(Photo: maps show the lack of humidity in the soil)

Buenos Aires, December 13, 2019. “We are worried”, a veteran official of one of the largest grain companies told eFarmNewsAr. “Yesterday, we discussed the evolution of the planting of soybean and corn and we concluded that one-fourth of the projected soybean area and another fourth of the corn area are not in use due to the lack of humidity in the soil. Furthermore, a relevant percentage of the early corn plantings are facing drought stress”, the official explained.

According to the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange (BCBA, for its Spanish acronym), farmers planted 61% of the projected soybean area, which entails 10.8 million hectares out of an estimation of 17.7 million. First soybean crop plantings are being delayed, while the second soybean crops (planted after the wheat harvest) are directly paused. In comparison with the last year, the advance of the first plantings is 7.3% below and 14.8% for the second.

Regarding corn, the BCBA estimates that 54.7% of the 6.3 million hectares are already planted. This ratio is below the average but inside the wide range of “acceptable” evolution.

There are some concerns about how the harvest could be affected if the drought goes on. First projections, in November, talked about a lower harvest than the last year. Corn and soybean could produce 10 MMT fewer than in the 2018/19 campaign. But if there are no rains in the next days, the projected output could be cut.

Forecasts say that in the next 15 days rains will be below the normal range and no change in the trend is viewed. Furthermore, no rains with a regional scope are predicted for the next ten days.