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Commodity Intelligence Report
January 2, 2018

Argentina Wheat Production Supported By Timely Rains

USDA estimates 2017/18 Argentine wheat production at 17.5 million metric tons, unchanged from last month and up 3 percent from last year. Higher returns for wheat relative to soybeans this season resulted in the largest wheat area since 2007/08. Area is estimated at 5.6 million hectares, unchanged from last month and up 8 percent from last year. Yield is estimated at 3.13 tons per hectare, also unchanged from last month and down 4 percent from last year.

Although the season experienced above average precipitation, the rainfall was well timed in northern Buenos Aires, La Pampa, southern Santa Fe, and southern Cordoba (figure 1). The rains provided ample subsoil moisture during tillering and subsequent grain fill stages.

In localized parts of northwestern Buenos Aires and northern La Pampa, heavy rainfall events temporarily delayed late seeding activities but planting resumed after fields sufficiently dried. Overall sowing activities were generally on time with planting over a larger area than in recent years (figure 2). This season’s frequent rainfall events and resulting soil moisture levels supported crop emergence, development and uniform plant populations for the vast majority of the wheat belt.

Southern planting areas are sometimes prone to frost; however, this year they benefited from more seasonal temperatures. Harvest is normally in full swing by the middle of November, but this season it was delayed in the southern and central growing areas due to the wetter conditions this year (figure 3).


Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.

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For more information contact Denise McWilliams | Denise | (202) 720-0107
USDA-FAS, Office of Global Analysis

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