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UPDATE: South America crop report

CURITIBA, Brazil (Agriculture.com)--With the country's three most important corn and soybean provinces receiving just 64% or less of normal rainfall in 2010, crop and market-watchers have started to get nervous about Argentina's crops. 

It is necessary to follow the next few weeks of weather in Argentina, because the plants are starting that early development stage.

In 2010/11, Argentine farmers are expected to plant 18.65 million hectares (1.7% more than the 2009/10 crop). As of Friday, 59% of the total area has been planted. 

The three most important provinces (Buenos Aires, Córdoba e Santa Fé) represent 75% of the total soybean area in the Argentine soybean belt called "Umid Pampa". As of Friday, soybean emergence in Buenos Aires is rated at 73%, Cordoba 66% and Santa Fé 53%.

So far, the corn and soybean soils of Buenos Aires have received only 64% of normal rainfall. In Cordoba, the story is even worse, with just 52% of normal rainfall received. And in Santa Fe, 62% of normal rain has fallen on crop soils. 

CORN 

In 2010/11, Argentine corn farmers will plant an estimated 4.01million hectares (9.0% more than crop 2009/10). As of Friday, 80% of the crop has been planted.

Like soybeans, the three most important provinces (Buenos Aires, Córdoba e Santa Fé) represent 71% of total area of corn in Argentina's "Umid Pampa" area. Emergence of the corn crop in Buenos Aires 99.5%, Cordoba 81% and Santa Fé 84%.

Reports about weather indicate that the corn and soybean crops are in good and regular conditions. With the lack of normal rainfall, there is concern building, regarding the crop progress in some regions of production in Argentina.

BRAZIL

As the month of December gets underway, Brazilian farmers are hoping a favorable crop-weather season continues. However, there are weather forecasts that show a La Nina weather pattern could bring  dry/hot weather to the southern states of the country and excessive rain to the northern region Brazil.

In the southern state of Parana, soybeans were planted on October 1, 10 days behind previous years. However the development is normal, only a few days behind schedule. The state's crop has had just a few days with below average temperatures. Rains have been normal, for most of the state except for the southwestern part of Parana. In fact, this week, it rained a lot in Parana. 

The corn crop is having very good development, but the area is 18% lower vs. 2009/10.  The second crop condition report by the widely respected SEAB/DERAL agency rates the Parana state's soybean crop as 97% good and 3% is medium. Corn 93% good and 7% medium, as of November 29.

Mato Grosso (MT) and others State Midwest (MS and GO) and Nort Central (BA, PI, MA and TO) planted soybeans starting October 20, almost 30 days late. However, the rains have been normal-to-above average for November. This delayed planting will result in a reduction of area for second-crop corn "safrinha" planting in February and March 2011.

In Santa Catarina area of Brazil, the corn and soybean crops are in normal condition. 

Rio Grande do Sul is the most problematic area, but is of least importance in total Brazil production. In this SouthCentral region of Brazil,  there is big concern about the water deficit in the soil shifting. This area includes the regions of  Passo Fundo, Carazinho, Não Me Toque, Cruz Alta, among others. This area of Brazil plants soybeans in November and December, following the wheat harvest. So, the crop is being planted in very dry soil. 

WHEAT

Wheat is mainly raised in the states of Parana and Rio Grande do Sul  (90% the area in Brazil). The wheat is of high quality, but very complicated situation of commercialization of harvest. As of Friday, 95% of this year's wheat crop has been harvested.

This week, I traveled many regions of the state of Parana to present to producers and cooperatives about conditions of wheat markets in(Londrina, Campo Mourão, Toledo, Cascavel, Assis and Ivaiporã).  In the last 4 months, CBOT wheat prices went up 50% and prices in Brazil just 15%. 

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Story written by Robson Mafioletti

Eng. Agronomist MSc. Applied Economics 

This is an exclusive South American crop update written for Agriculture.com. 

The featured map is showing rainfall amounts in the southern Brazil state of Parana.

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