Bloomberg News

Argentina Corn Farmers Delay Planting on Below-Average Rains

October 03, 2011

(Updates with agronomist’s comments in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Corn farmers in Argentina, the world’s second-largest exporter, will probably delay planting until at least November after a month of below-average rainfall, according to the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange.

Forecasters are expecting above-average precipitation this month and farmers will wait for soil moisture to return before they accelerate planting, Maximiliano Zavala, an agronomist at the exchange, said in a phone interview from Buenos Aires today.

Most farmers likely won’t plant corn this month to avoid flowering in December and January, which are expected to be dry because of the La Nina weather pattern, Zavala said. Dry weather curbs flowering and cuts production. Last month’s lack of rain across the main growing areas hurt corn and wheat crops, according to exchange and Agriculture Ministry reports.

“Most climatologists are forecasting that October and the beginning of November will be more rainy,” Zavala said. “Farmers are waiting for those October rains to build up soil moisture” to sow the land in November and December, he said.

Argentina’s corn crop is 7.7 percent planted, the exchange said on Sept. 29. The corn crop is planted through December and harvested between February and August.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 4.25 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $5.9675 a bushel at 12:13 p.m. New York time on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The U.S. is the world’s biggest corn producer.

--Editors: Robin Saponar, Dale Crofts

To contact the reporters on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Buenos Aires at; Laura Price in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at

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