January 11, 2013
Soggy conditions in parts of Argentina are increasing the risk of diseases that could affect soy and corn yields.
Unusually strong storms between August and October flooded parts of the Pampas farm belt, delaying sowing in the world's third-biggest exporter of soy and corn at a time of growing international demand.
Rains have moderated since then and many fields are enjoying ideal conditions. However, the government is warning growers to keep a lookout for fungal outbreaks such as Asian soy rust and frogeye leaf spot that thrive in soggy conditions.
The agriculture ministry announced late last week that 90% of the estimated soy area had now been covered after a slow start. It said 85% of country's 2012/13 corn had also been sown as of January 10.
The general condition of corn fields "could not be better," the ministry said in its weekly crop progress report, which gave a similarly bullish view of soy.