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Argentina cuts wheat output view due to floods

Argentina’s government cut this season’s wheat output forecast, citing three months of heavy rains that started in August and flooded key parts of the Pampas Farm Belt, the Agriculture Ministry said Nov. 22.

The South American grains powerhouse is seen producing 11.1 million tonnes of wheat in the 2012-13 crop year, down from the government’s previous forecast of 11.5 million tonnes, the ministry said in its monthly crop report.

“Yields, up to this point, are low,” it said, going on to explain that soggy Pampas conditions have made wheat plants more vulnerable than usual to pests and fungi-based diseases.

Corn-planting area was also marked down to 4.7 million hectares from a previous estimate of 4.97 million, while the country’s projected soybean area was kept at 19.35 million hectares.

Farmers warn that flooding in breadbasket province Buenos Aires will reduce yields compared with early-season estimates. The country is the world’s No. 3 soybean exporter and No. 2 corn supplier after the United States.

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