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Argentine soy planting pushed by drought into mid-January

From Reuters - January 8, 2018

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The drought afflicting Argentinas soy belt is expected to worsen this week, pushing farmers to risk planting later than usual and raising the risk of frosts later in the season, a meteorologist and farmer said on Monday.

With an estimated 2.25 million hectares yet to be sown in the worlds No. 3 exporter of soybeans and top supplier of soymeal livestock feed, Argentine growers are gambling by planting in dry soils that could be vulnerable to May frosts.

Rainfall should improve between Jan. 15 and Jan. 20. But until then there will be no important rains, said German Heinzenknecht, weather specialist with the Applied Climatology (CCA) consultancy.

This week in particular is going to be tough with a combination of high temperatures and low amounts of rain.

Last week the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that drought in Argentinas bread basket province of Buenos Aires had raised the risk that some of the 18.1 million hectares expected to be sown with soy this season will go unplanted.

With planting season set to end over the weeks ahead, the exchange said 2.25 million hectares had yet to be sown.

Farmers are planting with just barely enough moisture in the ground, Heinzenknecht said.

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