March 3, 2004



Argentina Farmers Begin Harvesting 2003-04 Corn Crop
Farmers in Argentina have begun collecting the 2003-04 corn crop, the Agriculture Secretariat said, without providing precise details about the harvest.
The crop appears to be developing particularly well the province of La Pampa, according to the Secretariat. However, a lack of rain is hindering growth in Buenos Aires.
According to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange, farmers had collected 8.7% of the 2003-04 corn harvest by Saturday.
The pace of production is up from 4.8% a year ago at this time.
Thus far, farmers have harvested around 1,194,964 metric tons and collectable area stands at 2.219 million hectares.
The average yield so far is 6.17 tons per hectare, which is down from 7.12 tons a year ago at this time.
About half of the crop collected thus far comes from center-south Santa Fe, northern Buenos Aires, southeastern Entre Rios and eastern Cordoba, the exchange said. Yields in these areas averaged around 7.5 tons/hectare.
Rain is "urgently" needed in a number of "marginal areas" outside this main productive region, the exchange said.
Based on the average yields so far, the exchange has estimated total production of 12.8 million tons.

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