BUENOS AIRES: Argentine farmers in the country’s core growing regions have begun sowing wheat for the 2023/24 season after intense rains in recent weeks, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday, as wetter weather salves parched pastures after a long drought.
The South American country’s previous wheat harvest was cut in half by a historic dry spell that also battered its larger soy and corn crops. Argentina is the top soy oil and meal exporter, the No. 3 for corn and an important wheat supplier.
The 2023/24 wheat crop is estimated at 18 million tonnes, up from the 12.4 million-tonne drought-hit crop, the exchange said, with more abundant rains key.
“The rains registered during the last days allowed the planting work to begin in the centre-east of the agricultural area, where several areas received significant rainfall helping recharge the soils,” the exchange said in a weekly crop report. The report added that farmers had so far sowed some 6.3% of the estimated 6.3 million hectares for wheat. It said rainfall in the months ahead and in the key Southern Hemisphere spring period around September would be “crucial” for the crops.
Argentina’s core farm region received between 50 and 180 millimeters of rainfall in the last week, the separate Rosario grains exchange said.
The recent rains have caused delays in the harvesting of soybeans and corn in the current 2022/23 season, the Buenos Aires exchange said. Soybean farmers have reaped 86.9% of the planted area so far, with production estimated at 21 million tonnes. Corn farmers have harvested 28.6% of the planted area, with production estimated at 36 million tonnes.