Corn production in Argentina is likely to drop to 48 million tons in 2020-21 from 50 million tons in 2019-20, the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service in Buenos Aires said in a report released on Thursday.
Lack of sufficient water in the country's prime production region is delaying the planting of early corn.
In some cases, the dry conditions are forcing farmers, especially in Cordoba, Santa Fe, and Entre Rios provinces, to postpone planting to early December and to produce late corn, the report said.
Under these conditions, farmers may switch from corn to soybeans due to its lower investment costs to reduce risk, the report added.
Due to ongoing plant stress, plus the probability of lower early corn planted area and yield than expected, Post lowers its yield estimate below that of the past two crop seasons and USDA's official yield, the report said.
Also, the presence of La Niña weather conditions could negatively affect corn production, it said.
The agency also cut Argentina's corn export projection to 33 million tons in 2020-21 (March 2021-February 2022), down from 37 million tons in 2019-20, due to the expectation of fall in output. Argentina is the third-largest corn exporter in the world.
To date, exporters have purchased 8.2 million tons of the future crop, 2.5 million tons lower than a year ago. Slow farmers sales are attributed to caution related to Argentina's economic currency variability and high inflation, the report said.