Rains across the majority of Argentina's grain belt over the last few days have left corn and soybean crops in great condition, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said in its weekly report Friday.
Ample showers since Sunday in most key grain areas -- the exceptions being west, central and southern Buenos Aires and the lower half of La Pampa -- nourished corn crops just when it was needed.
With September-planted corn in critical phases of development, the two-week dry spell in the run-up to Christmas had put farmers on alert. But the rain has corrected soil moisture levels in the north, Cordoba, Santa Fe, Entre Rios and the north of Buenos Aires.
Farmers had planted 77% of Argentina's projected 6.3 million acres of corn up to Friday, said the exchange
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Soybeans benefitted from the fact that the heaviest rainfall was in northern parts of the grain belt, where the crop is furthest developed and most in need of rain.
In Cordoba, where most of the crop is in the vegetative development phase, the crop is in good or very good condition, said the exchange.
In the west of Buenos Aires and north of La Pampa, soybeans are also in good condition, despite the hot, dry conditions in December.
Soybean planting had reached 87% of the project 44 million acres as of Friday.
According to the Rosario Cereals Exchange, rainfall over the last 72 hours ranged from 4 1/2 inches in Hernando, Cordoba, to a more modest 1/2 to 1 inch in parts of northern Buenos Aires.
And there is the possibility of further, sporadic showers in southern Santa Fe, Entre Rio and Cordoba on Saturday and Sunday, according to the Argentine Meteorological Service.
There could also be more showers next week, say local meteorologists.
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