September 1, 2008


Argentina 2007-08 wheat planting finished; conditions poor



Argentina's 2007-08 wheat planting wrapped up this week, but the young crop continues to struggle against nighttime frosts and dry weather, the Agriculture Secretariat said in its weekly crop report Friday (August 29).


Planted area totals 4,574,970 hectares, the Secretariat said.


Despite a moderate storm this week, the crop continues to suffer from insufficient soil-moisture levels and overnight frosts are slowing development, particularly in Buenos Aires province, according to the Exchange.


Last week, the Secretariat trimmed its forecast for 08-09 wheat planting by 200,000 hectares as dry weather prevented planting in many areas.


New-crop corn planting has not started yet, but last week the Secretariat said that 3.6 million to 3.8 million hectares will be used to grow corn this season, a 5 percent to 10 percent drop from last year.


Corn area is expected to fall as relatively high input costs and export limits imposed by the government will spur a shift to soy and sunflower seeds, according to analysts.


The 2007-08 corn harvest was finished this week, with output pegged by the Secretariat at close to 20.5 million tonnes.


Sunseed planting has started in the Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Chaco and Santiago del Estero provinces, but continued dry weather is slowing progress and threatening some of the fields already sown, according to the Secretariat.


Sunflower seed area is seen rising between 14 percent and 18 percent from last year to 3 million to 3.1 million hectares, the Secretariat said last week.   

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