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Drought Hurts Argentine Corn And Soy Crops

Lack of rain will cut Argentina’s 2008-09 soy output 10 per cent from the previous season to 41.7 million tonnes, according to a special report from the Rosario Grains Exchange March 3.

Corn production in the South American country will be down 36 per cent in the 2008-09 season to 14 million tonnes, the report said.

Argentina, the world’s No. 2 corn and No. 3 soybean exporter, is seeing crops punished by the worst drought to hit the country in decades. But recent precipitation has provided some relief, especially for soy.

Farmers have just recently started harvesting 2008-09 corn, whereas soy gathering does not pick up steam until April.

Argentina’s Agriculture Secretariat expects 2008-09 corn production to total between 12.5 million and 13.8 million tonnes, down sharply from 22 million tonnes in the previous crop year.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture forecasts Argentina’s 2008-09 corn output at 13.5 million tonnes.

The local government has not yet released an estimate for soy production, but the USDA foresees an Argentine crop of 43.8 million tonnes, down from the 46.2 million tonnes produced in 2007-08.

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