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New outlook favors good crop conditions in Argentina

Jeff Caldwell 01/28/2014 @ 8:43am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

The outlook's flipped, and now one forecaster's calling for a drier Brazil and wetter Argentina moving forward moving through the remainder of South America's safrinha growing season.

In a seasonal outlook released this week, Commodity Weather Group, LLC (CWG) examined other years when El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) has been neutral, like this year, to get a glimpse of what could happen through the next few months. Based on that data, Argentina's crops could see a weather boost, while Brazilian farmers could face tougher conditions.

"These years also tended to shift wetter in northern Brazil and drier in Argentina/southern Brazil in March. The net result would be a pattern that remains generally favorable in the next several weeks for Argentine corn/soy, but there is still the risk that double-crop soybeans in the southern 1/2 of the belt (namely Buenos Aires) could run into redeveloping concerns in March," according to CWG's outlook. "In Brazil, drought concerns appear likely to focus on Parana/Sao Paulo during the next two months. This would continue to threaten reduced yields for sugarcane/citrus and could hinder the southern third of safrinha corn. Late-developing soybeans may see some stress for 1/3 of the belt, focusing on central/northeast Brazil during February and southern Brazil in March. However, the dryness will also aid harvest for earlier-planted soybeans, helping to mitigate reductions in yield overall."

Specifically, the Rio Grande do Sul state of Brazil will be the area to watch closely. That's where rainfall in February will be most critical, according to CWG, as that's where dryness could have the greatest impact on the nation's crops.

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