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Crop losses build in South America

Updated: 01/04/2012 @ 4:24pm

It seems like everyone in the ag marketing space is talking about the La Nina weather pattern that is creating drought-like crop conditions in South America.

On Wednesday, as corn and wheat prices failed to gain any positive traction, the soybean futures latched onto the South American weather talk to close the day's trading session on a higher note.

Agriculture.com Marketing Talk member agmr, located in South America, says the worsening crop-stress conditions in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay are keeping farmers anxiously waiting for rains.

"Rains that occurred in key producing regions of Brazil, in the last week of December, brought new hope and expectation of recovery of production in some regions of Rio Grande do Sul and Parana.  However, these rains are not sufficient for full recovery of the crop, as there are reports indicating irreversible damage in more than 40% of production in some regions," agmr says.


In Argentina, the month of December was the driest of the last four years, with an average cumulative rainfall of 20mm. "The best chance for a significant rain event in the core production area comes in Jan 19-20 which would help some areas but it would be too late for others, according to the National Weather Service," agmr says.

The photo above shows cattle in La Pampa, southern Argentina, being turned out into a drought-stricken cornfield. "Some counties have already requested government assistance, after suffering 70% crop loss, forcing cattle farmers to simply feed what crop is left," agmr says.

Other weather outlets say the next five days could remain hot and dry over central and northern Argentina and Paraguay. However, wxrisk.com reports that the 6-10 day forecast calls for one to three inches for the Buenos Aires and the south-central and and west-central Argentina.

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