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Go crop scouting in Argentina

  • 01

    Many analysts saw Friday's USDA WASDE report being quickly overshadowed by ongoing crop weather pressure in South America, namely hot, dry conditions in Argentina, where Mauricio Torres is a farmer and crop advisor in Chacabuco, west of Buenos Aires. Follo

  • 02

    In its report Friday, USDA didn't do much to adjust crop potential in Argentina despite that nation's heat and dryness through much of the growing season. This field Torres toured today shows definite signs of the season of rough weather.

  • 03

    The crop damage is far from consistent; "It is rare to explain why we are seeing a year where we have many differences in yield from one field to another," Torres says.

  • 04

    He attributes this to 3 factors: Varying groundwater availability, production systems like tillage and whether fields were fallowed, and what seed varieties were planted.

  • 05

    Will things improve anytime soon? "I don’t expect much through early next week, other than a few very light showers in southwestern Argentina Sunday/Monday," says Don Keeney, MDA Weather Services senior ag meteorologist. "Looks like there will be more notable rains later next week in northern Argentina, especially northern Cordoba, northern Santa Fe, and northern Entre Rios."

  • 06

    Here's a photo from Torres that shows the variability in crop conditions heading toward harvest. "One field has an estimated yield of 10,000 Kg/hectare and the farmer across the road will not have yields very high," he says. Yield potential discrepancies like these will mean the difference between "important financial gain or loss" for farmers.

  • 07

    Here's a close-up of what the ears look like from those 2 fields in the last photo.

  • 08

    Analysts said this week that upcoming rainfall expected in parts of Argentina could be "make or break" rains for the nation. "Overall, there's not much improvement for the area early next week, but then considerable improvement by later next week," Keeney says.

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