Cordonnier: Dry Weather Taking Toll on South American Crops

January 5, 2012 04:20 AM

South American crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier today said crop losses in Argentina and southern Brazil continue to mount due to hot and dry weather. Parts of central Argentina recording some of its driest weather in over a century.

Meteorologist David Tolleris of says overnight weather models are more hopeful of rains in the heart of grain country in Argentina this weekend with 70% coverage. He says weather models are in better agreement, however, another heat dome will set up next week over Bolivia and northern Argentina.

"Thus far, it's the corn crop that has taken the brunt of the impact from the hot and dry weather," says Dr. Cordonnier. "The majority of the corn in Argentina either pollinated during December or will pollinate over the next few weeks. Pollination will certainly be negatively impacted by the adverse weather and estimates are that 15% to 20% of the corn yield potential has already been lost."

Dr. Cordonnier also notes there are between 750,000 to a million hectares of corn that was not planted in Argentina and the planting window for the corn will start to close in about 10 days. "Without significant rainfall before the middle of January, it is entirely possible that the corn harvested acreage in Argentina will be significantly below initial estimates at the start of the growing season," he adds.

Argentine soybeans are flowering and starting to set pods -- and in need of rains, says Dr. Cordonnier. "The crop could still recuperate if it received good widespread rains with the next two weeks. Barring a significant rainfall event, the soybean yield potential will start to decline each week that remains dry. If the temperatures return to elevated levels as they are forecasted to do, the soybean yield potential could start to decline even sooner."

Additionally, there are still 3.5 million hectares of soybeans that have not been planted in Argentina, says Dr. Cordonnier. "Most of those soybeans are double crop soybeans planted after the wheat is harvested."

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