Corn planted early in Argentina’s season (about 40 percent of the crop) is still in its critical silking stage: The crop is typically pollinated in December and January, and this season’s crop development is behind the average pace. Although growing regions are not technically in drought, conditions have been detrimentally hot and dry, and long-range weather forecasts point to continued dryness during the grain fill stage in February. According to Perdue University, corn under this kind of stress may produce shorter silks that dry out rapidly, reducing the number of kernels per row.

The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange reports that as of Jan. 17, 45 percent of the early corn crop was rated in poor to very poor condition. USDA is currently forecasting Argentina’s corn yield at 8.08 MT per hectare, down 3 percent from last season, and forecast yield may be reduced in next month’s crop update. This season’s greater planted area may provide some cushion to a year-over-year loss in production, however.

Argentina’s corn crop

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