Hot, dry weather will persist across Australia's east coast for at least another three months, the country's weather bureau said on Thursday, in a forecast that threatens to severely crimp agricultural production.
Large numbers of emus have been flocking to an outback mining town in New South Wales as Australia continues to struggle with extreme drought. The flightless birds are desperately searching for food and water in Broken Hill, local animal rescue services say.
Due to the recent devastating drought, soybean production in Uruguay is forecast to drop to 1.7 million tons in 2017-18, according to an April 30 Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Argentina’s herd will shrink by up to 1 million head of cattle next year as ranchers facing scorched pastures after the worst drought in decades decide to slaughter females rather than grow their herds, analysts said.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri said the government would provide some debt relief to farmers struggling through what he described as the country’s worst drought in 40 years, which has resulted in dramatic cuts to soybean and corn crop outlooks.
Argentina's Rosario Grains Exchange slashed 14% off its forecast for the country's soy crop on Thursday, saying a drought now in its fourth month would limit the harvest to 40 million tons versus its previous estimate of 46.5 million. Argentina has been suffering dry weather since last November.
The drought in Argentina continues in several regions and has generated a delay of planting for the 2017-18 season. A report authored by the institution AgroEducación indicated that La Niña, though subtle, already impacts the region with temperatures above normal and scarce rains.
A strong El Niño is likely to increase prices of staple foods such as rice, coffee, sugar and cocoa, say scientists. Forecasters agree that the El Niño effect, which can drive droughts and flooding, is under way in the tropical Pacific, but they say it is too early to say how severe it will be.
US soybean futures tumbled on Monday trading posting their biggest percentage drop in nearly one year, on selling sparked by anecdotal accounts of better-than-expected yields in the Midwest farm belt.
Global food prices remained steady in August, the United Nations food agency said Thursday, but warned that the game is not over as it was only the beginning of the harvest season.