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Harvest Problems With Argentine Soy

Heavy rain last week in Argentina improved the condition of some 2009-10 soybeans, but flooded fields mean other crops will be lost, the Agriculture Ministry said in a crop report Feb. 19.

Argentina is the world’s No. 3 soy exporter and the top global supplier of its oil and meal.

The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange sees record soy production of 52 million tonnes, while the U. S. Department of Agriculture expects 53 million tonnes.

Drought battered last year’s crop and drove production down to 32 million tonnes. Now concern is growing that rains could prove to be excessive in the run-up to the harvest, which starts in earnest in April.

In Marcos Juarez, which lies in eastern Cordoba province, crops, “are in a good condition, with the exception of areas that have had too much rain, where soils are waterlogged and some crops have been lost,” the government’s weekly report said.

In Roque Saenz Pena district, in southern Cordoba, torrential rains have ruined about 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of soy.

By Feb. 18, farmers had planted 99 per cent of the record 18.1 million hectares estimated for the oilseed, unchanged from the previous week and at the same level as last season’s sowing rate.

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