in a report issued Thursday.
Farmers are not out of the woods yet, though, as there is a high propensity for drought across Argentina's grain belt in January.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts Argentina will produce 54.5 million metric tons (mmt) of soybeans and 26 mmt of corn in 2013-14.
Despite the concerns over dry weather, Rosario Cereals Exchange on Monday pegged the Argentina soybean crop view to 55 mmt amid a significant jump in planted area.
Alastair Stewart can be reached at Alastair.email@example.com
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