November 19, 2012
Argentina will augment the area dedicated to growing soy this season as it pushes to meet strong global demand.
Argentina is the world's No. two corn exporter after the US, where output was reduced by drought earlier this year helping to fuel a rally in international grains prices.
The projection of 19.4 million hectares of soy area versus the 18.7 million hectares planted with beans in the 2011-12 crop year was the Agriculture Ministry's first of the season. And it came as growers struggle to keep planting on schedule despite flooding caused by months of heavier-than-normal rains.
"Soy planting started late this year in Argentina and lags last year's tempo by 18%," the ministry said in its weekly crop report.
Farmers in the main agricultural province of Buenos Aires have watched their heavy seeding machines get stuck in the mud after a series of storms started lashing the Pampas in August.
"Rains and continued weather instability have caused ponding in fields that growers had set aside for soy," the report said, adding that sunny weather during the past week has allowed growers to start seeding as floodwaters recede.