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Too much water? Argentina farm belt rains mark shift away from drought fears -Breaking


© Reuters. Horse-drawn carriages pass a soy farm that was suffering from a prolonged drought. This photo is taken in 25 de Mayo in the outskirts Buenos Aires. REUTERS/Agustin Martarian


Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRE (Reuters) – Heavy rainfalls have been recorded in Argentina’s agricultural belt, and there are hopes for more. This is a relief from fears of a prolonged drought that could hit crops. Forecasters worry about the impact of too much water on soy and corn harvests.

After months of drought that has hampered crop production, recent rain marks a significant shift in the South American nation, which is the No. 1 exporter of processed soy. The No. 1 processor of soy beans and the No. 2 exporter for corn. 1 for soy and No.

Esteban Copati (head analyst, Buenos Aires grain exchange) said that the rains of recent days had been very beneficial in a large portion of the agricultural land. The drought caused the exchange to reduce its corn and soy outlooks sharply in February.

The rains help us to keep our present outlook. It prevents deterioration.”

Copati said that harvest forecasts would not see a rebound at the moment, which are currently set at 41 million tonnes of corn and 42 millions tonnes of soy. This is because crops have already been severely affected by drought, and they were well advanced.

Germán Heinzenknecht, a local meteorologist at the Applied Climatology Consultancy, told Reuters that forecasts of “important” rainfall over the coming weekend would add to recent precipitation, capping crop losses.

“The ones coming between Friday and Sunday are very important rains, especially in the center of Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, the east of Córdoba, they can be widespread rains of 80-90 millimeters (3.15-3.54 inches),” he said.

Heinzenknecht said that the average March rainfall should be between 120-130mm. This could pose a problem if the rains are too heavy in the central farming belt.

He stated, “The one thing that (farmers), don’t want right now is excess water which doesn’t allow them to harvest.”

This is a sign that the rains have been good. However, we hope for more sun in the next two weeks of March. It’s crucial for harvest.

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