Argentine soy experts are concerned after last week’s heat wave caused a yield loss of between 10 to 30%, affecting 10 million hectares in the central region. According to a report by the Rosario Grains Exchange, losses have increased in recent days and over 20 millimeters of rain are needed, with no sure signs of a favorable turnaround.
Last week’s heatwave reached 42.5°C in some places, leading to a big loss of water in the soil. Even for the areas that weren’t severely impacted, experts warn that the “heat during the critical period can still affect growth.”
An anticyclone that remained on the Rio de la Plata shores for over 10 days created a high-pressure zone that prevented the entry of moisture into the central region. This, combined with the low cloud coverage meant Argentina’s central region received high levels of heat.
“Absolutely unstable, that’s how the atmospheric system is today. We had a 20-degree drop in thermal sensation from one day to the other [last weekend],” said Alfredo Elorriaga, a consultant for the Strategic Agro Guide (GEA for its Spanish acronym). “Circulation currents are changing very rapidly. This makes it very difficult to forecast rain coverage and the number of millimeters.”
The report goes on to contend that the heat is climbing back quickly and is expected to reach similar levels as previously until rain falls. However, the change in the anticyclone’s positioning means experts are for El Niño’s positive influence on Buenos Aires, southern Santa Fe, and southern Córdoba.
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