Argentina: High yields expected for maize and soyabeans. Maize acreage significantly expanded.

CropRadar from Kleffmann Digital RS has measured the areas under maize and soybean cultivation in Argentina by satellite. While the area under soybean cultivation has changed little compared to the previous year, the area under maize cultivation has increased significantly, particularly in the most important cultivation regions. After the drought season 22/23, yields are returning to the high levels of previous years. However, the maize harvest is under pressure due to pest infestation.

Argentina – The area under maize cultivation in Argentina has increased by 8.5% compared to the previous year and now covers around 7 million hectares, compared to just under 6.5 million hectares in the previous year. Particularly noteworthy is the development in the most important cultivation region of Córdoba, which accounts for around 40% of the total maize cultivation area. The area under cultivation here has increased by 25% to 2.74 million hectares. The Río Cuarto region is the largest maize-growing region in Córdoba with more than 550,000 hectares. Compared to the previous year, around 170,000 hectares more maize were cultivated there, which corresponds to an increase of almost 45%.

In other important growing regions such as the departments of Marcos Juárez, Juárez Celman and Unión, the area under cultivation was also expanded to more than 200,000 hectares in each case. The Marcos Juárez region recorded the largest increase in area at around 75%.

Maize harvest outlook
The positive changes in acreage and growing conditions initially promised a strong maize harvest. While relatively poor yields of 5.3 tons per hectare on average were achieved last year due to the drought, the conditions were actually very good according to the USDA forecast for this year, which reported average yields of 7.6 tons per hectare. However, as our local representative reports, larger areas are currently affected by a massive problem with spiroplasms. Depending on the location, crop losses of up to 25 percent are feared.

Stable acreage and rising yields in soybeans
The area under soybean cultivation has remained almost constant. Last year, around 14.17 million hectares of soy were cultivated, while according to CropRadar, this year’s figure is 14.25 million hectares – a slight increase of around 81,800 hectares. With around 3.8 million hectares, the Córdoba region ranks second in soybean cultivation after Buenos Aires. In the department of Río Cuarto, the largest soybean-growing region within Córdoba, the area under cultivation increased by just under 6% to almost 615,000 hectares. Despite the almost constant area under cultivation, there are clear regional differences. Significant increases were measured in the departments of San Justo, Marcos Juárez, General Roca and Unión. In the department of Río Segundo and the department of Tercero Arriba, on the other hand, the area under cultivation fell by around 19% to less than 200,000 hectares.

Soy Harvest outlook
After last year’s relatively poor soybean yields of 1.7 tons per hectare on average, a harvest of 3.1 tons per hectare is expected this year. This would increase the harvest in the Córdoba region to a total of over 11.8 million tons of soya.

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