Argentine wheat crop estimate cut due to dryness

Argentina’s 2020-21 wheat crop is estimated at 17 million tonnes, the Rosario grains exchange said Oct. 15, citing dryness and frosts as reasons for cutting its previous 18-million-tonne estimate.

Parts of Argentina’s Pampas Grains Belt have been unusually dry over the last eight months. The country’s farmers harvest wheat in December and January.

“There is urgent need for significant, heavy rains in order to stop yields from falling further. The long dry period has robbed the crop of any chance of reaching the 18 million tonnes that we projected a month ago,” the exchange said in its monthly report.

“It is estimated that due to damage caused by lack of water and effect of frost, 608,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) of planted area are, to one degree or another, at risk of not being harvested,” it said.

A total 6.5 million hectares (16.1 million acres) of Argentine farmland were planted with wheat this season. Rains were expected on the Pampas for Monday and Tuesday of next week, the report said.

The exchange kept its 2020-21 corn crop forecast unchanged at 48 million tonnes and its soy estimate unchanged at 50 million tonnes. But it stressed the fact that a lot more moisture was needed to ensure proper development of recently planted soy and cornfields.

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