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Flooding could wipe out 1m hectares of Argentine soy
By William Clarke - Published 04/01/2017

Weather prospects for soybeans have been swinging between rain and drought in Argentina so far this growing season, with analyst Dr Michael Cordonnier now warning that as much as 1m hectares could be lost to flooding.

Since late December, rains have soaked much of the Argentine heartland, with over a food of rains reported in the Christmas and New Year period across Cordoba, southern Santa Fe, northern Buenos Aires, and Entre Rios.

"It is hard to get accurate information concerning the extent of the flooding due to the holidays, but I did see one report that mentioned 450,000 hectares had been declared a state of emergency," said Dr Cordonnier.

Dry-out needed

"There has been localized flooding which will require replanting of the soybeans if it dries out in time."

Dr Cordonnier said that the area, which is very flat, would require an "extended period of time for the water to drain or soak into the soil".

"The concern is if the area will dry up enough in order to allow planting before the time runs out."

"The soybean planting window in central Argentina closes about January 10."

"If a farmer is desperate, they could stretch the planting another 10-14 days, but not beyond that."

'Catastrophic effect' in flooded areas

Dr Cordonnier warned of a "strong possibility" that farmers will not be able to complete sowings in time, including the sowings of second-crop beans and the replanting of washed out first-crop fields.

"In a worst case scenario where the flooded areas do not dry up in time to replant the soybeans, maybe as much as 1m hectares of soybeans in Argentina may not get planted including first planting and replanting."

"That would equate to about 5% of the soybean acreage and about 3m tonnes of soybean production."

But Dr Cordonnier noted while in areas with flooding, the effect would be "catastrophic" the rains would actually be beneficial in areas that avoided flooding.

"Therefore, I think the soybean yields in Argentina will be fine, but the acreage may end up being less than anticipated."

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