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Argentina’s 2019 wheat crop expected to be a record

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Argentine farmers are expected to plant 6.5 million hectares of wheat in the 2019/20 season, the government said in a report, citing good rainfall as the reason for the increase from its previous forecast of 6.46 million hectares.

“Good soil moisture conditions have favored planting,” the agriculture secretariat said in its monthly grains report.

Wheat in Argentina is planted in June and July and harvested in December and January. Some 39% of this season’s wheat crop has been planted so far, the report said.

Heavy rain in eastern Argentina this month has caused some delays in wheat sowing. But crop weather experts say the storms should end up helping farmers grow more of the grain this season as water reserves become replenished.

The Rosario grains exchange has said that Argentina could harvest a record 22 million tons of the cereal this season, up from 19.5 million tons in the 2018/19 crop year.

Argentina’s 2018/19 corn crop was seen at 57 million tons versus a previous forecast of 56 million tons, the report said. Government estimates include corn used by growers to feed their own livestock. Many private estimates in Argentina count only commercial corn crops. Some 60% of Argentina’s 2018/19 corn crop had been harvested as of last week, the report said.

The report slightly downgraded the government’s 2018/19 soy crop estimate to 55.6 million tons from the previous forecast of 55.9 million tons.

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