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Wet weather cuts Argentine wheat crop

Staff Writer | July 29, 2016
The U.S. Department of Agriculture bureau in Buenos Aires said, cutting to 13.7m tons their harvest forecast.
Argentine wheat
Harvest   The downgrade to a figure 1.3m tons
The downgrade, to a figure 1.3m tons below the official USDA forecast restated last week, reflected lower expectations for sowings, which are being held up by “unusually wet conditions” in key central Argentine growing areas, the bureau said.

“Parts of Entre Rios, Santa Fe and Cordoba provinces have suffered unusually excessive rains… which have shut down part of the road network, many dirt roads, and have worsened the problem of a high water table levels in many areas.”

The bureau estimated Argentina’s wheat area at 4.6m hectares, 400,000 hectares below the USDA’s official estimate, and cautioned that the estimate could face an additional cut if the poor seeding conditions – at time when the ideal planting window has already closed in many areas – prompt farmers to switch land to corn or soybeans instead.

Argentine farmers had been expected to ramp up wheat output to the highest in five years or more in 2016-17, lifting export prospects too, thanks to the greater incentive to sow the grain provided by the ditching by the country’s new government of export taxes and quotas on the grain.