Argentina’s corn and sunflower production projections lowered

Argentina's corn and sunflower crop forecasts have been downgraded due to recent weather challenges, according to the latest BAGE report

Argentina’s corn and sunflower crop projections were revised lower in the week ending Wednesday March 20 after a week with abundant rainfall in much of the center and south of the country, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange (BAGE) said in its weekly crop report update on Thursday March 21.

The corn harvest advanced only by 0.5 percentage points to 3.7% of the projected 7.2 million hectares.

Due to the heat wave in February, Bage’s updated production projection is set to 54 million tonnes, down by 2.5 million tonnes compared with the previous one.

Crops rated in good-to-excellent conditions declined by one percentage point in the week to 24% of the total planted area, while areas considered bad rose by four percentage points to 21%.

Areas rated as dry were 21% of the total, down by two percentage points from the previous week, while areas with excessive moisture totaled 2%, adding one percentage point.

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Sunflower production

Sunflower harvest moved up by 16.4 percentage points week on week to 59.2% complete for the 2023-24 cycle, with work concentrating mainly in the southern regions before the rains.

The progress represents a year-on-year delay of 13.7 percentage points.

Yields obtained in Buenos Aires and La Pampa showed results in the range of 8-35 quintals per hectare.

The wide range reflects the harsh conditions the crop endured, such as “thermo-hydric stress suffered during January and February, while the crop went through stages of differentiation, formation and filling of the reproductive structures,” BAGE said.

Sunflower crops rated in good-to-excellent conditions dropped by five percentage points in the week to 25% of the total planted area, while areas considered to be bad rose by eight percentage points to 29%.

Areas rated as dry totaled 17%, down from 24% last week, while areas with excessive moisture increased by six percentage points to 28%.

BAGE has updated its sunflower output projection to 3.6 million tonnes, down by 200,000 tonnes from the previous estimate and down by 1 million tonnes from the 2022-23 harvest.

Additional revisions to production could be made following recent storms of wind and hail but also due to the increase in records of Phomopsis and other end-of-cycle diseases, BAGE said in its report.

Soybean in excellent condition

Soybean crops rated in good-to-excellent conditions moved up by one percentage point to 31% of the total planted area, while areas considered bad were steady at 16%.

Areas rated as dry dropped by two percentage points to 21% of the total, while areas with excessive moisture moved to 1%.

Report collaborators shared “reductions in potential yield due to abortion of flowers and pods due to high temperatures and absence of precipitation in late January and early February,” BAGE said.

The current soybean production projection remained at 52.5 million tonnes.

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